January 30, 2012

The Middlebury College men’s hockey team played three games last week, including a pair of NESCAC games at home over the weekend. The week began as the Panthers gave up four first period goals on its way to a 5-0 loss at Norwich in a non-league game on Tuesday night at Kreitzberg Arena.

After missing the last three games, Kyle Thomas scored just 1:02 into the game to give Norwich (14-1-1, 9-1-0 ECAC East) the only lead it would need on the night.

Thomas skated in from the left wing and flicked a soft back hand toward the Middlebury net. The puck crossed up Panther first-year netminder Dan Fullam (Randolph, N.J.), who was hugging the near post and slid between his legs into the far side of the net.

Just past the midway point of the first, the Cadets broke the game wide open with three goals in a span of 3:12 to take a commanding 4-0 lead.

Colin Mulvey made it 2-0 when he pounced on a loose rebound in the right circle and beat Fullam five-hole after Owen Carpino’s initial shot was blocked by traffic in front of the net.

Bryce Currier scored his second goal in as many games when he tipped home an initial shot from Francois Gatien to make it 3-0 at the 11:32 mark.

Mulvey notched his second of the game and seventh of the season when he picked the pocket of a Middlebury defender right in front of the net and then wristed a shot past Fullam to make it 4-0 Norwich.

Travis Janke capped the scoring at the 14:57 mark of the second period off an assist from classmate Chris Duszynski.

Goalie Chris Czarnota picked up his second straight shutout and third in his last four starts to earn his fifth win of the season for the Cadets. He turned aside all 15 shots he faced to improve to 5-0-0 on the year. Fullam made 19 saves for Middlebury.

Middlebury dropped a hard-fought 4-3 game to Connecticut College on Friday night in Kenyon Arena. Middlebury jumped on the board just 1:08 into the game when senior Tom Cantwell (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) scored with a snapshot from the left wing over the shoulder of Marcus Calvanico (22 saves) for his first of the year. Connecticut College tied the game at the 5:51 mark when Keith Veronesi scored his team-leading eighth of the season, putting home a rebound after a wrap-around attempt from J.J. McGregor.

            The Camels struck for a pair of goals in a 31 second span to take a 3-1 advantage. Julien Boutet fed Steven Victor at 15:50, with Victor scoring his first of the year on a breakaway. J.C. Cangelosi netted his second of the season at 16:21, scoring on his own rebound from the slot. Middlebury had a late power play and threatened, but ended the period with a 3-1 deficit.

Senior Charles Nerbak (Martinsville, N.J.) made it a one-goal game 9:15 into the second period, scoring his team-leading eighth of the year with some nifty moves on a breakaway.

            Nerbak struck for his second of the game and ninth of the season 4:50 into the third period with assists going to senior Charlie Strauss (Eagle River, Wis.) and senior Martin Drolet (Montreal, Que.). The power play goal came just after a five-on-three expired, with Nerbak scoring with a blast from the point.

            Connecticut College scored the eventual game-winner at 7:48, with a goal just as a power play had expired. Marc Roper didn’t get all of a shot from the right side, with Veronesi picking up the puck and scoring his second of the night (9th of the season) from the high slot.

            Middlebury took a penalty with 1:53 remaining in the game, but still came on strong with pressure in the final few minutes. Their best chance to score came when Strauss fed sophomore Mike Longo (Morristown, N.J.) in the slot with 1:20 left, with Calvanico making a big save. The Panthers pulled their netminder with 48 seconds left but could not net the equalizer.

            Junior Eric Zagorski (Westfield, N.J.) made his collegiate debut for the Panthers, making 13 saves on the night. Middlebury ended the night with a 25-17 shots advantage.

Tufts scored with just 32 seconds remaining to force overtime, earning a 2-2 tie with Middlebury (7-8-3, 6-5-1) in NESCAC action on Saturday in Kenyon Arena. The Jumbos (8-7-2, 6-5-1) remain unbeaten in their last three games.

Middlebury grabbed a 1-0 lead 6:53 into the first period when rookie George Ordway (Long Lake, Minn.) tipped in a shot from junior Mathieu Castonguay (St. Edouard, Que.) for his fourth of the season. The first period ended with the Panthers owning a 19-5 shots advantage, holding the Jumbos without a shot for the game’s first 13:05.

The Panthers took a 2-0 lead on the power play, 11:11 into the second period. Senior Nick Resor (Westwood, Mass) scored his third of the year when he scored on a rebound after a scrum in the crease area.

Tufts got on the board just 2:52 into the second period when Kyle Gallegos scored his team-leading ninth of season with a shot through the five-hole.

Trailing 2-1 late in the third, the Jumbos went on the power play with just 41 seconds remaining. With their netminder Scott Barchard (36 saves) pulled, Jared Barker scored with a blast from the right point in a six-on-four situation to tie the game at 2-2 and send it into overtime.

The Panthers thought they had won the game 2:00 into the extra session when Strauss found the back of the net, but it was ruled that the goal had come off its moorings.

            Middlebury finished the game with a 38-20 shots advantage, holding Tufts to 1-9 on the power play. The Panthers converted 1-6 with the extra attacker, as Fullam finished the game with 18 saves.
• Men’s Hockey record: 7-8-3
• Up next: 2/4 @ Wesleyan, 2/5 @ Trinity