Gagnon ’19 scores twice in men’s hockey NESCAC win

Rory Gagnon ’19 (Josh McKee photo)
Rory Gagnon ’19 (Josh McKee photo)

The Hamilton College men's hockey team defeated Middlebury College 4-1 on Friday night in a NESCAC game at Russell Sage Rink.

The Continentals (4-2-1, 1-2-1 NESCAC) -- ranked 10th by D3hockey.com and 13th by USCHO.com – outshot the Panthers 38-23 with 16 shots in the third period alone. Middlebury falls to 1-4 in the conference and 1-6 overall.

Middlebury's Owen Powers scored the first goal 7:26 into the first period. Brendan Dawson took a wrist shot from the point that Powers redirected past Evan Buitenhuis '18 (22 saves).

Hamilton responded six minutes later and the first period ended in a 1-1 tie. Sam Jones '20 skated around the Continentals' net and found Bennett Morrison '20 up the right side. Morrison tossed the puck into the Panthers zone, and Rory Gagnon '19 outmaneuvered the defender to find himself one-on-one with Middlebury's goaltender Stephen Klein (34 saves). Gagnon's wrist shot found the back of the net.

Nick Ursitti '20 notched his fifth goal of the season five minutes into the second period. T.J. Daigler '18 won a battle along the boards in Hamilton's defensive zone and passed ahead to Brandon Willett '18. Willett skated into the Middlebury zone and passed to Ursitti in the slot for a one-timer between Klein's pads.

The Continentals gained a 3-1 lead with 5:25 remaining in the second period. Neil Conway '18 denied the Panthers' breakout at the blue line and passed to Jason Brochu '19 at the left faceoff circle. Brochu took a shot that was denied by Klein. Conway collected the rebound at the back post, backhanded the puck towards the front of the net and Gagnon deflected the puck over the goal line.

With help from Tyler Bruneteau '18 and Conway, Brochu scored an empty-net goal with 8.3 seconds remaining in the third period.

The Continentals are back in NESCAC action on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. as they face off against No. 13/14 Williams College (5-1, 4-1 NESCAC) at Russell Sage Rink.