The Middlebury men’s hockey team bid to upset the top ranked team for the second time this season, came up one goal short, as the Panthers fell 4-3 to visiting Trinity on Friday. The Panthers (7-4-0, 5-2-0) continue conference play Saturday hosting Wesleyan at 4:00 p.m., while the Bantams (10-1-0, 5-0-0) are at Williams for a 3:00 p.m. faceoff.
Defense prevailed in the opening 20 minutes of the contest, as the teams went into the first intermission scoreless. Middlebury had a good scoring chance early, but Michel Fahie was unable to settle a bouncing pass from Emack Bentley at the left post. The Bantams countered a minute later when Paul Selleck cut across the top of the Panther crease, but goalie Jake Horoho kicked out his left pad for the save. Horoho came up with another key stop with Middlebury on the power play. Trinity’s Jack McCarthy’s shot from the point was tipped in front by Adam Anderson with Horoho denying the bid.
Middlebury opened the scoring with 6:56 expired in the middle frame when Alex Heinritz collected a rebound on a shot from Bret Pastor and wired a shot from the slot past Bantam goalie Teddy Loughborough. The Bantams drew even just over two minutes later, as James Callahan tucked in a rebound from the bottom of the right circle. Callahan struck again with 6:36 on the clock, wristing a shot through Horoho from the right side, following a nice cross-ice pass from Jack McCarthy. Trinity went up 3-1, scoring six seconds into a power play when Barclay Gammill tipped in a shot from the point by Michael Grande with 1:54 remaining.
The hosts needed just 1:39 of action in the third period to close the gap to 3-2, as Bentley fired a shot into the upper-right corner of the net. The Bantams answered 1:27 later when Riley Prattson set up Anderson on the rush for a 4-2 lead.
The Panthers had a great chance to draw within a goal seconds later, after being awarded a penalty shot, but Loughborough used his right skate to turn away Matt Danner. Middlebury made it a 4-3 contest with 11:58 on the clock when Fahie tapped in a nice feed from Cole Joslin. Middlebury had a late power play, but Trinity’s top-ranked penalty-killing unit kept the Panthers at bay for a 4-3 final.
Horoho finished with 35 saves for the Panthers, while Loughborough had 18 with the visitors holding a 39-21 edge in shots.
The Bantams killed off all five Middlebury power plays, while scoring twice on five chances.