The Middlebury men’s hockey team scored at least once in each period, as the Panthers skated to a 5-2 triumph over Manhattanville on Saturday in the consolation game of the Middlebury Holiday Classic. The Panthers (7-3) return to conference play on January 10 hosting second-ranked Trinity at 7:00 p.m., while the Valiants (5-8-1) are idle until January 14 when they entertain Albertus Magnus at 7:00 p.m.
Babson claimed the tournament title with a 6-2 victory over Manhattanville in the championship game.
The hosts grabbed a 1-0 lead 6:37 into the opening period on a play that started in their defensive zone. A smart dump in by Brendan Dawson allowed Emack Bentley to fire a shot from the goal line on the left side that Valiant goalie Reid Robertson turned aside, but Michael Fahie cleaned up the rebound. Manhattanville drew even in the later stages of the frame, as Alex Rowella tucked home a shot by the left post after a short cross-crease pass by Glynn Robitaille. Rowella’s tally came with 4:16 on the clock as the teams went into the first intermission tied at 1-1.
In the middle stanza, the Valiants nearly took the lead when Joel Knight’s shot from the right point hit off the top of the cross bar with just over five minutes expired. Middlebury broke through for a pair of goals late in the frame, claiming a 3-1 lead. Bentley scored off a tremendous feed from the left wall by Paddy Bogart with 5:16 on the clock, while Owen Powers tipped in a shot by Dawson on the power play just over four minutes later for a 3-1 cushion.
In the final 20 minutes, both teams had an opportunity near the midway stages, with the Vialants getting the first. Ryan Jackson slid a puck through an empty crease, while on the ensuing trip up the ice, Bentley was robbed by Robertson’s glove from in tight.
The hosts iced the contest with a pair of goal in the last eight minutes. Antoine Belisle picked off an errant Manhattanville pass in his own zone, before lifting a shot into the upper-right corner of the net for a 4-2 lead. Tyler Little scored into an empty net with 2:29 on the clock, for his first collegiate tally.
Horoho finished with 27 saves for a win in his collegiate debut, while Robertson notched 30 saves for the visitors. The hosts held a 35-29 advantage in shots and went 1-2 with the man advantage with Manhattanville coming up in empty in three chances.
Powers represented the Panthers on the all-tournament team.
Matt Wiesner – Babson – MVP
Cam Schmidtt – Babson
Brad Arvanitis – Babson
Noah Muller – St. Michael’s
Tim Decker – St. Michael’s
Owen Powers – Middlebury
Ryan Jackson – Manhattanville