April 26, 2009

Familiar Hosts: NESCAC Semis at Middlebury

from press releases

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Leading Amherst 1-0 after the first quarter, Middlebury went on a 6-2 second quarter run, pulling away from the Jeffs for a 16-7 NESCAC quarterfinal victory at Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium on Sunday. The second-ranked Panthers improve to 13-1 overall, while Amherst drops to 6-8. Middlebury will host the NESCAC semifinals and finals on May 2nd and 3rd at Alumni Stadium, with the match-ups to be determined later today.

Middlebury's Mike Stone tallied the lone first quarter goal, bending around the cage for a quick wrist shot and the 1-0 lead. Stone and David Hild built the lead to 3-0 in the second before Alex Fox got the Jeffs on the board at 8:58 on a man-up score.

Leading 3-1, Middlebury went on a four-goal spurt as four different Panthers scored during the run. Stone's third goal at 7:52 was set-up by a nice screen by Skyler Hopkins as Stone rolled through for a top-corner lefty blast. Eleven seconds later, face-off specialist Dave Campbell, who won 14-21 match-ups on the day, gobbled up the groundball on the ensuing face-off and ripped a shot past Amherst goalie Matt Pietroforte for a 5-1 lead.

Chris Teves added his first of two goals of the day before Hild capped the run with a dodge in front of the crease at 1:48 for a 7-1 lead. The Jeffs responded late in the quarter when John-Thomas Milone slipped one past Panther goalie Peter Britt with 15 seconds left in the half, cutting the Middlebury advantage to 7-2 at the break.

The Panthers tacked on three more to start the third, including a man-up score by Matt Ferrer before Amherst's Thomas Foote took a Milone pass for an in-close goal, setting the score at 10-3 with 9:15 left. Both teams exchanged goals before Middlebury went on a five-goal run to put the game out of reach at 16-4.

Teves got his second on a set-up by Stone to start the run at 3:00 in the third, as Flint Reilly scored his first career goal to end the run at 7:16 in the fourth. In the final minutes the Jeffs scored three goals highlighted by a tally and an assist by Luke Arnold, ending the scoring at 16-7 in favor of the Panthers.

Stone led all scorers with three goals and two assists for Middlebury, as Pete Smith assisted on three and had one tally of his own. Hild collected a hat-trick, while four other Panthers had two goals apiece. Fox had two goals and an assist for the Jeffs, as Arnold scored one and set-up two others for Amherst.

Both starting goalies went 55:41 in front of the cage. Britt earned the win for Middlebury stopping 12 shots while allowing six goals. Bill Zrike made his collegiate debut, replacing Britt over the final 4:19, allowing one goal and making three saves. Pietroforte suffered the loss, allowing all 16 goals while stopping 15 shots. Sam Jakimo relieved Pietroforte for the final 4:19.

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