MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Kevin Cooper’s redirection of a Ryan Constantine pass with 53 seconds left became the game winner, lifting Middlebury to a 4-2 win over Colby Saturday.
Constantine’s pass came from the left wing, while Cooper was on the doorstep for the deflection. The Panthers advance to take on Trinity, a 3-2 winner over Bowdoin, in the NESCAC final.
Colby opened the scoring at the 6:36 mark as Nate Stanglein wristed home a rebound after an outside shot from Paul Nahigian.
The Panthers tied the game at 13:08 when Constantine hit Mike Kennedy with a great breakaway pass at the blue line as Kennedy beat Chris Ries with a shot to the top right corner.
Colby regained the lead midway through the second period when Mike Dalton redirected a pass sent toward the net by Cory Ernst for a power-play goal, but Middlebury tied the game 4:16 into the third period when Andrew Helming scored from a tough angle on the left wing after a rebound from a Patrick Nugent shot.
Robert Chisholm added an empty-netter after Cooper’s winner.
Christian Carlsson made 14 saves in goal for Middlebury, while Ries had 29 for Colby.