Middlebury vs Amherst — 02-21-2020

Middlebury’s Owen Powers scored with just 23 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Panthers past Amherst 3-2 on Friday evening in Kenyon Arena. With the victory, Middlebury snaps the Mammoths (9-10-4, 7-7-3) 10-game unbeaten streak and are in a three-way tie for fourth-place heading into the final game of the regular-season. The Panthers (9-11-3, 7-7-3) host Hamilton at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, while Amherst travels to Williams on the same day for a 3:00 p.m. start.

Middlebury wasted little time getting on the board, scoring just 2:03 into the opening period. Paddy Mangan fired a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle that trickled through traffic for his first-career tally. Amherst looked for a power play tally with 5:56 expired, but Sean Wrenn’s attempt from the slot was denied by netminder Jake Horoho. The Mammoths had their best opportunity of the stanza during a shorthanded situation, but Mitchell Shults’ chance was thwarted with a glove save by Horoho with 13:32 showing on the clock.

Out of the intermission, Middlebury looked to double its lead at the 4:53 mark. Brendan Dawson sent a long pass from the defensive zone up to an unmarked Cole Joslin, but Joslin’s one-on-one attempt was thwarted by goaltender Giancarlo Ventre. Amherst knotted the game 1-1 at the 11:30 mark. Greg McGunigle sent a pass from the red line to McGunigle in the high slot, before McGunigle found the back of the net. The Panthers had a great opportunity to take the lead with 12:56 expired in the second, but back-to-back shots from Joslin and Mitchell Allen were thwarted by Ventre.

Midway through the third, Matt Danner grabbed the puck out of the air in transition, before feeding a pass to Allen in the slot. Allen worked the puck around an Amherst defender before his shot eluded Mammoth goalie Ventre for the 2-1 edge at the 11:35 mark. The visitors answered with 16:50 expired when Joey Lupo sent a pass from behind the goal to Wrenn who one-timed it in the slot to make it 2-2.

Both teams had chances to end the game in the first two minutes of the extra session with the game-winner coming with just 23 seconds left on the clock. An initial bid from point-blank by Antoine Belisle was denied by Ventre, but Powers dove across the crease and swept the rebound into the net while lying on the ice for the 3-2 final.

Horoho made 25 saves in 64:24, while Ventre stopped 35 shots for Amherst. Middlebury held an advantage in shots (38-27) and faceoffs (39-17) during the victory.