February 2, 2009

Make it eight straight games (7-0-1) without a loss for the Middlebury women's hockey team as they picked up their second straight 6-3 win over a NESCAC school from Maine in Kenyon Arena. After a win over Bowdoin Friday, the Panthers defeated Colby, moving to 11-1-3 overall, 8-1-2 in NESCAC play. The Mules fell to 7-7-3, with a 4-5-2 mark in NESCAC action, as Middlebury took both games from Colby this season after a 3-1 win in Maine on January 10th.

First-year player Maggie Melberg (Woody Creek, Colo.) netted the first goal for Middlebury on the power play, scoring after a failed clear attempt by Colby netminder Lacey Brown left her an open net.

The Mules tied the game 6:32 into the second period as Amanda Comeau converted a breakaway. Middlebury scored four unanswered goals in the remainder of the period to take a commanding 5-1 lead. Junior Heather McCormack (Rowley, Mass.) tipped in a shot from senior Annmarie Cellino (W. Seneca, N.Y.) for a power play goal at the 7:55 mark. Cellino then netted a breakaway goal, before Melberg scored her second of the game on a rebound after a shot from senior Randi Dumont (Greene, Maine) was saved. Sophomore Julia Ireland (Greenwich, Conn.) scored the final goal of the period less than a minute later.

Rebecca Julian and Marissa Simmons of Colby scored late third period goals with a tally from Panther senior Molly Vitt (Kenilworth, Ill.) sandwiched in between.

Junior Lani Wright (Reading, Mass.) made 12 saves to earn the win, while Brown made 34 saves for Colby. Middlebury held a 40-15 shots advantage in the game.

The previous night, Middlebury completed a season sweep of Bowdoin with a 6-3 win in Kenyon Arena.

Middlebury scored three first period goals and never looked back on its way to the win. The Panthers scored twice in 33 seconds and three times in a 4:20 span in the first period to take the early lead. Junior Ashley Bairos (Van Nuys, Calif.) started the run at 14:27, followed shortly thereafter by Vitt. Rookie Grace Waters (Snyder, N.Y.) scored her third power play goal of the season with 1:13 left in the period to make it a 3-0 game.

The lead grew to 4-0 8:04 into the second period when McCormack found the back of the net for the Panthers. Katerine Pokrass scored unassisted to put the Polar Bears on the board at the 12:52 mark. Middlebury answered with another late power play goal by Waters, this one with 1:38 left in the period.

Pokrass netted her second tally of the game just 39 seconds into the third period on the power play for Bowdoin. Sophomore Anna McNally (St. Paul, Minn.) gave the Panthers a 6-2 lead before Jill Campbell of Bowdoin closed out the scoring with 51 seconds left to make it a 6-3 final.

Sophomore Alexi Bloom (Highland Park, Ill.) earned the win for Middlebury with 15 saves on the night, while Emileigh Mercer made 34 stops for Bowdoin.

The mid-week game vs. Williams was postponed until February 11th.
. Women's hockey record: 11-1-3
. Up next: 2/4 vs. Plattsburgh - 7:00, 2/7 @ Buffalo State, 2/8 @ R.I.T.