Women’s hockey wins two out of three
CLINTON, N.Y. — The Middlebury College women’s hockey team blanked host NESCAC foe Hamilton twice this past weekend to remain unbeaten and in first place in the league, but then dropped a non-league game to Norwich on Tuesday.
The Panthers, winners of six straight, are 11-4-3 overall and 7-0-3 in NESCAC action heading into a pair of games at Colby this weekend. They were ranked No. 6 in this week’s NCAA Division III poll.
On this past Saturday, the Panthers blanked Hamilton, 2-0, as Middlebury goalie Julia Neuburger made 19 saves against the fourth-place Continentals (9-6-2 overall, 4-4-2 NESCAC).
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead 16:03 into the first period, when Elizabeth Wulf scored her fifth of the season. After a shot from Grace Jennings had been saved, Wulf scored on a rebound from the slot.
Following a scoreless second period, the Panthers gained some breathing room at 12:26 of the third period with a power-play goal. Kelly Sherman connected after a shot from Anna Van Kula deflected off a stick to her.
Hamilton had a six-on-four advantage for the final 1:48 after a Panther penalty, but was unable to solve Neuburger, who recorded her third straight shutout. The Panthers outshot the Continentals by 24-20.
On Friday, Panther Katherine Jackson scored at 15:30 of the first period and that goal stood up in a 1-0 victory. The goal came after a flurry in front of the Continental net. Shanna Hickman took a pair of shots from close range that Hamilton goaltender Sam Walther stopped. Jackson corralled the second rebound in the high slot and put home. Assists were credited to Rachael St. Clair and Hickman.
Walther finished with 22 saves, while Neuburger stopped all 11 Continental shots.
On Tuesday, No. 9 Norwich (14-6) edged the visiting Panthers, 3-2, when Cadet Bryn Labbe scored the game-winner at 17:01 of the third period.
Norwich took the lead 56 seconds into the game on an Erin Joyce goal. Middlebury controlled the remainder of the period, but it couldn’t beat Cadet goalie Celeste Robert (13 saves).
Norwich took a 2-0 lead at 5:30 of the second period four seconds into a power play. Labbe won the faceoff to Adelle Murphy, who beat Neuburger (seven saves).
The Panthers got on the board just before the midway point of the period, when Janka Hlinka scored on the power play off assists from Julia Wardwell and Van Kula.
Middlebury tied the game at 13:48 of the third period on a Jackson wraparound assisted by Wulf and Grace Jennings.
Labbe scored the game-winning tally with a wrist shot inside the left post.
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