Panther women’s hockey win propels them to #4 ranking

MIDDLEBURY  — Middlebury College women’s hockey won three recent games to improve to 8-2-1, 5-1 in NESCAC play. The Panthers are ranked No. 4 in NCAA Division III.
Middlebury next faces a key NESCAC series this weekend at home vs. first-place Amherst. The Jeffs are 10-1-1 overall and 6-0 in league play. Game times are 7 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.
On this past Tuesday, Middlebury’s Jessica Young scored 1:54 into overtime to give the Panthers a 2-1 win at Utica (5-4-2).
Middlebury took the lead 2:29 into the second period, when Katie Mandigo converted Katie Sullivan’s centering feed. Utica evened the score 11:36 into the third when Louise Steele-Norton deflected a point shot.
Middlebury goalie Marisa Dreher came up big with 5:45 left by stopping Gabrielle Schnepp’s breakaway bid.
In overtime, Young got her stick on a bouncing puck and push in past Utica goalkeeper Marissa McNamara for her fifth of the year, assisted by Janka Hlinka.
Dreher made 14 saves to earn her first career win. McNamara finished with 24 stops for the Pioneers. 
This past weekend, Middlebury took two games from league foe Wesleyan. On Friday, 10 Panthers registered a point and scored four first-period goals on its way to a 6-2 win. Wesleyan took a 1-0 lead 7:12 into the game, but Middlebury answered just over two minutes later when Elizabeth Wulf picked off a pass and scored on the doorstep.
The Panthers later in the period scored twice in less than a minute, the first one coming on the power play. At 13:51, Allie Aiello netted a rebound of a Mandigo deflection on a play that started with Hlinka’s shot from the point. Hlinka made it 3-1 lead when she took a feed from behind the net by Young and scored with a one-timer.
The Panthers made it 4-1 with 27 seconds left in the period when Kelly Sherman finished off after a scramble in front of the Wesleyan net.
Mandigo made it a 5-1 game midway through the second period, finishing off her own rebound after her first two attempts had been saved. A Cardinal goal made it 5-2 after two periods, and Middlebury’s Maddie Winslow netted a power-play goal in the third, scoring on a Carly Watson rebound at 13:27.
Middlebury outshot the Cardinals, 25-16. Panther goalie Annabelle Jones made 14 saves, while Laura Corcoran stopped 19 shots for Wesleyan.
On Sunday, Middlebury scored twice in the second period and once in the third in a 3-1 win over Wesleyan (4-6, 1-5 NESCAC).
At 2:05 of the second, Young tapped in a rebound following a shot from the point by Watson and an Emily Fluke deflection. At 6:28, Wesleyan evened the score on the power play. 
 Nearing the final minute of the middle period, Mandigo put the hosts ahead for good on the power play. She scored from the slot following a Hlinka shot from the left side that was set up by Julia Wardwell. Wardwell scored an empty-netter late in the third to seal the win.
Middlebury outshot the Cardinals, 24-18. Middlebury’s Madeline Marsh made 17 saves, while Wesleyan’s Corinne Rivard was credited with 21 stops.

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