Men's Hockey Earns Road Tie At Tufts To Open Season

November 20, 2009

The Middlebury men's hockey team opened up its season with a 3-3 tie on the road at Tufts. The Panthers earn a point and move on to Connecticut College, where they will take on the Camels Saturday afternoon.

After a scoreless first period, the Jumbos scored twice in the second period and led 2-0 heading into the third. Middlebury stormed back to take a 3-2 lead with a trio of goals 4:23 apart. Tufts, already on a power-play, pulled goaltender Scott Barchard with 1:10 remaining in the third. With heavy pressure on the doorstep of the Middlebury net, Trevor John scored his first collegiate goal with assists from juniors Tom Derosa and Andy Davis. Neither team scored in the overtime period.

Barchard, who finished with 43 saves for the Jumbos, stopped all 14 Middlebury shots in the first period. The Panthers were 0 for 3 on the power play in the first 20 minutes. After failing to get a challenging shot on net in the first, Tufts buzzed Middlebury goalie John Yanchek with 20 shots in the middle stanza. The hosts took a 1-0 lead on Derosa's goal from Mike Vitale and Zach Diaco at 4:41. The Jumbos then scored shorthanded, with Diaco lighting the lamp from Viatle and John at 12:27 for a 2-0 margin at 12:27. Barchard had stopped all 27 Middlebury shots through two periods.

The visiting Panthers, ranked seventh in the U.S. College Hockey online poll, quickly erased the deficit in the third. Mathieu Dubuc jammed the puck past Barchard with assists to sophomore Jak Knelman and Bryan Curran at 6:08. Ninety-nine seconds later, the Panthers tied it on a power-play goal by junior Ken Suchoski from Charles Nerback and Charlie Strauss. Less than three minutes after that at 10:31, the Panthers took a 3-2 lead when Knelman blasted a shot from a few feet inside the blue line that eluded a screened Barchard.

The Jumbos were able to earn their first point against Middlebury since Tufts reinstated varsity hockey in 1986 with John's late goal. Middlebury had won 13 straight games in the series since 1986-87, when the Tufts program returned after a 26-year hiatus.

Middlebury out-shot Tufts 46-36, while the Panthers were 1 for 8 on power-plays and Tufts was 1 for 6. Twenty-six penalties were whistled in the contest.