Elmira Tops Men's Hockey In PrimeLink Tourney
November 25, 2011
Elmira became the first team other than Middlebury, Plattsburgh and Norwich since 2002 to advance to the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout finals. The #10 Soaring Eagles (5-2) did so by scoring three goals in a 1:42 span on their way to a 3-2 victory over #11 Middlebury. Elmira will take on Norwich, a 3-0 winner over Plattsburgh, in the championship game on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The Panthers (2-1) will battle the Cardinals in the consolation game at 4:00 p.m.
Middlebury nearly took a 1-0 lead just 1:23 into the game, but Martin Drolet was robbed by a diving glove save from Elmira’s Darren McDonald. Chris Brown of Middlebury had a good look in the sixth minute, but hit the pipe.
Elmira’s three goal run began at the 6:37 mark, with Brendan Sanders scoring from the near post after an initial shot was saved. Martin Lee scored his first of the season 42 seconds later, tipping in a shot from the right point by Brock Sawyer. The third tally came just 53 seconds later, with Wes Consorti making a nice saucer pass to Regan McClean for his first of the year at the 8:12 mark.
Middlebury got on the board at the 14:58 mark, with Brett Brazier scoring his first of the season. Charlie Strauss carried the puck towards the goal, with his pass being redirected into the back of the net.
The Panthers made it a one goal game just 1:57 into the second period with a power play goal. Chris Brown’s shot from the left point was saved, before Strauss pounced on the rebound and scored.
Middlebury had a five-on-three power play for 41 seconds in the third, and later went on a shortened power play at the 11:28 mark, but could not score.
Elmira had a great chance for a two-goal lead later in the period, but Middlebury goaltender John Yanchek came up huge on John Clewlow in a two-on-one to keep it a 3-2 game. The Panthers pulled Yanchek in the final 1:10 of the game, but could not score the equalizer.
Middlebury held a 32-22 advantage in shots, including a 13-4 margin in the third period. Yanchek finished with 19 saves, while Darren McDonald made 29 stops to earn the win.