Last-second goal by Rutigliano ‘21 lifts men’s hockey to victory

Nick Rutigliano '21 (Josh McKee photo)
Nick Rutigliano '21 (Josh McKee photo)

Nick Rutigliano '21 scored with three seconds left in the third period -- his second goal of the night -- and the Hamilton College Continentals defeated the Middlebury College Panthers 4-3 in NESCAC action at Middlebury's Kenyon Arena on Friday night.

Late in the third period, Chad Varney '22 gobbled up the puck in the corner to the right of Middlebury's Adam Wisco (25 saves), Joey Moore '22 dug the rubber out of the scrum, passed out to Rutigliano at the point and he ripped a shot through traffic for the win. Rutigliano's goals were the first of his collegiate career. The sophomore transfer from Division I Bentley University also added an assist to complete his three-point performance.

Hamilton (4-2-1, 2-1-1 NESCAC) has won five straight against the Panthers. Middlebury (4-3-0, 3-2) finished with a 40-29 edge in shots.

After a scoreless first period, five goals were recorded in the second.

Middlebury's Michael Fahie scored the first of the game 1:46 into the period and added another at 17:23. Kamil Tkaczuk stole the puck away from a Hamilton defender behind the net, made a quick pass out front and Fahie flipped the puck over the shoulder of Anthony Tirabassi '20 (37 saves).

The Continentals responded with three unanswered goals at 6:59, 10:14 and 12:02 to gain a 3-1 advantage.

Rory Gagnon '19 tied the score at 1-1 with his third goal of the season. Nick Ursitti '20 sent a pass through the neutral zone to Jason Brochu '19 charging into Middlebury's end. Brochu passed to Gagnon to his right and Gagnon sniped a shot underneath the crossbar.

It was then Brochu's turn with a power-play goal midway through the period. Hamilton moved the puck along the outskirts of the offensive zone where Sean Allen '21 whipped a pass through the slot to Brochu at the opposite circle. Brochu one-timed the puck top-shelf for the 60th point of his career.

Rutigliano capped the three-goal streak with Hamilton's second power-play goal of the night. Brochu grabbed the loose puck along the boards and sent a centering pass to Rutigliano who wristed a shot into the nylon.

Fahie's second goal got the Panthers back to within one as Hamilton entered the third period with a 3-2 lead. Middlebury's Jimmy McKee tied the score with a one-timer at 8:47 in the third off a feed from Zach Shapiro and Cole Joslin.

Hamilton stays on the road for another NESCAC game at Williams College on Saturday, Dec. 8. The final puck drop of the fall semester is set for 3 p.m. in Williamstown, Mass.