MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — The number-four Middlebury Panthers scored early and often to earn an 8-0 over the visiting Salem State Vikings in a penalty-filled NESCAC/ECAC East battle.
For the second game in a row Middlebury jumped out to a 1-0 lead less than a minute in the game, as the Panthers’ Adam Foote put the puck past the Vikings Caleb Christenson 56 seconds into the first period.
Just five minutes later Middlebury doubled its lead as defenseman Aaron Copeland picked up a rebound right at the top of the crease and flipped it into the net past Christenson for his first career goal.
Ten minutes later, just seconds after concluding a penalty kill in which Middlebury stifled the Salem State attack, the Panthers’ Andrei Makarov and J.F. Duchesne broke into the zone off a feed from rookie Brian Phinney. Duchesne slid the puck across the slot to Makarov, who buried it for his first career goal and a 3-0 Middlebury lead.
Just 48 seconds into the second period, with the Panthers on a power-play assessed to netminder Christenson for tripping, Mike Velez ripped a slapshot from the blue line that was tipped in front by John Dawson to the upper corner of the net.
The next 15 minutes would see seven penalties handed out in an increasingly rough game, before at 17:53 Rob Chisholm fired a shot from the point past Christenson to move the game to 5-0. Middlebury goaltender Christian Carlsson then stoned Salem State several times on point-blank shots as they pressed heavily during the final seconds of the period.
At 3:15 of the third, Adam Foote took a Vikings turnover and put it past Christenson for his second goal of the game and fifth of the season. Three minutes later John Dawson found a rebound in the slot and with no Salem State defenders around, cleanly shot from point-blank range into the twine. To close out the scoring, with one minute left in the game Andy Campbell scored a power-play goal for Middlebury off a slapshot for the final 8-0 score.
At the game’s conclusion, the Panthers had thrown 34 shots at Christenson, of which 26 were saved; Middlebury’s Carlsson stopped 13 shots for his second shutout win of the season. The Middlebury power play went 3-8 on the night, while the penalty kill was stellar in holding Salem State to 0-7.
Middlebury moves to 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the NESCAC, while Salem State stands at 3-2 in the ECAC East and 4-2 overall.