Panther women fall to Norwich in D-III hockey matchup

NORTHFIELD — Host Norwich defeated the Middlebury College women’s hockey team on Wednesday night, 3-2, in a game between two highly ranked NCAA Division III teams. The 22-3 Cadets entered the contest ranked No. 4, while the Panthers were ranked No. 2.
The Panthers are off until Saturday, when they will host a NESCAC quarterfinal.
The Cadets outshot the Panthers, 45-20, in defending their home ice, while Panther goalie Annabelle Jones made a season-high 42 saves in taking her first loss of the winter. Cadet goalie Taylor Fairchild stopped 18 shots.
The Cadets’ Madyson Moore scored what proved to be the game-winning goal 1:03 into the third period. That goal, set up by Marie-Philip Guay, pushed Norwich’s lead to 3-1.
Middlebury answered 24 seconds later when Julia Wardwell’s shot from the top of the left faceoff circle found its way through traffic and past Fairchild. Sara Ugalde and Pam Schulman picked up assists on the goal, but the Panthers could not equalize.
Norwich opened the scoring 1:46 into the game when Haley Gibson tipped a Taylor Cross shot home.
Middlebury cashed in at 18:17 of the period on its fourth power play. Emily Fluke shoved in a loose puck in the crease off a scramble in front of the net, with Victoria Laven assisting.
Norwich outshot Middlebury, 21-2, in the second period and took the lead with four seconds to go, when Vanessa Champagne poked home a loose puck in the crease after Jones made two excellent saves on Emily MacKinnon.  

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