December 6, 2010

            Junior Charles Nerbak (Martinsville, N.J.) and first-year Louis Belisle (Repentigny, Que.) each scored twice as Middlebury defeated the University of New England 7-1 in an ECAC East/NESCAC crossover game played Saturday afternoon at Biddeford Arena.

            The Panthers (2-4, 1-3) also received goals from first-year Michael Longo (Morristown, N.J.), junior Martin Drolet (Montreal, Quebec) and junior Charlie Strauss (Eagle River, Wis.) in winning for the second time in their last three starts.

            Middlebury scored its first four goals on tip-ins or shots that were redirected. Belisle notched the initial goal of the contest on the power play 2:51 in. Longo doubled the Panthers' advantage at the 14:05 mark to give the visitors a 2-0 lead after one period.

            Drolet tipped home a shot midway thru the second to push the lead to 3-0, and Belisle followed with his second marker of the afternoon less than two minutes later.

            Nerbak scored during an extra-man situation to make the score 5-0, but UNE’s Kyle MacLennan put his team on the board with his first goal of the season at 15:49.

            Nerbak and Strauss scored goals in the third period to make the final margin 7-1.

            Junior goaltender John Yanchek (Hillsborough, N.J.) made 12 saves for the Panthers, who held a 44-13 shots advantage and converted 3 of 5 power play opportunities. Senior Mike Roper came up with 37 stops for UNE (1-5, 0-4).

            Middlebury fell to 1-4 on the season, 0-3 in NESCAC/ECAC East league play as they dropped a 5-3 game at Southern Maine on Friday night. USM Sophomore Craig Perham snapped a 3-3 tie scoring a power-play goal with 7:52 remaining to lift the Huskies to the win.

            Perham was credited with his second goal of the game when he redirected a shot from senior Paul Conter for a power-play marker at 12:06.  Sophomore John Grandinetti picked up the second helper.

            The Huskies iced the game in the final minute when senior Jon Rutt flipped the puck the length of the ice into the unguarded Middlebury goal.  The Panthers had pulled rookie goalie Nick BonDurant (Macedon, N.Y.) for the extra attacker with 1:10 to play.  Rutt also had an assist on USM's first three goals.

            The teams traded goals in a fast-paced first period.  Junior Jak Knelman (Edina, Minn.) gave Middlebury its only lead at 4:36.  Junior Dan Rautenberg tied the game for USM four minutes later.

            Conter put USM into the lead, 2-1, at 6:41 of the middle period.  Nerbak equalized for Middlebury at 9:15.  Perham's first goal of the night restored USM's lead at 12:12, but junior Tucker Donahoe (Canton, Mass.) found the net with an unassisted power-play goal at 15:54 to tie the game at 3-3.

            USM rookie goalie Braely Torris posted 32 saves to get the win.  BonDurant finished with 19 saves.  Middlebury had a 35-24 edge in shots on goal. 
• Men’s hockey record: 2-4
• Up next: 1/1 vs. Skidmore – 7:00