Middlebury utilized a 4-1 run during the third quarter, and turned a 5-4 deficit into an 8-6 lead en route to a 10-7 NESCAC victory over Bates on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers, winners of their last three, improved to 5-5 overall and 4-3 in NESCAC play. Middlebury returns to action on Wednesday with a road game at Springfield, while the Bobcats (4-6, 1-6) host Tufts on Tuesday, April 15.
The visitors scored the only two goals in the first quarter. At the end of a man-up opportunity, Matt McReddie found the back of the net from five yards out dodging from right side off a pass from Conor Henrie. Just over four minutes later, Charlie Hildebrand put the visitors up two when he sprinted in from the right side, made a nifty spin move and scored on a bouncer.
Tim Giarrusso made it a 2-1 game at 13:08 on a transition goal via a nifty pass from Chris Peterson. Less than two minutes later, Chase Clymer tied the game at 2-2 when he entered the offensive zone during a midline substitution. He darted down the right side, lacing a shot to the upper right corner past Bates’ goalie Charlie Kazarian for the score at 11:18.
Both teams recorded a pair of goals during the remainder of the second quarter. Hildebrand recorded his second of the game on a lefty shot off a dodge, while Middlebury’s Brian Ayers glided in with 6:34 remaining from the left slot and scored. Jack Allard gave the visitors a 4-3 lead via a hard shot on a pass from Kyle Weber, but the Panthers answered when Jack Cleary drifted in from the right side and sent a one-hopper into the net following a solo dodge from 15 yards away.
Following the halftime break with the score tied at 4-4, Allard found the back of the net on a doorstep shot at 13:21. Trailing by one, the hosts racked up four of the next five goals. Cleary scored an unassisted goal as he worked through the defense with a dodge, and scored on a hard righty shot three yards out. Henrie gave the Bobcats their final lead at 6-5 with 8:36 left on a pass from Allard.
Middlebury posted the next three goals starting with a man-up score by Stephen Seymour, on an assist from Jon Broome. Broome followed just 27 seconds later with a goal, while Jack Rautiola produced the third on a nice feed from Seymour. With under a minute, Bates made it an 8-7 game when Hildebrand found Weber posted up in front of Middlebury goalie Nate Gaudio.
In the fourth, Rautiola completed his hat trick with goals at the 8:33 and 1:48 marks, giving the Panthers much-needed breathing room.
Rautiola’s three goals paced a balanced Middlebury attack, while Cleary added a pair of scores. Harrison Goodkind won 13-21 faceoffs to go along with three groundballs for Middlebury. Darric White had three groundballs along with two caused turnovers.
Nate Gaudio (5-5) picked up the win for the Panthers in goal with 13 stops.
Hildebrand and Allard each finished with three points on two goals and an assist, while Mac Jackson and Strain tied for game-high honors with four groundballs. Kazarian (4-5) made 11 saves in defeat.
Middlebury possessed a slight edge in shots (40-37), ground balls (24-20) and faceoffs won (13-9).