Men's Hockey At Middlebury
The Middlebury hockey tradition is as old as the game itself, with club play dating back to the 1860s. In the 80-year history of the men's varsity program, the Panthers have enjoyed tremendous success. The team began to receive more national exposure and success in 1995 when they made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament after a ban on NCAA play was lifted by the NESCAC. From that point, Middlebury earned a 302-46-20 (.848) record with 12 consecutive NCAA appearances ('95-'07), including an NCAA record five straight titles from '95-'99. Middlebury put together another string of national titles from '04-'06, capturing three consecutive titles to run its total to eight. The Panthers have also won eight NESCAC Tournaments, hosting the event on six occasions.
During the cold winter months, Middlebury College hockey becomes the pulse of a spirited community. The attendance at games has nearly doubled since Middlebury moved into its state-of-the-art 2,100-seat arena, with the Panthers hosting the NCAA Championship in '05. Prior to the move, Middlebury was the proud host of the '95 and '97 NCAA Division III Semifinals and National Championship in a jam-packed Nelson Arena.
The team's 24-game schedule combines a staple of NESCAC and ECAC contests with a challenging tournament Thanksgiving weekend. A junior varsity hockey program with a full schedule of games and practices complements the varsity program.
STYLE OF PLAY
The Panthers are respected among Division III hockey coaches for their impressive puck movement and aggressive defense. Kenyon Arena's exceptionally large ice surface not only encourages crisp passing and offensive creativity, it demands it, and teams accustomed to a physical, tight-checking brand of play are often caught off-guard by Middlebury's fast-paced tempo.
Off-ice conditioning focuses on the intelligent development of a complete player, with special emphasis on the lower body for acceleration and balance, the shoulders for puck protection, and the forearms for a quick release.