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Panthers No. 3 in shootout

The Middlebury Panthers mens hockey team suffered their first loss of the year last Friday, falling to the Norwich Cadets 5 - 2 in the semifinals of the Great Northern Shootout at Plattsburgh. They did bounce right back on Saturday, defeating Saint Johns 4 - 3 in the consolation game. In Fridays semifinals loss the power play proved to be the difference. The Cadets took advantage of Middleburys mistakes and converted on four of their six power play opportunities, while the Panthers converted on just one of their six chances. The shots on goal were fairly even with Norwich enjoying a slight 32 - 26 advantage. Rick Cleaver led the Cadets with a hat trick, with Eric Ouellette and Nikita Kashirsky contributing single goals to the victory. Sophomore forward DJ Fimiani provided four assists. The Cadets loss in the finals on Saturday to the tournament hosts Plattsburgh Cardinals 5 - 3. Sophomore defenseman Michael Kretschmer had a goal and an assist for Middlebury, with sophomore forward Charles Townsend providing their other goal. Chaz Svoboda assisted on both Panther goals. In Saturdays consolation game Townsend and Mason Graddock each had a goal and an assist to lead a balanced Panther offensive attack that squeaked out a 4 - 3 win over Saint Johns. The game started out looking like it would be a Panther blowout, with the first period belonging entirely to Middlebury. The Panthers out shot Saint Johns seventeen to five in those first twenty minutes of action, with three of those shots finding their marks. Townsend, Graddock and Jamie McKenna all scored in the opening period, staking the Panthers to a commanding 3 - 0 lead after one. But Saint Johns was far from being knocked out. They responded with three unanswered goals themselves, two coming in the second period and one early in the third to tie the game at 3 - 3. The game remained knotted at 3 - 3 until their was 13:13 left to play in the game when John Sullivan and Ian Drummond assisted Mickey Gillchrist who scored what would be the eventual game winner. Panther goalie Ross Cherry made twenty crucial saves in his second start of the season. His counterpart Vince Wheeler turned back twenty-eight Panther shots. The 2 - 1 - 1 Panthers will be at home this weekend hosting Salem State Friday night, and Southern Maine on Saturday afternoon. The womens team improved to 3 - 1 with back-to-back home shutout wins over Wesleyan and Hamilton Colleges last weekend. On Saturday afternoon freshman forward Anna McNally had a goal and two assists to lead the Panthers to a 4 - 0 win over the winless Wesleyan Cardinals. If it werent for the play of the Cardinal goalie Rachel Stemerman the outcome could have been much worse. The Panthers dominated the contest, out shooting their guests forty-nine to nine, but Stemmerman kept the score respectable by making forty-five saves. Middlebury goalie freshman Lexi Bloom needed to make just nine saves to record her first career collegiate shutout. Molly Vitt, Randi Dumont and Jessica Bennett all scored for Middlebury. Wesleyan fell to 0 - 3 with the loss, with all three defeats being shutouts. As easy as Saturday was, Sunday was even easier for Middlebury. McNally had a hat trick and two assists, and her teammate Annmarie Cellino scored twice and provided five assists as the Panthers rolled past Hamilton College 9 - 0 for their second straight shutout win. Vitt, Dumont, Karen Levin and Kristen Wilson all added single goals to the blowout win. Sophomore goalie Lani Wright started and earned her second win of the year with a ten save performance. She was relieved in net by freshman Emma Lennon in the third period. Lennon made one save to preserve the combined shutout. The 3 - 1 Panthers will be on the road this weekend, playing at Amherst on Friday night, and at Connecticut College on Saturday afternoon. Middlebury College womens hockey player Annmarie Cellino has been named the NESCAC Player of the Week. The Middlebury College junior had two assists on Saturday against Wesleyan College, and two goals and five assists against Hamilton for a nine point weekend. Cellino is now averaging three goals and two assists per game, leading the league in both categories. The Middlebury Panthers womens basketball team has started their 2007 - 2008 season with three straight wins. After traveling to Swathmore, Pennsylvania on the weekend of November 17th and 18th to win the Swathmore Invitational with wins over Heidleburg and tournament hosts Swathmore they returned to Vermont to defeat the Norwich Cadets 63 - 50 on November 20th. Senior forward and team captain Alanna Young led the Panthers in this one with a double - double consisting of fourteen points and fourteen rebounds. Aylie Baker led Middlebury in scoring with eighteen points while Ashley Barron contributed thirteen more to the win. The 0 - 3 Cadets were led by Natalie Marchese with eleven points. If the 3 - 0 Panthers can survive a home game against Castleton State this past Tuesday (played after our weekly deadline) they will be 4 - 0 when they host Union College this Saturday. Tip-off is at 1 p.m. * Images courtesy of Middlebury College

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