No. 11 Middlebury Gets by Williams for 10th Win

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. Middlebury broke an 8-8 tie in the fourth quarter against Williams, outscoring the Ephs 4-1 en route to a 12-9 victory. The 11th-ranked Panthers earned the third seed in the NESCAC tournament and will host sixth-seeded Colby on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Williams ends its season at 2-11 overall and 1-8 in conference play. The Panthers (10-3, 6-3) own a recent 17-2 lead in the series and are 39-22 overall against their Route 7 rivals.

The Ephs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, as Tucker Dayton scored his second and third goals of his career during the run. Middlebury answered with a five-goal burst before the Ephs ended the half with a goal in the final minute for a 5-4 Panther advantage at the break.

Mike Giordano opened the run at 1:01 in the first quarter as Andrew Conner scored his 29th goal of the year with 11 seconds left in the quarter. David Hild added his 35th and 36th goals in the second, bookending a tally by John McGoldrick at 2:34.

Middlebury opened the third quarter with a goal on a physical move at the crease by Tim Cahill, for a 6-4 lead with 13:25 remaining. Williams tied the game with a pair of goals, including the equalizer by Tommy Murray who spun out of a Panther double-team at the 10:00 mark. The teams exchanged a pair of goals to end the third tied at eight apiece.

McGoldrick opened the decisive fourth quarter with a goal at 14:37 off a feed from Alex Giammarco. Less than a minute later, Erich Pfeffer notched an unassisted tally on a left-side bounce shot for a 10-8 lead. Darric White scored his first career goal at 7:42, as the long-stick defenseman collected a pass from Mike Giordano.

The Ephs answered at 5:00, as Murray scored from in close, cutting the Panther lead to 11-9. Hild responded with his 38th on the season off a pass from Cahill for a 12-9 lead with 2:11 remaining.

Hild finished with a game-best four goals and one assist, as Giordano added two goals and one helper. Goalie Ryan Deane made 10 saves while grabbing a team-best 10 ground balls, earning the win in net. Middlebury was a perfect 29-29 in clearing attempts, outshooting the Ephs 43-38.

Dayton finished the day with a hat-trick for Williams, capping his rookie year with four goals, while Murray notched a pair of goals and one assist. Face-off specialist Corey Jacobs won 16-23 match-ups, scoring a goal and collecting a game-high 12 ground balls. Henry Mills made 13 saves in goal for Williams.


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