Amherst scored the game’s first three goals and added an empty-net tally, as Middlebury fell 4-1 to Amherst (13-6-4, 10-4-4) on Saturday in the regular-season finale. The Panthers (8-12-3, 5-9-3) earned the seventh seed in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament and will visit #2 Wesleyan for a quarterfinal game on Saturday.
Middlebury goalie Adam Wisco kept the game scoreless in the early going, robbing Jack Lloyd on a two-on-one with 3:45 expired. The Mammoths went up 1-0 at the 7:52 mark of the frame, as Joey Lupo collected the puck in the corner, stepped out toward the front of the net and slide a shot past Wisco.
The Panthers had a good chance to tie the score 35 seconds into the middle stanza, as Cole Joslin fired a shot on goal from point-blank range. Bantam goalie Giancarlo Ventre held his ground to make the save. After a successful penalty kill, Middlebury had another opportunity on the rush with a Matt Danner shot from the left circled turned away by Ventre.
The Mammoths doubled their lead at the 15:11 mark of the second period when Sean Wrenn tallied off a scrum in front of the Panther net.
In the final frame, John Scala nearly got Middlebury on the scoreboard with just over three minutes expired, firing a shot off the post. Amherst responded with a power-play goal at the 4:09 mark, when Lupo tallied his second of the game with a rising shot from the left circle.
Middlebury trimmed a goal off the deficit with 9:29 expired when Charlie Parsons picked up his third marker of the year, knocking in a loose puck from the top of the crease.
In the latter stages of the period, the Panthers pulled Wisco for an extra skater, but weren’t able to get any closer, while P.J. Conlon scored into the empty net with 38 seconds remaining.
Wisco finished with 32 saves for Middlebury, while Ventre turned aside 37. The Panthers held a slim 38-36 edge in shots, and were scoreless on four power plays, while the Mammoths tallied once with the man advantage in three attempts.