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NO. R-215. JOINT RESOLUTION CONGRATULATING THE MIDDLEBURY PANTHER HOCKEY TEAM ON WINNING ITS FOURTH CONSECUTIVE NCAA DIVISION III CHAMPIONSHIP.

(J.R.H. 156)

Offered by: Representatives Freidin of New Haven, Ginevan of Middlebury and Nuovo of Middlebury.

Whereas, Middlebury College and outstanding college hockey have become synonymous, and

Whereas, after capturing three straight NCAA Division III titles, the Middlebury Panthers skated to the blue line for the opening face-off of the 1997-1998 season, in hopes of becoming the first American collegiate hockey team to achieve four consecutive national titles, and

Whereas, after an impressive demonstration of hockey expertise as the regular season champs in the ECAC East, the Panthers proceeded forward to the NCAA quarterfinal by twice defeating their opponents from Oswego State by scores of 5-1 and 6-3, and

Whereas, having successfully secured their rightful berth as one of the final four teams at the NCAA Division III Hockey Championships at Plattsburgh State, the Panthers overwhelmed the squad from Augsburg College with a 5-2 victory and

Whereas, on Saturday, March 21, the Panthers brought their 24 consecutive victory hockey prowess into the championship game against a formidable contingent from Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and

Whereas, in this exciting and historic national title contest, the outstanding defensive efforts of goalies Francois Bourbeau and Chris Farion, in partnership with the successful scoring play that resulted in Filip Jirousek's first period goal and the companion second period strategy triumphantly completed by Nickolai Bobrov ultimately resulted in an historic 2-1 Middlebury victory, and

Whereas, five Middlebury players, Francois Bourbeau, Chris Farion, Ryan Goldman, Emil Jattne, and Mark Spence whose 79 modern era career goals established a new Middlebury scoring record, were privileged to skate on all four Panther NCAA Division III championship teams, and

Whereas, Middlebury squad members Curt Goldman, John Giannacopoulos, NickolaiBobrov, Ryan Goldman, Ben Barnett, Filip Jirousek, Eric Zink, Jeff Anastasio, Scott Goldman, Matt Skoglund, Cam Petke, Scot Curtin, Francois Gravel, Maxime LeBlanc, Dave Bracken, Jason Mikula, Brady Priest, Ross Sealfon, Phil Anderson, Jason Cawley, Ray Turner, Chad Knowles, and staff members Wes McKee, Lou Santini, Dave Matthews and Dr. Frank Bruch were all major reasons for the team's success, and

Whereas, the extraordinary expertise, leadership and inspiration of Coach Bill Beaney has been pivotal in Middlebury College's rise to hockey dominance in NCAA Division III, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the Vermont General Assembly is especially proud to congratulate the players and coaches of the Middlebury Hockey Panthers on this amazing and memorable sporting accomplishment, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Coach Bill Beaney at Middlebury College.