Tough Friday Night for Middlebury Hockey - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Tough Friday Night for Middlebury Hockey

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The Plattsburgh State men's hockey team scored early and often in a dominant 7-1 win over the Middlebury Panthers in a non-conference game Friday night at the Stafford Ice Arena.

With just 36 seconds off the clock, a Middlebury (5-7-2, 4-2-2 NESCAC) turnover in front of the net allowed Dillan Fox to find Mark Constantine, who lifted a backhanded shot high over starting goaltender Liam Moorfield-Yee to give Plattsburgh a lead it would not relinquish.

Eight minutes later and six seconds into a Plattsburgh (10-5-1, 6-1-1 SUNYAC) power play, Andrew Smith had an open net to bury a rebound off Preston Kaye's shot to put the Cardinals ahead, 2-1. Barry Roytman also added an assist on Smith's third of the year.

Plattsburgh's second goal cued the end of Moorfield-Yee's night as Nick BonDurant took over in between the Middlebury pipes. The rookie goalie finished with 12 saves on 14 shots in 8:36.

The Panthers came within one at the 18:09 mark when Evan Neugold cashed in a power-play opportunity with a shot through the screen that found its way past Cardinals' netminder Mathieu Cadieux. 

The Cardinals' offense proved to be too much for Middlebury with Plattsburgh adding five unanswered goals to ensure to the victory. Michael Cassidy tallied his first point of the evening at 3:27 of the middle stanza, knocking home a rebound from Max Balaban. Cassidy had a career-night four the Cardinals with a goal and four assists.

Balaban notched his first collegiate goal at 15:45 of the second with a wrister for the top of the near circle, beating BonDurant on the stick side to stretch the Plattsburgh lead to 4-1.

In the midst of a rash of penalties, Jared Docking scored a short-handed goal off the cross bar at 17:34 to give the Cardinals a four-goal lead.

Balaban taps in a rebound at 13:11 of the third for his second of the night before sophomore defensemen Preston Kaye rounded out the scoring with a power-play marker at 18:34 for his first collegiate goal.

Plattsburgh wore down Middlebury as the game rolled on, owning a 13-1 edge in shots on goal in the final 20 minutes. The Cardinals finished with a 43-19 advantage.

In a physical affair, the two teams combined for 17 penalties and 34 penalty minutes. The Cardinals went 2-for-6 with the extra skate while the Panthers went 1-for-4.

Cadieux improved to 7-5-1 after turning away 18 of the 19 shots he faced. BonDurant made 13 stops in 31:24 while Mike Peters stepped in for the third period, recording 11 saves.

Plattsburgh faces another crucial non-conference matchup tomorrow night when No. 13 Williams College arrives at the Stafford Ice Arena. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

---Plattsburgh Athletic Departmaent Press Release---

Amherst's Erin Martin scored with an extra attacker and just 31 seconds left to earn a 1-1 tie at Middlebury in game one of a two-game NESCAC series. The fourth-ranked Panthers move to 8-1-2, 5-0-2 in the league, while the Jeffs see their record go to 7-4-1 overall, 5-1-1 in NESCAC play. The teams return to action on Saturday with a 3:00 p.m. face-off.

Middlebury controlled much of the play in the first period, with several scoring opportunities and a 15-4 shots advantage. Katie Sullivan was denied breaking in after a turnover at 7:11, while Amherst netminder Kerri Stuart denied both Anna Van Kula and Hannah Bielawski at the 12:28 mark.

Amherst's best chance in the second period was a shorthanded breakaway by Tori Salmon that went high as Annabelle Jones got a piece of the shot.

The Jeffs came on strong in the third with a 10-5 shots advantage, but it was the Panthers who took a 1-0 lead just 1:04 into the session. Emily Fluke found Hannah Bielawski on the left side, with her shot being stopped by Stuart. Sullivan was there for rebound and quickly found the back of the net for her second of the year.

The Panthers held the lead until the game, when Salmon centered a pass to Martin for a quick shot from the slot to tie the game at 1-1 with just 31 seconds remaining. The goal was Martin's fifth of the season.

Amherst's best chance in overtime came in the opening seconds, but Jones denied Geneva Lloyd after a nice feed from Emily Flom. The Panthers threatened at the 3:00 mark, with two shots from Molly Downey and one from Jennifer Krakower denied by Stuart in a flurry.

Jones finished the game with 24 saves, while Stuart earned 29.

---Middlebury Athletic Department Press Release---



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