AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst College goaltender Connor Girard '18 turned away 33 shots, but Middlebury College was able to score once in the second and once in the third to remain unbeaten in conference play as the Panthers held on for a 2-0 victory over the fifth/ninth-ranked Purple & White in Saturday afternoon's NESCAC men's ice hockey game at Orr Rink.
Middlebury (3-2-3, 3-0-3 NESCAC)
Amherst (3-2-3, 2-1-2 NESCAC)
- First period action saw Middlebury stake a 14-12 edge in shots on goal, led by three from Evan Neugold, while Stephen Klein made 12 saves in the stanza.
- Thomas Lindstrom '18 and Topher Flanagan '16 led Amherst with two shots on frame each in the first 20 minutes of play, while Girard turned away 13 attempts by the Panthers.
- At the 13:14 mark of the first period, Middlebury netted the game's first goal as Max Greenwald received a pass along the side boards from Neugold and wristed a shot through traffic that beat the Purple & White goalie near post. Mark McLellan added the secondary assist that put the Panthers ahead, 1-0 after one frame.
- Early in the second period, Patrick Mooney '18 sent a long pass up the wing to Will Vosepjka '18 who was in open ice, but his bullet of a shot was gloved by Klein.
- Midway through the second, Middlebury added to its lead when Mark Lyman scored following assists from Ronald Fishman and Andrew Neary to give the Panthers a 2-0 advantage at the 10:18 mark.
- Amherst responded through David White '18 who broke free on goal, but had his shot poked away by Klein. Conor Brown '16 then attempted to slot in the rebound, but Klein was able to recover and fend off the attempt keeping the score at 2-0.
- After two periods of play, Middlebury held a 24-19 lead in shots on goal highlighted by four apiece from Neugold and Zach Haggerty.
- With just under 15 minutes left in regulation, John Festa '19 controlled a loose puck following a misplayed Middlebury faceoff win. Festa raced in on goal but Klein was able to make a critical pad stop. The rebound fell to Patrick Arena '16, but Klein again quickly recovered and turned away his attempt.
- With nine minutes remaining in regulation, the Purple & White went on the power play and Lindstrom had a great look at cutting the Amherst deficit in half but his shot was caught by Klein. Moments later, Phil Johansson had an opportunity but his blast from the point was turned away.
- With under five minutes to play, Neugold charged in on net but Girard was able to paddle the shot away and clear the threat.
- In the final minute of action, Amherst pulled Girard in favor of an extra skater and Klein was able to thwart a pair of close range attempts by Chris Roll '17 and Brown, while the Panthers' defense got in the way of three others to seal the win for Middlebury.
- Haggerty and Neugold finished with six shots on goal each in the winning effort, while Lindstrom led Amherst with four shots on target.
- Girard and Klein made 33 saves each as Middlebury finished the game with a slim, 35-33 edge in the category.
- Following the semester break, Amherst returns to action January 2-3 at the Salem State/Babson Invitational. The Purple & White will take on Babson at Salem State at 4 p.m. on January 2.
- The Panthers are back on the ice Jan. 2 when they host SUNY Canton at 5 p.m. during the Middlebury Holiday Classic.