Middlebury used an 11-goal run in the first half to pull away from in-state rival Castleton State en route to a 24-7 NCAA first-round win on Wednesday. The Panthers advance to a second-round game while the Spartans end their season at 12-7. The 24 goals by Middlebury are the most goals scored since netting 25 back in March of 2004 against NEC.

Castleton started quick, scoring 13 seconds into the game, as long-stick defender Alex Brands scooped up a groundball on the initial face-off for the ice-breaker. The Spartans made it 2-0 on a 15-yard shot by Sam Bailey at 13:28. Castleton wouldn’t score during the next 21:24 of action as Middlebury pounded out 11 straight goals in that span.

Andrew Conner scored four goals and David Hild collected a hat-trick during the run, as Conner opened the scoring at 13:06 in the first quarter and Hild closed the burst at 8:08 in the second. Tim Cahill netted the equalizer at 12:03 in the first on a man-up tally. Middlebury’s Peter Jennings scored the go-ahead goal six seconds later after winning the face-off. Jennings split time as the face-off specialist, winning 11-18 attempts on the day.

Trailing 11-2, the Spartans added a pair of goals to answer, but the Panthers responded with three more goals in a 37 second span for a 14-4 lead with 51 seconds left in the half. In the waning seconds of the half, Castleton forced a turnover deep in Middlebury’s defensive zone that allowed Alex Green to score with one second left in to play.

With a five-goal burst, the Panthers extended their lead to 19-5 by the 7:58 mark in the third quarter. The Spartans added a pair of goals later in the third, including Bailey’s second of the game. Middlebury capped the scoring with another five-goal run, highlighted by a nifty cross-crease pass from Mike Giordano to Darren Scheufele.

Hild led all scorers with seven points, adding four assists to his hat-trick, as Conner finished with six points on five tallies and one helper. John McGoldrick notched three goals and two assists, as Cahill finished with four scores. Giordano chipped in with three assists with one goal, while Scheufele and Brooks Toth each added a pair of goals. Ryan Deane earned the win in goal, playing the first 30 minutes, making two saves, while Charles Ward played the second half, making eight stops in net.

Nohea King paced the Spartans with a goal and two assists, while Bailey and Phil Patterson each scored a pair of goals. Brands collected a game-high nine groundballs to go with his goal and one assist. Dave DeGhetto played the entire game in goal, making 14 saves on the afternoon.

The Panthers outshot Castleton 54-30, trailed in groundballs to the Spartans 50-44, and won 15 out of 33 face-offs.