Middlebury opened a 10-3 advantage late in the second quarter and cruised to a 16-8 non-conference win over New England College (NEC) on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The 13th-ranked Panthers rebounded with the decisive win after losing their first game of the season this past Saturday. The 7-1 Panthers go on the road for a NESCAC contest against Amherst, while the Pilgrims return to Vermont in seven days to face conference rival Castleton State.
After four different Panthers scored to open the game, NEC responded with a pair of their own, setting the score at 4-2 in favor of Middlebury late in the first quarter. With the two-goal lead, the Panthers' Chase Clymer put a nice righty shot past Pilgrim starting goalie Cody Kitson for a 5-2 lead at the end of one quarter.
Middlebury opened the second quarter in similar fashion to the first, scoring four straight goals for a 9-2 lead with 6:47 left in the half. Zach Driscoll started the run, scoring his first career goal in 51 games, as the defenseman made a nice run to the crease for his ice-breaker. Familiar names followed for Middlebury as Mike Giordano, Jon Broome, and Erich Pfeffer scored in order for the 9-2 advantage. Andrew Metros' goal for the Panthers at 4:42 was sandwiched around a pair of tallies by NEC, for a 10-4 game, before the Pilgrims' Brian Gillis notched his second of the day with eight seconds left in the half, for a 10-5 game at the break.
Scoring slowed in the third as Middlebury added two goals, including Clymer's second tally at 10:33. Later, NEC's Adam Shute notched his second of his game-high four goals, making it a 12-6 game after three quarters. The Pilgrims opened the fourth with a goal at 10:17 before the Panthers strung together another four-goal burst, putting the game out of reach at 16-7 with 6:32 remaining. Joel Blockowitz and Pfeffer each netted their second goals during the run.
The Panthers launched 57 shots in the game as Broome collected a hat trick, while Giordano added a goal with three assists. Blockowitz, Pfeffer, and Clymer each scored a pair, while Driscoll chipped in an assist to his one tally. Sean Carroll tossed two assists, as Metros and Stew Kerr chipped in with a goal and one helper each. Brian Foster had an impressive day winning 17-20 face-offs and nabbing six groundballs, while Billy Chapman gobbled up a team-best nine groundballs. Nate Gaudio earned the win in goal, playing 57:42, making seven saves, while reserve goalie Jack Rielly played the final 2:18 without seeing any shots on goal.
Shute finished with four goals with one helper, while Gillis collected a hat-trick along with an assist for NEC. Pat Miles, along with a goal and an assist, vacuumed up a game-best 12 groundballs. Kitson took the loss, playing the first half in goal, making six saves while allowing 10 goals, as Chris Galluzzo played the final 30 minutes, making 16 saves, allowing six goals.
Courtesy: Middlebury Athletic Department
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