Women’s hockey closes in on No. 1 seed
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s hockey team swept visiting Trinity this past weekend, 1-0 on Saturday and 4-1 on Friday, to retain first place in NESCAC.
The Panthers, ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division III, improved to 15-2-3, 10-1-1 in league play, while Trinity dropped to 5-11-2, 0-10-2 NESCAC.
Middlebury has four games to go in the regular season before the NESCAC playoffs open. The Panthers can clinch first place and the top seed for the league postseason if they can sweep defending champion Williams in a home-and-home series this weekend. The Ephs (11-6-4, 8-4-2) are in a close race for the Nos. 2-4 seeds.
The Panthers visit Williams for a 3 p.m. game on Saturday, and Middlebury hosts the Ephs on Sunday at 3 p.m. Middlebury will wrap up its season with two games at Bowdoin the following weekend.
In Saturday’s win over Trinity, Panther goalie Anna Goldstein worked a 15-save shutout, and Jenna Letterie scored the game’s only goal.
Trinity goalie Kai-Lilly Karpman made 37 saves, including denying Sidney Portner from the slot in the first period and stopping four Madie Leidt shots and one from Katie Hargrave in a single second-period shift.
But Karpman could not stop Letterie’s backhand rebound in the final minute of the second period, with Leidt and Hargrave picking up the assists.
Goldstein made one tough save in the third, denying a screened Olive Scull shot from the point. Letterie also hit a post in the third. The Panthers killed three penalties, pushing their record to 38-for-38 against other NESCAC teams’ power plays.
In Friday’s 4-1 victory the Panthers scored three power-play goals and killed six Trinity power plays.
Trinity scored 3:27 into the game when Ethel Wilhemson’s shot from the bottom of the left circle went in over Middlebury goalie Lin Han. Maddie Bayard cleaned up an Anna Zumwinkle power-play rebound at 12:59 of the period to tie the game.
At 14:37 of the first period, on another power play Mollie Dalbey slid in a Letterie rebound from the top of the crease for her first collegiate goal to give Middlebury the lead.
With 1:07 remaining in the second period Hargrave netted a Letterie rebound to make it 3-1. Dalbey added a power-play goal in the third period, finishing off a Letterie centering pass. Han made 19 saves, while Trinity goalie Stephanie Garvis stopped 35 shots.
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