Men’s Hockey on Fire (and Ice)

By JENNY LANGERMAN

MAX PADILLA
Spencer Cage ’19 is one of four seniors leading the men’s hockey team this season.

Men’s hockey had a winning weekend on home turf, crushing both its conference opponents.

The Panthers first hosted the Connecticut College Camels on Friday, Nov. 30 at Kenyon Arena, managing to score at least once in all three periods of play. Goals came from Mike Fahie ’21, John Scala ’22, Cole Joslin ’22 and Emack Bentley ’22, bringing Middlebury’s total to four. The Camels were held to just two — both of which were scored off power plays — with strong defense and a couple of clutch saves from first-year goalie Adam Wisco.

Saturday’s game against Tufts brought an even more favorable outcome, as the Panthers pulled off a solid 6-2 win. While both teams put one in the net in the first period, and the visitors snagged another early in second period, the Panthers got hot and scored five in a row to surely secure the win. 

The depth and breadth of Middlebury’s squad was extremely evident this weekend, as a goal was scored by a Panther from each class. The underclassmen stepped up especially, responsible for eight of the team’s 10 goals this weekend.

Sophomore Matt Danner, who sealed the deal with Saturday’s final goal, speaks to this. “The underclassmen have been great this year,” he said. “They’re making a huge impact on and off the ice. They all bought into the team culture really quickly, which allowed us to focus on becoming a better unit on the ice. Having so many skilled first-years is really exciting; it really gives us a great opportunity to compete this year and for the next four years.”

Middlebury’s early success is both exciting and promising for the Panthers -— something the players try to remind themselves of even before stepping onto the ice. “I think one of our biggest strengths right now is the confidence we’re playing with — we’ve gone into every game this year expecting to win, and we’re playing like it,” Danner said. 

He added, “We’re also working together really well right now. This is one of the closest teams I’ve played on in a long time, and I think that gives us an advantage over a lot of teams.”

It seems things might just be clicking once again for these hungry Panthers.

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Men’s Hockey on Fire (and Ice)