#1 Continentals Defeat Defending National Champion Middlebury, 3-2
Middlebury opened the scoring two minutes into the game on a power-play goalby Mark Spence. Hamilton answered at the 7:40 mark of the first as ZacSweetland tipped in a Coakley shot from the point. Both goaltenders madeseveral outstanding saves in the first, with Panther netminder Chris Farionstopping two Continental breakaways.
Hamilton dominated play in the second, holding Middlebury shotless for thefirst 14:02 of the second period. Joe Baudo put the Continentals ahead, 2-1,with a power play tally at 8:29 of the second. Baudo faked the shot, skatedpast a Panther defensman, then beat Farion high to the stick side.
Hamilton went ahead 3-1 when Coakley tipped in a rebound off a Rob Rigg shoton a two on one break 0:25 into the third. Two minutes later Hamiltongoaltender Brent Davey stoned Panther Francois Gravel on a breakaway. Graveldeked twice and flipped a low backhander that appeared to be in, but Davey shotout his pad at the last second. John Giannacopolous brought the Panthers withinone with a rebound goal with only 4:19 remaining, but Davey came up big withseveral outstanding saves in the final minutes, including the spectacular saveon the Anastasio shot with only 0:06 remaining. An apparent empty net goal byMichael Phalen with 0:39 left sent the crowd of 1,397 into a frenzy, but thegoal was disallowed because off an offsides call.