February 1, 2010

The Panther women's hockey team had little trouble with Wesleyan as they extended their unbeaten streak to six games with a 9-0 win over the Cardinals. The victory was the 403rd of his career for Middlebury (12-4-1, 9-2-1) head coach Bill Mandigo, but the first against his brother Doug, the interim head coach of Wesleyan (3-14, 1-11), in Kenyon Arena. The seventh-ranked Panthers improve to 39-0-2 all-time vs. Wesleyan, and return to action next weekend at Conn. College and Hamilton.

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead 9:05 into the game with a power play goal. Some nice passing from junior Nora Bergman (Concord, Mass.) to rookie Heather Marrison (Brewster, N.Y.), set up junior Anna McNally (St. Paul, Minn.) for a quick wrister from the right side. The lead increased at 14:05, as rookie Libby Miner (Fairfield, Conn.) scored the first of her career, putting in a rebound off the backboards on a shot from Marrison. McNally scored her second of the game and 12th of the season on the power play with 1:03 left in the period.

Senior Heather McCormack (Rowley, Mass.) made it a 4-0 game just 40 seconds into the second period, swiping in a rebound on the power play. First-year player Lauren Greer (N. Hampton, N.H.) struck just 2:06 later, netting her seventh of the season from the slot. Sophomore Maria Bourdeau (W. Hartford, Conn.) scored at 10:41, followed by a power play goal from rookie Madison Styrbicki (Edina, Minn.) at 13:36 to make it a 7-0 game after two periods.

Styrbicki struck again in the third, as did senior Marjie Billings (Chevy Chase, Md.) as Middlebury earned the 9-0 shutout victory. Styrbicki ended the game with two goals and two assists, while McNally scored twice with a helper. Marrison notched four assists in the victory for the Panthers.

Junior Alexi Bloom (Highland Park, Ill.) (29:14 min., 0 GA, 4 saves) and sophomore Becca Shaw (S. Burlington, Vt.) (30:46 min, 0 GA, 3 saves) split time in goal for Middlebury, as did Ashleigh Corvi (33:24, 6 GA, 21 saves) and Nicole Bonneau (26:36 min., 3 GA, 5 saves) of Wesleyan.

The previous night, the Panthers avenged an earlier season loss with a 2-1 win over Trinity (14-2-2, 7-2-2) in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers (11-4-1, 8-2-1) hold an 19-2-2 all-time series advantage over the Bantams.

Middlebury opened the scoring just 1:22 into the game when McCormack scored her second goal of the season on a rebound. Trinity tied the game 3:02 into the second period, when Celia Colman's shot hit the glove of Middlebury senior netminder Lani Wright (Reading, Mass.) before finding the back of the net. The Panthers scored the eventual game-winner on the power play at the 6:60 mark of the second period. Marrison converted a feed from Bergman from the high slot, as Trinity goaltender Isabel Iwachiw got a piece of the shot, but not enough.

Neither team found the back of the net in the third period, leaving the Panthers with the 2-1 win. Wright ended the night with 28 saves, Iwachiw made 14, as the Panthers held a 29-16 shots advantage.

Earlier in the week, Bergman scored two goals to lead Middlebury to a victory over Holy Cross at the Hart Center on Tuesday evening.

Middlebury scored the first goal of the game at the 16:18 mark when senior Ashley Bairos (Van Nuys, Calif.) scored on the power play. Bairos fought through the traffic in the crease to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. Middlebury scored again two minutes later after a face off. Rookie Molly Downey (E. Sandwich, Mass.) won the face off for the Panthers and hooked up with classmate Maggie Woodward (Dover, N.H.) to put Middlebury up 2-0.

The Panthers took a 3-0 lead at the 3:57 mark in the second period when Bairos connected with a streaking Bergman to score the third goal of the game. Bergman put Middlebury up 4-0 at the 16:52 mark when she scored the second Panther power play goal of the game.

Holy Cross finally got on the scoreboard at the sixteen minute mark of the third period when Christina D'Ambrogio scored a power play goal. The Crusaders were unable to come any closer, falling 4-1.

Holy Cross goalie Monique Gallant suffered her first loss of the season, falling to 8-1-1. Bloom picked up her fifth win of the year (5-2-0). Gallant allowed four goals on 24 Middlebury shots, making 20 saves. Bloom gave up just one Holy Cross goal on 23 shots, recording 22 saves. Both teams were able to capitalize on the man advantage, Holy Cross going 1-7 on the power play and Middlebury going 2-6.
. Women's hockey record: 12-4-1
. Up next: 2/5 @ Conn. - 3:30, 2/6 @ Hamilton - 3:00