January 17, 2011

         The Panther men’s hockey team extended its unbeaten streak to six games (3-0-3) with a 1-1 tie against Trinity in Kenyon Arena. Before the game, Middlebury celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1960-61 team that went 19-2, as the players were introduced before the game.

            Middlebury took a 1-0 lead just 2:49 into the game, as senior Ken Suchoski (Bear Creek Township, Pa.) scored on an end-to-end rush for his first of the season. The Panthers had another great chance at 6:45, but a shot on an open net sailed just over the crossbar.

         Trinity scored the only goal of the second period, with Jordan So netting his second of the year. Zachary Lombardi won the face-off back to Regnars Alksnis at the left point, with his shot being saved by Middlebury rookie netminder Nick BonDurant (Macedon, N.Y.). So jumped on the rebound and scored to tie the game at the 17:34 mark.

         The Bantams had the best chance to score in the third, when Charlie Mullan found Matthew Quigley in transition, but his shot missed the net at the 14:30 mark. Neither team scored in the remainder of regulation or overtime, as they settled for a 1-1 tie.

         Middlebury held a 36-19 shots advantage in the game, with BonDurant making 18 saves. Wesley Vesprini made 35 saves between the pipes for Trinity.

         Wesleyan earned its first win over Middlebury in 35 tries as the Cardinals (3-6-3, 2-5-1) picked up a 4-3 overtime victory over the Panthers (4-5-2, 2-4-1) on Saturday. The loss snaps Middlebury’s six-game unbeaten streak, as the home team held a 34-22 shot advantage in the game.

         Wesleyan had the best chance to score in the first period, but Ryan White was denied breaking in all alone with a nice save from BonDurant.

         The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead 9:32 into the second period, when Keith Buehler scored from the left point. Wesleyan had a great chance to tack on some goals later in the period after Middlebury was assessed a five minute major penalty. The Cardinals were able to score a four-on-four goal early on, when John Guay scored with a blast from the right point. Middlebury killed the remainder of the penalty, with the final 2:00 being negated with a Cardinal penalty.

            Trailing 2-0 heading into the third period, Middlebury cut the lead in half at 3:27 with a goal on a delayed penalty. Junior Charlie Strauss (Eagle River, Wis.) broke in and found junior Martin Drolet (Montreal, Quebec), who quickly buried the shot for his team-leading sixth of the year.

         The Panthers tied the game midway through the period at 10:59, when Drolet finished off a rebound after a shot by rookie J.D. Vermette (Boucherville, Que.) for his second of the day.

            Wesleyan regained the lead at 13:42, when Donald Kleckner scored from the right side just after a face-off. Middlebury answered just 20 seconds later, with junior Tucker Donahoe (Canton, Mass.) scoring from a tough angle down low. The Cardinals had a great chance with 2:30 left, but Guay’s shot hit the crossbar.

         Guay had another great chance just seconds into overtime, but his deflection of a Keith Buehler pass went just wide. The third time was the charm for Guay seconds later, as he deflected in a shot from Chris MacDonald for the game-winner just 31 seconds into overtime.

         BonDurant ended the game with 18 saves, while Glenn Stowell made 31 stops to earn the win.
• Men’s hockey record: 4-5-3
• Up next: 1/21 vs. N.E.C. – 7:00, 1/22 vs. St. Anselm – 4:00