MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Middlebury scored three unanswered goals in the third period on its way to a 5-1 win over Elmira in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament Saturday.
The Panthers will take on Oswego next week, while Norwich meets St. Norbert in the other semifinal. The site of the championship will be announced on Sunday afternoon.
Middlebury struck first at 7:58 of the first period in a four-on-four situation. Adam Foote circled behind the net and found an open Patrick Nugent in the slot. Nugent one-timed the puck into the right corner of the net to give Middlebury a 1-0 lead.
Elmira tied the game at 8:25 of the second period, after Dean Jackson’s shot from the right wing was saved by Yen-I Chen. The rebound slid towards the goal line, where Pierre Rivard jammed the puck home to tie the game at one.
Elmira kept up the pressure with three power plays in the first 11:26 of the first period.
Middlebury regained the lead at 17:47 with a power-play goal from Kevin Cooper. The goal came in transition as Brian Phinney fed John Dawson, who hit a streaking Cooper. Cooper one-timed a shot from the right faceoff circle.
Just 37 seconds into the third period, Nugent scored his second of the game in a four-on-four situation. Dawson sent a pass from behind the net to the right circle, where Nugent wristed a shot into the top left corner of the net.
Elmira had a five-on-three power play at 10:15 of the third period, but after peppering Chen, Middlebury’s Levi Doria had the best chance to score, but was denied on a breakaway. Just after the power play had expired, Mike Velez fed Robert Chisholm, who converted the breakaway to make it a 4-1 game.
Cooper sealed the game with his second power-play goal of the contest at the 15:51 mark. Cooper gathered a loose puck from the end line and skated toward the goal before bouncing it into the net past Elmira netminder Greg Fargo.
Chen made 27 saves in goal for Middlebury, while Fargo made 37 stops for Elmira.