WOMEN'S HOCKEY ENDS REGULAR SEASON WITH TWO WINS
February 23, 2009
The Panther women's hockey team wrapped up its regular season with two more wins to earn the second seed in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament. Middlebury will host a quarterfinal game on Saturday vs. Williams at 1:00 p.m.
On Friday, Middlebury outshot Wesleyan 48-11 on its way to a 7-2 win over the Cardinals in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers increase their all-time series lead to 37-0-2 over the Cardinals.
Middlebury opened the scoring at 15:32 as sophomore Julia Ireland (Greenwich, Conn.) scored from the door step, stuffing home a loose puck. Wesleyan's Rachel Stemmerman kept it a 1-0 game with 2:00 left in the period, denying rookie Haley MacKeen (Antigonish, Nova Scotia) in a two-on-one situation. The Panthers added to the lead with just 22 seconds left as senior Molly Vitt (Kenilworth, Ill.) was credited with a goal that bounced off a defender, after the puck was sent in by sophomore Nora Bergman (Concord, Mass.).
Middlebury took a 3-0 lead in the second period when sophomore Anna McNally (St. Paul, Minn.) scored her ninth of the season. Senior Erika Nakamura (Boston, Mass.) at 8:58 also netted her ninth of the season, this one coming just 53 seconds later to make it a 4-0 lead. Wesleyan got back in the game with a pair of goals in the final six minutes of the period. Sena Ito netted the first goal as the puck deflected back to her at the high slot as she capitalized. The goal was her team-leading seventh of the season. Molly Friedmann made it a two-goal game with 2:05 left, as the Cardinals ended the period with a 4-2 deficit.
Middlebury gained some breathing room in the third period as rookie Maggie Melberg (Woody Creek, Calif.) scored for the Panthers with an assist from Ireland. Sophomore Heidi Woodworth (Princeton, N.J.) added a goal, while Nakamura scored her second of the game as Middlebury came away with a 7-2 win.
Junior Lani Wright (Reading, Mass.) made six saves in 40 minutes, while sophomore Emma Lennon (Marshfield, Mass.) allowed no third period goals with three saves. Stemerman ended the night with 41 saves between the pipes for Wesleyan.
Middlebury ended its regular season with a 4-1 win over Hamilton in Kenyon Arena on Saturday. Junior Heather McCormack (Rowley, Mass.) gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead with 18 seconds left in the first period, netting a short handed goal with a nice feed from junior Ashley Bairos (Van Nuys, Calif.).
The Panthers dominated the second period, holding a 20-1 advantage in shots. Ireland knocked in a shot from rookie Corey Cooper (Lakeville, Conn.) to make it a 2-0 game. Just 12 seconds later, Vitt put home her own rebound to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead.
First-year player Grace Waters (Snyder, N.Y.) netted her ninth of the season with a nice assist from McNally just 2:00 into the third period to make it a 4-0 game. Stephanie Miguel netted her 21st of the year for the Continentals to break up the shutout at the 6:08 mark.
Sophomore Alexi Bloom (Highland Park, Ill.) made four saves in 40 minutes, while rookie Becca Shaw (S. Burlington, Vt.) made three stops in 20 minutes of play for the Panthers. Lesley Ryder made 38 saves in 50 minutes for the Continentals, while Meg Shine played 10 scoreless minutes with five saves.
. Women's hockey record: 16-3-4
. Up next: 2/28 vs. Williams - 1:00 (NESCAC Quarterfinals)