MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — In a physical game which included the ejection of Middlebury player Scott Goldman and head coach Bill Beaney, rookie John Dawson scored 10:25 into overtime to lift the top-seeded Panthers to a come-from-behind 4-3 win over second-seeded Amherst in the NESCAC championship Saturday.
The goal developed as Adam Foote — who had previously sent the game to OT with a third-period goal — won a faceoff to Dawson, who skated to the slot and wristed a shot to the top corner of the net. Middlebury, which never led until scoring Foote’s winner, had battled back from three one-goal deficits to force overtime.
Amherst (18-5-3) opened the scoring 7:56 into the contest as Justin Pitrack tipped in a shot from the left point by Chris Norqual.
In a sign of things to come, the period ended with 11 penalties, including four matching minors.
The Panthers then turned defense into offense to tie things up in the second. Just 25 seconds into the frame, Goldman was called for a five-minute hitting-from-behind penalty, along with a game misconduct after checking Jim Smith into the corner. However, three minutes into the power play, Middlebury’s Kevin Cooper intercepted a pass and broke in alone for a shorthanded goal to tie the game.
The Jeffs regained the lead at the 11:21 mark with a power-play goal as some nice passing set up Bob Miele in the slot for his team-leading 14th goal of the season.
But the Panthers bounced back to tie the game with a power-play goal with 2:10 left in the period as John Dawson found the back of the net. Following the goal, Beaney took exception to a roughing penalty against Middlebury, leading to a pair of bench minors and Beaney’s ejection.
Just 1:06 into the third period, Amherst took advantage as Justin Pitrack tallied a power-play goal, scoring from the slot on a rebound. But Middlebury again came back to tie the game at the 5:51 mark as leading goalscorer Foote beat Amherst goaltender Nick Rieser with a great move before flipping a backhand into the net.
Christian Carlsson made 24 saves in goal for Middlebury, while Rieser made 25 saves for Amherst.