Courtesy Middlebury Athletic Communications
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Trinity snapped Middlebury's 20-game unbeaten streak as they topped the Panthers 4-2 to capture the 2003 NESCAC Championship. Its the first conference crown for the Bantams after Middlebury had won the first three tournaments. Trinity receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, while Middlebury will hope for an at-large bid when the pairing are announced Sunday night.
Trinity got on the board first at the 6:16 mark as Peter Langella hit Ryan Stevens with a great crossing pass in transition for the goal. The Bantams continued to charge at the 9:00 mark on the power play as Stevens was turned away on the doorstep by Yen-I Chen.
Middlebury had a chance to tie the game at 7:15 of the second period, but Tim Graham was denied by Douglas Kiselius after a nice shot down low. Trinity came back 12:04 as Steven LaBrie beat his defender on the left wing and then snapped a shot into the top left corner of the net. Middlebury answered just 24 seconds into a power play at 14:46 as Kevin Cooper put home a rebound from the doorstep after a shot from Shady Young.
The Bantams came right back just 43 seconds later as Dan Gyllstrom scored from the slot on a rebound following a shot from Cameron Finch. The Bantams sealed the game with an empty-net goal at 16:37 as Joseph Ori burried a slapper from close range. Patrick Nugent cut the lead to 4-2 with 1:35 left on a power play goal, but it wasn't enough as Trinity came away with the 4-2 win.
Chen made 13 saves in goal for Middlebury, while Kiselius made 32 stops for Trinity. The Panthers outshot the Bantams, 34-17.
2003 NESCAC MEN’S ICE
Quarterfinals - Saturday, March 1 at Higher Seeds
at No. 1 Middlebury 7, No. 8 Tufts 1
at No. 2 Trinity 3, No. 7 Williams 2 - OT
at No. 3 Colby 11, No. 6 Amherst 0
No. 5 Hamilton 6, at No. 4 Bowdoin 3
Championship - Sunday,
March 9 at Middlebury
No. 2 Trinity 4, at No. 1 Middlebury 2