Men's Hockey Set To Host NESCAC Tourney

February 28, 2006

The Middlebury College men's hockey team will make its seventh consecutive trip to the NESCAC semifinals since the tournament's inception in '00. The Panthers will host the tournament for the sixth time in seven years, having won five of the previous six tourneys. Middlebury will take on Hamilton, Friday, March 3rd at 4:00 p.m., while Bowdoin will meet Trinity in the other semifinal at 7:00 p.m. The winners meet for the NESCAC Championship game on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

Middlebury is now 15-1 overall in NESCAC Tournament play, after a 7-0 win over Wesleyan in the quarterfinals last Saturday. The Panthers have also captured seven NCAA titles, from '95-'99 as well as back-to-back crowns in '04 and '05.

Middlebury enters the weekend leading the nation with a mere 1.56 goals/game scoring defense. The offense leads the NESCAC and ranks seventh nationally with 4.68 goals/contest. The Panthers also pace the league with a .245 effective power play and an .857 penalty kill. Earlier this season, Middlebury earned a 28-game unbeaten streak, second longest in school history. Head coach Bill Beaney is now in his 19th season, with more wins (462-181-32 - 26 seasons overall) than any other coach in Division III men's college hockey history.

After three goals in his first 11 games, sophomore Mickey Gilchrist has scored 17 in his last 14 to lead the team and the NESCAC in goals/game this season. He has 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points to go along with his team-leading eight power play and four game-wining goals

Rookie Jamie McKenna has enjoyed an impressive year offensively with 16 goals and 19 assists for 35 points on the season. Juniors Evgeny Saidachev (13-13-26) and Eric LaFreniere (9-13-22), along with sophomores Robert MacIntyre (2-19-21) and Tom Maldonado (5-13-18) round out the leading scorers. Senior Jeff Smith has anchored the blue line this season, while adding five goals and eight assists for 13 points on the year.

In goal, sophomore Ross Cherry and rookie Doug Raeder have split time this season. Cherry is 10-1-1 with a nation's-best 1.42 GAA and a .931 save percentage, fourth nationally. Raeder sports a 9-1-1 record with a 1.73 GAA (5th nationally) and a .926 save percentage (7th nationally).

2006 NESCAC Men's Hockey Tournament

Friday, March 3rd - Kenyon Arena - Middlebury College
#1 Middlebury (21-2-2) vs. #7 Hamilton (11-11-3) - 4:00 p.m.
#3 Bowdoin (16-6-3) vs. #5 Trinity (13-9-3) - 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 4th - Kenyon Arena - Middlebury College
NESCAC Championship - 7:00 p.m.