December 10, 2012

The Middlebury College women’s hockey team picked up a 3-0 road win at Castleton (6-3-1) to improve to 5-1-1 on the season. The fourth-ranked Panthers end the semester unbeaten in their last three games.

Rookie Anna Van Kula (Radnor, Pa.) picked up her first goal of the season for the Panthers at the 9:07 mark of the first period.  Sophomore Katie Sullivan (Bethesda, Md.) went around the back of the net before finding Van Kula in the slot, where she pushed the puck underneath the pads of Paula Stephens for the 1-0 lead.

The Spartans used their exceptional penalty kill to their advantage, forcing the Panthers to an 0-4 mark with the man-advantage, and keeping the score close throughout the first two periods.

Castleton was able to kill off back-to-back penalties, resulting in a five-on-three to stay within one goal of Middlebury in the waning minutes of the first period. The Spartans couldn't muster up any offensive chances of their own though, and only had two shots on goal in the frame.

The second period was dominated heavily again by Middlebury while they outshot the Spartans 14-2 in the frame. The Spartans had a power play chance but were only able to get one shot off before negating it by committing their own penalty.

The Spartans had their best chance at the 4:40 mark of the third period. Nicoline Jensen skated into the zone with Jade Werger and Anna Daniels flanking her on either side. She took a sharp wrist shot that grazed the pads of Middlebury sophomore netminder Madeline Marsh (Kanata, Ont.) and rattled off the crossbar into the netting behind the goal. The Spartans kept the pressure up throughout the period but couldn't find the back of the net.

The Panthers added to their lead at the 13:50 mark of the third period. Junior Madeline Joyce (Boxborough, Mass.) picked up a rebounded shot and passed it to sophomore Emily Fluke (Sandwich, Mass.) in the slot who fired it past Stephens for the 2-0 lead. Middlebury added another goal four minutes later when senior Molly Downey (E. Sandwich, Mass.) got out on a breakaway and beat Stephens for the 3-0 lead.

Marsh won her first start of the season with a shutout and finished with 15 saves while Paula Stephens fell to 5-3-1 on the year, finishing with 34 saves. 

• Women’s hockey record: 5-1-1

• Up next: 1/2 @ Utica, 1/4 vs. Wesleyan – 7:00, 1/5 vs. Wesleyan – 3:00