Courtesy Middlebury Sports Information
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury scored at least once in each period, as the Panthers skated to a 6-3 NESCAC triumph over visiting Bowdoin on Saturday. Middlebury (7-7-1, 4-5-1) is home again Tuesday with a 7:00 p.m. start with Norwich, while the Polar Bears (5-9-2, 3-7-1) entertains St. Anselm at the same time.
The teams traded goals in the first half of the opening period, with the visitors striking first. Bowdoin’s Michael Brown circled the Middlebury net and centered the puck to the top of the crease where Christian Capello redirected the pass just 2:32 into the game. Middlebury pulled even with 11:03 on the clock, as Tyler Capello buried a rebound in the slot flowing a save by Polar Bear goalie Alex Zafonte. The hosts made it a 2-1 contest just over three minutes later when Zach Shapiro wristed a shot from the right circle into the far corner of the net.
In the middle frame, the Panthers gained some momentum killing off a five-minute penalty. The hosts turned to their power play to add to the lead, scoring with 6:24 on the clock. Jimmy McKee wristed a shot from the high slot that eluded Zafonte. The Polar Bears quickly countered, as Cam Berube scored off the rush 1:32 later.
In the final period, the hosts made it a two-goal game (4-2) with 5:36 expired, as Charlie Parsons chipped in a centering pass from Cole Joslin. Bowdoin drew back to within a goal just over a minute later when Thomas Dunleavy converted when he was awarded a penalty shot.
Mitchell Allen regained the two-goal cushion for the Panthers with 10:47 remaining, tucking home a rebound on a shot by Owen Powers.
Bowdoin had several opportunities to close the gap in the final five minutes, starting with a power play with 4:45 on the clock. Middlebury’s penalty killing unit came up with another timely kill and the visitors pulled Zafonte for an extra attacker with 2:12 remaining. Bowdoin had a goal disallowed with 30.5 seconds left, before Allen iced the win with an empty-net goal at the 19:52 mark.
Wisco and Zafonte each finished with 21 saves, as the Panthers held a 27-24 edge in shots. Middlebury excelled on special teams, going 1-3 on the power play and killed off all seven Bowdoin power-play chances.