Women’s hockey to host NESCAC final four

MIDDLEBURY — The top-seeded Middlebury College women’s hockey team brushed aside eighth-seeded Wesleyan this past Saturday, 5-0, in a NESCAC quarterfinal and will host the league’s final four this Saturday and Sunday.
Middlebury, at 18-4-3 ranked No. 4 in NCAA Division III, will face fifth-seeded Bowdoin at 1 p.m. on Saturday in one semifinal, and No. 2 seed Connecticut College (15-5-5) and No. 3 seed Amherst (15-6-4) square off at 4 p.m.
The winners will meet at 2 p.m. on Sunday for the NESCAC crown and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Connecticut is the only team in the field that has defeated the Panthers this season. The teams split two early-season games at Kenyon Arena, with the Panthers winning on a Friday, 3-0, before the Camels fought back the next day to prevail in overtime, 4-3.
The Panthers picked up a 4-2 win and a 1-1 tie at Amherst, and 1-0 and 3-0 home victories over Bowdoin during the regular season.
On this past Saturday Middlebury advanced to the NESCAC semifinal round for the 16th time in 17 years with the 5-0 win over Wesleyan (6-15-4).
Maddie Winslow put Middlebury on the board first with a shorthanded goal 4:32 into the contest. Winslow pounced on mishandled puck at the Panther blue line and fed it to Jessica Young, who carried it to the Polar Bear right circle and fed Winslow for a one-timer out front.
The Panthers broke the game open with four goals in the second period. Ellie Barney skated in from the left wing and scored with a short-side shot, Madie Leidt netted a power-play blast from the top of the zone on a feed from Haley LaFontaine, Sydney Portner knocked in a Young rebound, and Leidt took a pass from Winslow and snapped a shot home off the back crossbar.
Middlebury goalie Lin Han made 10 stops for her sixth shutout of the season. Two Wesleyan goalies combined for 31 saves.

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