No. 11 Middlebury Holds on to Edge Hamilton

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. Middlebury topped Hamilton 6-5 in a midweek NESCAC contest, as the 11th-ranked Panthers improve to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the conference. The 6-0 start is the best since the 2008 squad opened 9-0. Middlebury returns to action on Saturday hosting Bowdoin, while the Continentals (3-3, 2-3) host Amherst.

Hamilton took an early 1-0 lead when Pax Anthos drove to the crease with a lefty tally at 10:00 in the first quarter. Middlebury responded with three goals in the second quarter, starting with Quinn Cronin's equalizer at 11:37. After Andrew Metros scored at 6:08, Mike Giordano grabbed a ground ball in close for a quick shot and goal during a delayed penalty situation at 3:23.

The Panthers were about to take their 3-1 lead into the break, but a turnover in their offensive end in the final seconds of the half led to a speedy clear by Hamilton and a goal by Paul Armideo with :04 left on the clock for a 3-2 game at the break.

Hamilton's ball-control, deliberate offensive game plan kept the ball out of top Middlebury scorer Jon Broome's stick for large portions of the contest. After each team traded goals in the third, Broome broke through, netting his 17th goal of the season. The rookie collected a doorstep feed from defenseman Billy Chapman for a transition goal with 20 seconds left in the third quarter, building a 5-3 lead.

The Panthers made it 6-3 in the fourth on a Joel Blockowitz goal off a nice dodge at 10:44. Hamilton did not disappear, scoring the next two goals in the final minutes, including a man-up tally by Luke Walsh with :52 left to play. Leading 6-5, Middlebury's Brian Foster won the decisive face-off and the ground ball. The Panthers advanced the ball into their offensive zone, where Giordano maintained possession weaving in and out of traffic for most of the final seconds, securing the win.

Middlebury distributed six goals to six different players as Chapman got the lone assist. Nate Gaudio made 10 saves in net for the win, as Foster won 10-13 face-offs, tying Giordano with a game-high five ground balls.

Armideo paced Hamilton with two goals, while Anthos added a goal and an assist to lead the Continentals. Will Driscoll took the loss in goal, making 13 saves.

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Middlebury College's Nate Gaudio made 10 saves and the nationally ranked No. 11 Panthers held on for a 6-5 NESCAC win against Hamilton College at Middlebury's Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium on March 27.

Six players scored one goal each for the Panthers (6-0 overall, 4-0 NESCAC). Middlebury won 10 of 13 faceoffs, enjoyed a 50-27 shot advantage and picked up 34 ground balls to Hamilton's 21. Brian Foster won all 10 faceoffs for the Panthers, and Foster and Mike Giordano scooped up five ground balls apiece.

Paul Armideo '14 scored two goals for the Continentals (3-3, 2-3). Armideo leads the team with 11 goals and 18 points. Pax Anthos '14 chipped in one goal and one assist, and John Zimmerman '15 and Luke Walsh '13 tallied one goal apiece. Ed Reed '13 was credited with one assist and Will Driscoll '14 stopped 13 shots. Nate Menninger '16 recorded four ground balls and Mike Fiacco '13 caused two turnovers.

Hamilton grabbed a 1-0 lead when Anthos drove to the crease with a lefty tally at 10:00 in the first quarter. Middlebury responded with three goals in the second quarter. Quinn Cronin notched the equalizer with 11:37 left and Andrew Metros scored with 6:08 remaining. Giordano grabbed a ground ball in close and scored on a quick shot during a delayed penalty situation with 3:23 to go.

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