Middlebury Men's Hockey suffered its first NESCAC loss of the season, falling 4-2 to #12 Amherst (5-3-1, 4-2) in Kenyon Arena. The 11th-ranked Panthers (4-2-2, 3-1-2) are now idle until they host their annual Holiday Classic Tournament on December 30th and 31st.
Amherst had a great chance early on, but Erik Hansen was denied on a breakaway by Dan Fullam. The Jeffs broke through at the 5:37 mark when Mike Rowbotham broke in with some space and scored with a backhanded to give his team a 1-0 lead. The Panthers evened the game when Derek Pimentel made a feed to Louis Belisle on the left side for a quick wrister to make it a 1-1 game at 7:40. The Jeffs had a power play at the 15:41 mark, but the Panther defense held despite the entire two minutes in their own zone.
Pimental nearly gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead early in the second period, but his shot hit the crossbar. The Jeffs took a 2-1 advantage at 6:59 when Rowbotham found Brian Safstrom from behind the net for the quick goal. Amherst made it a 3-1 game when a nifty move by Nick Brunette in front found the back of the net at the 12:10 mark.
Middlebury made it a one-goal game 5:50 into the period with a power play goal. Pimental centered a pass that went through Amherst netminder Nathan Corey (24 saves) to a wide-open Ronald Fishman on the far post for his first career tally. Down 3-2, the Panthers nearly tied the game shortly thereafter, but Pimental was denied by Corey. A Middlebury power play followed, but the Panthers were unable to tie the game. Amherst sealed the contest late with an empty net goal as a centering pass from Conor Brown deflected in off Johnny Van Siclen for the goal.
Middlebury held a 26-23 shots advantage in the game, with Dan Fullam making 19 saves in his first action of the season.
Middlebury Men's Basketball used excellent long distance shooting (7-14) and perfection from the free throw line (17-17) to pull away from visiting Skidmore in a non-league contest 74-53 in Pepin Gym. Trailing by as many as eight points early in the game, Middlebury (8-0) closed out the half shooting 70% from the floor, including a perfect 5-5 from behind the arc, turning an eight-point deficit into a five-point lead at the break.
Panton, Vermont native Connor Merrill got the Thoroughbreds (5-2) going, starting a 7-0 run on a jumper. By the 11:06 mark, Skidmore's lead grew to 16-8 on a three by Brian Moore. The teams traded a pair of buckets each before the Panthers started their blistering shooting performance to close out the half.
Nolan Thompson's first three sparked the run at 8:29, cutting the deficit to 20-15. After a pair of Panther buckets followed a Merrill lay-up, Thompson struck again with his second three at 3:27. Trailing 28-24 after a basket by Skidmore's Doolun Anyam at 1:52, a trifecta of threes ended the half for the Panthers. Joel Kizel had back-to back treys, giving Middlebury its first lead at 30-28 with 51 seconds left. In the final seconds of the half, Kizel set up Hunter Merriman for the buzzer-beating trey and a 33-28 lead at the break.
The Panthers used a 16-6 run to open the second half, building a 49-34 lead with 12:34 on the clock. Three times the Thoroughbreds cut the lead to 11 over the next few minutes, but they could not get the deficit down to single-digits. Leading 56-45 with 8:48 remaining, Middlebury used a 12-2 burst to pull away over the next three minutes, cruising to the 74-53 victory.
Five Panthers hit double-digits in scoring, led by Peter Lynch's 16. The backcourt duo of Kizel and Jake Wolfin had 15 and 12 points respectively, as Wolfin hit 8-8 free throws. Thompson grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds with his 15 points for a double-double, as Merriman chipped in 10 off the bench.
Aldin Medunjanin led all scorers with 17, hitting 6-14 from the floor, while Merrill added 15 on 6-12 shooting for Skidmore.
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