The Middlebury men’s hockey team netted the game’s final two goals, as the Panthers opened the home portion of its schedule with a 4-2 NESCAC victory over Connecticut College. Middlebury (3-2-0, 2-1-0) hosts Tufts Saturday at 4:00 p.m., while the Camels (1-4-0, 0-3-0) are at Williams for a 3:00 p.m. faceoff.
The hosts nearly opened the scoring the initial shift, as Zach Shapiro swooped in on the right wing. He fired a shot from the circle, forcing Camel goalie Connor Rodericks to make a blocker save. Middlebury got on the scoreboard with 4:01 expired when Michael Fahie deflected in a shot from the point from Jimmy McKee for a power-play tally.
Middlebury goalie Adam Wisco made two big saves midway through the first 20 minutes, on back-to-back opportunities. He first denied a shot from close range by Greg Pezza and then made a better save at the right post robbing Anthony Quateri.
In the middle period, the Panthers made it a two-goal contest with a tally 1:29 into the new stanza. John Scala gained possession of the puck below the goal line and used a wraparound shot for his first collegiate score.
The Camels pulled even, netting a pair of power-play goals. Jacob Moreau’s shot from the left circle hit traffic in front and fluttered over Wisco with 10:32 on the clock. Moreau tied the game at just over two minutes later, circling into the slot and wristing a shot into the left side of the net.
Middlebury regained the lead with 56.9 seconds remaining, as Danny Tighe won a faceoff in the right circle and Cole Joslin took the puck to the slot and beat Rodericks from close range.
In the final period, hosts had the better of the chances in the early stages, before the Camels pressed the equalizer late. Conn. College’s best chance to draw even came with 3:38 remaining, as Matt Michaud raced up the right side on a partial break, only to be turned away by Wisco.
The Camels pulled Roderick for an extra attacker with 1:29 on the clock, but the Panthers sealed the victory with an empty-net goal by Emack Bentley at the 19:49 mark.
Wisco made 35 saves for his first career win in a Panther uniform, while Rodericks had 31 stops for the Camels.
The visitors held a slim 37-35 advantage in shots and went 2-5 on the power play, while Middlebury scored once in three power-plat attempts.