Panther women’s hockey wins three games

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s hockey team won three recent games, following up two weekend NESCAC wins by defeating another team with a high NCAA Division II ranking.
Middlebury improved to 14-2-3, 9-1-2 in NESCAC play heading into this weekend’s two league games at Connecticut.
On Tuesday, Katie Mandigo scored 43 seconds into overtime to give the No. 4 Panthers a 2-1 win over No. 3 Norwich (13-4-2).
Following a scoreless first period in which Middlebury had a 7-5 advantage in shots, Emily Fluke looked to put the Panthers on the board a little over seven minutes into the period. She broke behind the Norwich defense, but Cadet goalie Celeste Robert made a pad save sliding to her right.
Norwich got on the board first at 13:21 of the second period, when Rachel Bellio scored on a rebound of a Kim Tiberi shot from the point.
The Panthers tied the contest with a power-play goal at 7:09 of the third period, when Hannah Bielawski laced a slap shot from the point high into the net, with assists from Carly Watson and Jessica Young.
In overtime, Mandigo beat her defender down the left wing, took a feed from Maddie Winslow, and wristed a shot into the net. Kate Moreau also assisted.
Middlebury goalie Madeleine Marsh tallied 16 saves, while Norwich’s Celeste Robert was credited with 22 stops.
On Friday and Saturday, big games from Fluke helped the Panther to a pair of wins over visiting Hamilton (7-8-3, 1-7-2). Fluke, a senior, reached the 100-point plateau in the process, and is tied for the NESCAC lead with 14 goals and 1.72 points per game. She was named the NESCAC Player of the Week.
On Saturday, Fluke scored two second-period power-play goals in a 3-1 win over the Continentals.
Just past the midpoint of the opening period, Julia Wardwell gave Middlebury the lead with a wrister from just outside the right circle after being set up by passes from Laura McConney and Mackenzie Martin.
In the second, Fluke made it 2-0 by tipping a Watson shot from the right point at 12:13, with Bielawski also assisting. A little over seven minutes later Fluke struck again with the Panthers skating five-on-three, lifting the puck home from a scramble in the slot, with Watson and Young setting up the strike.
Hamilton got on the board at 2:42 of the third, but that was the only one of 11 shots that Marsh allowed past her. Hamilton goalie Samantha Walther stopped 28 shots.
On Friday, Fluke recorded a goal and an assist in the Panthers’ 2-0 win. Fluke tallied the eventual game-winner at 4:18 of the second period, scoring with a wrister from the right dot following a Hamilton turnover. Victoria Laven set up the goal.
A little over nine minutes later, at 13:31, Fluke recorded her 100th career point on the power play when Young netted a rebound of Fluke’s shot from the slot.
Middlebury held a 29-24 advantage in shots. Panther goalie Annabelle Jones stopped 24 shots for her 10th career shutout. Walther made 27 saves for the Continentals.

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