Women skate to NESCAC victory, tie on the road
NEW LONDON, Conn. — The Middlebury College women’s hockey team picked up a win and a tie at previously unbeaten NESCAC foe Connecticut College this past weekend. The Panthers, ranked No. 5 in last week’s NCAA Division III poll, improved to 3-1-2, 3-0-1 in league play, and will wrap up first-semester with a Saturday game at Utica. The Camels dropped to 3-1-1, 1-1-1 in NESCAC.
On this past Friday the Panthers defeated the Camels, 3-0. In the first period the Panthers survived a five-on-three Camel power play, and then took the lead on a Madie Leidt goal at 3:15 of the second. Ellie Barney won a battle for the puck along the boards and found Leidt, who slipped the puck past Camel goalie Carly Denora on the right post.
The Camels nearly tied the game in the opening minutes of the third on a Melissa Alexander breakaway, but her shot sailed wide right.
Leidt made it 2-0 with 14:25 remaining. After a faceoff victory in the Panther defensive zone Jenna Marotta poked the puck to Leidt, who went nearly coast-to-coast and finished with a shot from the high slot. Jenna Letterie made it 3-0 by netting a Leidt rebound.
Middlebury goalie Lin Han earned the shutout by turning away 25 shots, while Denora made 29 saves in the setback.
On Saturday Middlebury and Connecticut College (3-1-2, 1-1-2) battled to a 1-1 tie. Middlebury dominated the first period by outshooting the Camels, 12-4, and had its best chance to score on a five-on-three power play for more than a minute. Carly Denora made two saves, and Camel defenders blocked two shots.
The hosts outshot the Panthers in second period, 13-6, but Letterie scored during a power play to give Middlebury the lead. Marotta had the puck at the left point and passed to Leidt inside the left faceoff circle, and set up Letterie out front at 15:15. With her assist, Leidt has points in all five games this season.
Connecticut College pressed in the third period and equalized when Jordan Cross redirected an Ellie Branka shot through traffic. The Camels thought they had netted a go-ahead goal just minutes later, but officials ruled they had interfered with Panther goalie Anna Goldstein. Denora made 25 saves, while Goldstein turned away 27 shots.