Men’s Hockey Splits Away Weekend

By HEATHER BOEHM

The men’s hockey team traveled to Maine seeking revenge over its Nescac rivals this past weekend. The Panthers started the weekend off strong, closing out a tight matchup over Colby 3–2 on Friday, Jan. 19. But, the men fell the following day to Bowdoin, for the second time this season, 2–1.

To start the weekend, the Panthers traveled to Waterville, Maine for a rematch against the Mules, who had beaten Middlebury 9–1 in the Panthers’ season opener.

The Colby men skated out strong, flashing an aggressive offense and won the race to light up the scoreboard first. Colby put a rebound past Stephen Klein ’18 in the first eight minutes, after Justin Grillo’s first shot was deflected. But the Panthers did not stand down. After seven more minutes of play, Michael Fahie ’21 earned his third goal of the year, bring the game to a tie as the teams entered the second period.

The Panthers got to work right away in the second period. Kamil Tkaczuk ’19 capitalized on a rebounded off a shot by Fahie, and scored to make it a 2–1 game. Middlebury’s defense held off the Mules for the rest of the period, protecting their lead until the third period.

Colby’s response came from Spencer Hewson, who took advantage of a power play opportunity to tie the game at 2. Both teams pressed their offense to try to find the decisive goal. Then, with less than two minutes to go, Frank Cosolito ’20 scored the game-winner on a shot from the right dot with 1:52 remaining in the contest, securing vengeance for the Panthers in the form of a 3–2 victory.

“We came to Colby looking for a little payback, which really motivated us going into the game,” said Ethan Cohen ’19 after the game. “Beyond that, we made sure to execute our game plan and to capitalize on our opportunities. Last time we played them we failed to do that. That change, and coming out of the gate a lot faster this time were ultimately the difference.”

Klein between the posts was once again a major key to victory for Middlebury. The Mules almost doubled the Panther’s shots on goal, tallying 41 attempts to Middlebury’s 22, but Klein’s impressive performance earned the team the win.

The Panthers trekked to Bowdoin on Saturday, Jan. 20, seeking to avenge their early season loss to the Polar Bears, but were ultimately unsuccessful.

In the first stanza, both teams protected their nets and they entered the middle stanza tied 0–0. Bowdoin’s Cody Todesco broke the silence, as he swiped a shot past Klein on a Polar Bear powerplay. The Polar Bears increased their lead just a few minutes later as Todesco set up Ronnie Lestan, making it easy for him to launch a shot into the back of the net.

The Panthers did not back down as they trailed Bowdoin by two tallies. Owen Powers ’20 found the back of the net when he scored a shorthanded goal with the help of Mitchell Allen ’20. Powers’ goal came with a little over 12 minutes remaining in the third period.

Middlebury was unable to break past the Polar Bear offense once more, as Bowdoin closed out the battle maintaining their 2–1 lead.

Middlebury will return to Kenyon Arena on Friday, Jan. 26, to host Connecticut College and on Saturday, Jan. 27, they will skate against Tufts for the second time this season.

In last place right now, the Panthers need to climb two spots in the Nescac standings if they want to qualify for the conference playoffs. With eight Nescac games left, the Panthers have plenty of time to make up the ground, and their game against Tufts, the team ahead of the in the standings, will be big for that reason.

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Men’s Hockey Splits Away Weekend