Panther women’s hockey wins three times, now 11-2-3
BRUNSWICK, Maine — The Middlebury College women’s hockey team won two key NESCAC road games this past weekend before returning home on Tuesday to prevail in a non-league contest.
The 11-2-3 Panthers (7-1-2 NESCAC) are ranked No. 4 in the NCAA Division III poll and will host league foe Hamilton this weekend, with games at 7 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.
On this past Friday, the Panthers took the first of a two-game set at Bowdoin, then ranked No. 10, 4-2.
Victoria Laven’s blue-line shot through traffic early in the first period gave Middlebury the lead, and Janka Hlinka made it 2-0 56 seconds into the middle period off a feed from Jessica Young. The Polar Bears broke through 2:45 into the period on a Rachel Kennedy goal.
Middlebury made it 3-1 in the third when Young netted a Maddie Winslow rebound. Kennedy also converted a rebound to make it 3-2, but the Panthers closed the game out with an Emily Fluke empty netter after killing off a 6-on-4 Bowdoin power play. Two Polar Bear goalies combined for 22 saves, while Middlebury’s Annabelle Jones stopped 23 shots.
On Saturday, Middlebury completed the two-game sweep with a 5-3 victory at Bowdoin (8-5-3, 5-3-1 NESCAC).
The Panthers broke through for two goals late in the first period. Katie Sullivan redirected a shot from Julia Wardwell, and Elizabeth Wulf stuffed in an Anna Van Kula rebound.
Middlebury made it 3-0 7:17 into the second period when Young potted a Fluke rebound. Fluke made it 4-0 later in the period by deflecting a slapper from Hannah Bielawski on the power play. Bowdoin’s Maddie Baird made it 4-1 on the power play late in the period.
Winslow, from Katie Mandigo, made it 5-1 about seven minutes into the third, and the Panthers held on. Middlebury goalie Madeleine Marsh made 23 saves, while Bowdoin’s Beth Findley stopped 25 shots.
On Tuesday, the Panthers coasted past visiting Potsdam State, 7-1, as Fluke picked up three goals and an assist. Potsdam dropped to 7-10-1.
Young gave the Panthers the lead at 6:42 of the opening period, netting her own rebound with Fluke and Hlinka assisting. About 10 minutes later, Anna Van Kula put the Panthers ahead by two by collecting a Bielawski rebound outside the crease. Fluke also netted a Bielawski rebound to make it 3-0 after one period.
In the second period, Wulf gave Middlebury a 4-0 lead at 8:25, lifting the rebound of a Carly Watson shot home. Potsdam scored with a minute left in the second, but the Panthers pulled away in the third on two more Fluke goals and one from Kelly Sherman. The Panthers outshot Potsdam, 52-12, and Middlebury goalies Marisa Dreher (nine) and Julia Neuberger (two) combined for 11 saves.
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