Men’s Hockey Skates By Colby, Suffers 3-0 Loss To Bowdoin


Men’s hockey celebrates a goal during their game against Colby on Friday, Jan. 18. (Campus/Paul Gerard)

By Owen Teach

The Middlebury men’s hockey team finds itself in an increasingly tenuous position as the heart of the conference schedule carries on. The team, which on Nov. 26 saw itself pegged as the eighth-ranked school in Division III hockey, has dropped seven of its last nine contests dating back to Dec. 8 and now holds an overall record of 6-8-2. Even with this middle-of-the-road tally, however, the Panthers maintain a 5-3-2 record in the NESCAC, which is good enough for fifth in the league and a trip to the conference tournament. This past weekend saw Middlebury keep its conference hopes alive as the Panthers split a pair of NESCAC games, besting Colby 5-3 on Friday, Jan. 18 before falling to a talented third-ranked Bowdoin team by a score of 3-0 the next day.

Despite recording the win against Colby, however, Middlebury ended the first period in a 2-0 hole. The Mules capitalized 5:54 into the game off a rebound chance, then added another goal 10 minutes later on a wrist shot to the top-right corner.

Middlebury found its legs in the second, as a string of three goals in the first 10 minutes put the Panthers up 3-2. Chris Steele ’13 snapped a goal home just 1:37 into the frame off a face-off win by fellow senior Chris Brown ’13. Evan Neugold ’16 then converted at 9:51 off a feed from first-year Matt Silcoff ’16 before Derek Pimentel ’15 tipped in a Robbie Donahoe ’13 on the power play. Colby found an equalizer shortly after, however, and the teams skated into the third tied at 3.

In the third, Brown recorded his second point on the night as he put home a rebound on an initial shot from Max Greenwald ’16. Colby threatened to push the game to overtime until Pimentel scored an empty-net goal with seconds to go, sealing the win.

With 18 saves on 21 shots, first-year goalie Liam Moorfield-Yee ’16 picked up his first career collegiate hockey victory, which pushes his record 1-5-0 on the season.

On Saturday, regardless of their 38-25 shot advantage, the Panthers failed to beat Bowdoin goalkeeper Max Fenkell who kept his record a spotless 6-0-1 on the year.

The Polar Bears netted what became the deciding marker just 43 seconds into the game, as a backhand chance proved too much for Moorfield-Yee. Bowdoin tallied two more in the second period, including one goal on the power play, before a scoreless third put the final at 3-0. The score, according to head coach Bill Beaney, was representative of a gap that now exists between the two sides.

“There were key points in the Bowdoin game that we could’ve turned it around and potentially gotten the win,” said Beaney. “But as I told my team, ‘The better team won and hopefully we get a chance to play them in the playoffs.’”

Middlebury now faces two away NESCAC contests against conference bottom-feeders Connecticut College and Tufts next Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25 and 26.

“We haven’t scored many goals recently and that should get us excited to play this weekend,” said Beaney. “[As a program,] we’ve been in all but two NESCAC title games since the tournament started 13 years ago. If the student body could get behind this group, it would provide exciting hockey down the stretch.”