November 22, 2010

         Middlebury was shutout in its season-opener for the first time since 1940, as they fell at home to Tufts, 3-0. Williams accomplished the feat 70 years ago, topping the Panthers 6-0. Middlebury leads the all-time series with the Jumbos 16-2-3, with Tufts earning a 3-3 tie in the opener a year ago.

         After a scoreless first period, Tufts took a 1-0 lead just 1:05 into the second period. After the initial shot was saved, Dylan Cooper gathered the puck and stuffed it home just off the far post. Middlebury had three power play opportunities later in the period, but could not take advantage as they headed into the third period with a 1-0 deficit.

         Tufts gained some breathing room 3:50 into the third period, as Zach Diaco blasted home a shot from the high slot after the puck bounced out to him on a rebound.

         Middlebury kept coming in the period, with some great chances to score, but could not find the back of the net. Tufts goaltender Scott Barchard kept the shutout intact at 17:00, making a nice blocker save on senior Bryan Curran (Wilmette, Ill.), who was breaking in on the right win. The Panthers pulled their goaltender with 3:00 remaining, but could not score as Garrett Sider added an empty-netter to seal the win.

         Middlebury held a 29-15 shots advantage on the night, as Barchard made 29 saves to earn the win. First-year player Nick BonDurant (Macedon, N.Y.) made a dozen stops for Middlebury in his collegiate debut.

         Middlebury dropped its first two games of the season since ’93-’94, as the Panthers fell 5-3 to Connecticut College on Saturday. The Panthers lead the all-time series 22-6-1 with their first loss to the Camels since ’98-’99. Middlebury held a 32-16 shots advantage in the game, Connecticut College goaltender Andrew Margolin made 32 saves to earn the win.

         Neither team found the back of the net during the first period, with Middlebury holding a 16-6 shots advantage. The Panthers had their best opportunities on a five-minute power play after a Conn. College major, but could not get on the board.

         The Camels took a 1-0 lead at 6:53 of the second period, when Jordan Gray scored with a shot from the top of the right circle for a five-on-three power play tally. Conn. College scored a four-on-four goal at 8:16, as Sean Curran carried the puck patiently through the zone before finding the back of the net.

         Middlebury answered with its first goal of the season 39 seconds later on the power play. Rookie John Barr (Ridgefield, Conn.) intercepted a pass and quickly fed junior Michael Griffin (Hingham, Mass.), who blasted a shot home from the top of the right circle. Panther rookie netminder Nicholas Jasset (Newton, Mass.) kept it a one-goal game a minute later, making a big save on Julien Boutet.

         The Camels just missed a two-goal lead at 16:30, when Mike Sinsigalli hit the far post from the left wing. Middlebury scored the equalizer just moments after, when junior Charles Nerbak (Martinsville, N.Y.) left a drop pass to junior Tucker Donahoe (Canton, Mass.), who blasted a slapper home from the top of the left circle.

         Conn. took a 4-3 lead 1:11 into the third when Sinsigalli scored after J.J. McGregor had been denied. The lead grew to 5-3 with a power goal just 1:31 later, when Boutet converted a breakaway with a nice freed from Curran.

         Middlebury made it a one-goal game at 7:55 with a power play tally from Griffin. The Camels gained some breathing room at 10:05, when Sinsigalli netted his second of the game, with Curran earning his third assist of the night.

         Jasset allowed five goals with 12 saves in his collegiate debut, while BonDurant made four saves in 8:30.
• Men’s hockey record: 0-2
• Up next: 11/26 vs. Norwich @ Plattsburgh – 4:00 (PrimeLink), 11/27 vs. TBA – 4/7