Three-Goal Flurry in Middle Period Leads Panthers Past Mammoths

Three-Goal Flurry in Middle Period Leads Panthers Past Mammoths

AMHERST, Mass. – Middlebury scored three goals in a span of a minute and thirty-one seconds to undo an early Amherst advantage and handed the Mammoths a 3-2 loss in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's ice hockey on Friday evening at Orr Rink.

The Panthers improve to 5-2-0 on the year and 4-1-0 in the conference, while Amherst dips to 2-4-1 (1-3-0 NESCAC).

Amherst had three consecutive power plays, all of which overlapped each other, in the second period, but the Panthers withstood each of the man-down situations, and then used that momentum to score three quick goals.

Christian Powers '23 scored his second goal of the year to give Amherst a 1-0 lead, which they would take to the first period locker room. Powers put home a shot from just in front of the crease on a goal set up by Mitchell Shults '22 and Stephen Rex '22, who each picked up their first assists of the season.

At 7:48 of the second period, just moments after killing off their third straight penalty, Middlebury tied things up behind the third goal of the year by Matt Danner, who snuck the puck past Amherst goalie Giancarlo Ventre '20 from behind the back of the cage. Mitchell Allen and Brendan Dawson picked up the assists on Danner's goal.

Before the announcement had even been made, Zach Shapiro gave the Panthers a lead with his fifth goal of the year. Shapiro took the feeds from Bret Pastor and Michael Fahie, who now have four assists on the year apiece.

Owen Powers added to the Middlebury advantage just under a minute later. Powers finished off a loose puck in front of the net after an initial shot by Paddy Bogart was turned aside by Ventre, who had 31 saves in net for the Mammoths.

Bogart and Antoine Belisle continued to bat at the puck before Powers finished things off for his second goal of the year.

Nick Bondra '21 was sent away on a breakaway with 6:00 to play in the third period, but his shot rang off the post next to Middlebury goalie Brian Ketchabaw.

Ketchabaw had 23 saves to earn the victory between the pipes for Middlebury, who outshot Amherst 34-25.

The Mammoths pulled to within a goal with 4:28 remaining in the third. Mitchell Shults '22 fed Sean Wrenn '22 down the right side of the ice, and then potted home the return pass when Wrenn slid the pass across the face of goal. It was Shults's first goal of the season, while Wrenn picked up his second assist.

Neither team fared well on the power play, with Amherst going 0-7 and Middlebury 0-5 with the man advantage.

The Mammoths end their three-game homestand tomorrow afternoon when they host rivals Williams at 3:00 PM.

Middlebury heads to Hamilton tomorrow to face the Continentals at the same time.