November 21, 2011

The Panther men’s hockey team opened up its season with a 3-2 NESCAC win over Colby in Kenyon Arena. First-year player George Ordway (Long Lake, Minn.) scored his first career goal as a Panther 3:30 into the contest, converting a quick pass in front from senior Charlie Strauss (Eagle River, Wis.) after a scramble.

            Middlebury held an 11-6 shots advantage after the first period, holding the Mules without a shot until the 10:42 mark of the second period on a power play.

            The Panthers had a solid opportunity on a five-on-three power play in the second period, with senior Michael Griffin (Hingham, Mass.) just missing.

            Later in the period, Middlebury made it a 2-0 game at the 13:06 mark, as junior Chris Steele (Revere, Mass.) scored with a shot from the point. Rookie Derek Pimentel (Laval, Que.) and sophomore Louis Belisle (Repentigny, Que.) earned assists on the goal.

            Colby got on the board 2:58 into the third period with a power play goal on a shot from the point by Patrick Bursee. Michael Doherty and Chris Buonomo earned helpers on the goal.

            Middlebury gained some breathing room 8:45 into the third period with a great two-on-one goal. Senior Charles Nerbak (Martinsville, N.J.) fed senior Martin Drolet (Montreal, Que.), with the return pass right on Nerbak’s stick for the tally.

            Colby made it a one-goal game with 1:13 remaining, as Jack Barlett scored for the Mules with an extra-attacker on the ice.

            Middlebury held a 31-21 shots advantage in the game, as senior John Yanchek (Hillsborough, N.J.) made 19 saves to earn the win. Matt Delaney made 28 stops for the Mules. 

            The Panthers scored three times in the first period and never looked back in a 7-1 win over Bowdoin on Sunday evening at Kenyon Arena.  Strauss scored five points (two goals, three assists) for the Panthers, who improve to 2-0-0 (2-0-0 NESCAC) this season. The Polar Bears, ranked 10th in the latest USCHO.com Division III poll, fall to 0-1-1 (0-1-1 NESCAC).

            Strauss got things going for the Panthers just 7:59 into the contest, knocking home a loose puck that Griffin rattled off the post to give the hosts a one-goal lead. Griffin got on the board himself at 17:46, lifting a backhander over the shoulder of Bowdoin's Steve Messina. Strauss capped the period by finishing off a 2-on-1 with just 20 seconds remaining in the frame to give the Panthers a three-goal edge heading into intermission.

            Aaron O'Callahan made a bid to get the Polar Bears back into the contest early in the second frame, but Yanchek made a nice save to maintain Middlebury's three-goal lead. The Panthers capitalized by scoring twice in a 2:13 span as sophomore Ben Wiggins (Cambridge, Mass.) put home a shot from the right point at 5:44, followed by an Ordway put-back at 7:57. Nerbak gave the Panthers a 6-0 lead on the power play at 16:35.

            Bowdoin's Colin Downey finished off a scramble in front to give Bowdoin its only goal of the game at 8:41 of the third period. Nerbak closed out the scoring for Middlebury on the power play at 15:16.

            Yanchek finished with 19 saves for the Panthers while Messina (11 saves, five goals against, 27:27) and Richard Nerland (19 saves, 32:03) split time in net for Bowdoin. The Panthers held a 37-20 edge in shots and tallied three power play goals as the Polar Bears were charged with 11 penalties.
• Men’s Hockey record: 2-0
• Up next: 11/25-26 - Host PrimeLink Tournament – 4/7:00