May 1, 2011

No. 11 Middlebury Survives Against Colby

from press release

– David Hild's goal 18 seconds into the second overtime lifted Middlebury past Colby 10-9 in a NESCAC quarterfinal game at Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium on Sunday. The 11th-ranked Panthers (11-3) advance to the NESCAC semifinals, playing Trinity at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 at Tufts, while the Mules end their season at 9-7. Bowdoin meets the host school in the other semifinal at noon.

Middlebury jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter. John McGoldrick netted a pair during the run, including the ice-breaker at 12:03 off a man-up feed from Hild. Andrew Conner capped the first quarter with a laser shot from 15 yards out with 4:10 left. The Panthers held a decisive 5-1 face-off lead in the quarter, holding the nation's third-best face-off specialist Craig Bunker (.723 wins) at bay in the early going.

Colby responded with a three-goal burst, cutting the Panther lead to 4-3 at the 8:10 mark in the second quarter, as Mark Squicciarino added two assists in the rally. The teams alternated goals twice more before McGoldrick notched his third of the game with :01 left in the half, setting the score at 7-5 for Middlebury.

Conner opened the third quarter, sweeping to his right for a goal from 12 yards away and an 8-5 lead at 5:51. The Mules answered with their second three-goal run, tying the game at 8-8 on a Squicciarino goal during a five-on-five situation with 12:14 in the fourth quarter.

Billy Chapman gave the Panthers a 9-8 lead as the long-stick defender scored on a fast break at 9:25. Colby tied it again on John Jennings man-up tally at 6:37, capping the regulation scoring.

In the first four-minute overtime, the Mules won the face-off on a Middlebury procedure call. After a Colby timeout, the Mules launched a shot wide. Retaining possession, Colby was stripped of the ball by Panther defenseman Matt Rayner who grabbed the ground ball and started the clear attempt. Middlebury later turned the ball over in their offensive end, allowing two more Colby shots on goal, one saved by goalie Ryan Deane. The Panthers pushed the ball into the offensive end and after a timeout with 45 seconds, had their lone shot of the first overtime blocked.

A frenetic scrum for the face-off win started the second overtime. Colby ended up with possession near their cage and a pass to the Mules' goalie, to set up a clear, was intercepted by Hild on the doorstep. Hild ended the game with the point-blank goal as the Panthers move on to the NESCAC semifinals.

McGoldrick paced Middlebury with a hat-trick and one assist, while Mike Giordano and Conner each added a pair of goals. Hild had a hand in the first and last goals for the Panthers, assisting the opener and tallying the game-winner. Rayner led the Panthers with seven ground balls, as Middlebury owned a 46-36 advantage on Colby overall. Deane made 18 saves over 64:18 in goal for the win.

Squicciarino had four points with a trio of assists and one goal for the Mules. Ian Deveau chipped in a pair of goals and two assists, while Jennings added a hat-trick. Bunker ended the day with a game-high nine ground balls, winning 14-23 face-offs after the slow start. Peter Reiley played the same 64:18 in net, making 16 saves.

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