NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Plattsburgh State played a fast-pace first period Friday, pressuring Middlebury most of the way.
But the Cardinals couldn’t sustain that through the second.
The Panthers tallied two goals in the middle frame to take the lead and went on to a 3-2 win in the opening game of the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout men’s hockey tournament.
“The pace of that first period was as fast as I’ve seen in a long time — in over a year,” Middlebury coach Bill Beaney said. “Both teams were skating; we had a hard time keeping up with it. They kept putting pressure on us.
“We hung in there. Middle of the period we got some chances, and at the end we made the bad turnover and their guy buried it. And our guys weren’t discouraged; we’ve been coming back. We came out, and I think we were able to maintain the pace a little bit longer than they were.”
No. 5 Plattsburgh (5-2) will meet St. Thomas in this afternoon’s consolation game, while No. 12 Middlebury (2-0-1) will face Norwich for the championship.
Jared Docking gave Plattsburgh a 1-0 lead with a slapshot from the top of the left circle with just under four minutes left in the first period.
The Cardinals held a 10-7 advantage in shots in the period. The Panthers came out stronger in the second.
“I really think we went into the locker room after the first and just (said), ‘Calm down, settle down.’ Realized we just had to play our game; we could skate with them,” Middlebury goaltender Nick BonDurant said. “We weren’t really playing our game in the first, but we started to shape up and it worked out.”
Derek Pimentel tied it in the middle of the second period. Riley Dickie came in from the right side and was stopped by Mathieu Cadieux, but Pimentel took a couple of whacks at the rebound out front and found the back of the net.