January 7, 2013

The fourth-ranked Middlebury College women’s hockey team returned from the semester break with a 4-1 road win at Utica on Wednesday afternoon.

Middlebury opened the scoring just over halfway through the first period when junior Sara Ugalde (Burlington, Conn.) netted her second of the year. Senior Molly Downey (E. Sandwich, Mass.) skated behind the Utica goal and fed the puck in front to a wide open Ugalde, who fired a rocket off the crossbar and in to put the Panthers up 1-0.

Five minutes later, the Panthers struck again when rookie Katie Mandigo (Cornwall, Vt.) put in her second of the year assisted by Ugalde and Downey. Downey found Ugalde on the side board and then fed Mandigo in the high slot who was able to put a shot just over the outstretched pad of Hamel.

The only scoring in the middle frame came at 6:08 as junior Madeline Joyce (Boxborough, Mass.) put in her second of the year assisted by sophomore Emily Fluke (Sandwich, Mass.). Jennifer Hamel made a good save on Fluke’s initial shot, but Joyce was there to pick up the rebound to put Middlebury up 3-0.

With just over seven minutes remaining in the game, Fluke was able to bury a goal of her own.  She received a long pass from senior Madison Styrbicki (Edina, Minn.) and went in one-on-one.  Fluke shot a long puck five feet inside the blue line that fooled Hamel and ended up in the back of the net.  

Just 37 seconds later, Megan Myers was able to get Utica on the board as she netted her team-leading sixth goal of the year. Myers skated into the Panther zone and fired a hard shot that went through the five-hole of sophomore Annabelle Jones (Homer, N.Y.).

Jones turned away 15 shots to earn the win, while Hamel made 28 saves for the home team. Sophomore McKenzie Martin (Wilmette, Ill.)  had a goal and two assists as Middlebury jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 6-1 win over Wesleyan in a NESCAC women's hockey contest Friday night at Kenyon Arena. Martin's three-point night led a balanced attack as six different players accounted for Middlebury's offense. 

The Panthers were propelled by a four-goal first period blitz to remain unbeaten in conference play and run their winning streak to four games. Martin scored her second of the season just 1:07 into the contest, rapping home a rebound off a shot by sophomore Katie Sullivan (Bethesda, Md.). Sophomore Hannah Bielawski (Evanston, Ill.), Fluke and Ugalde added goals in the period as Middlebury had the first 13 shots on goal in the contest, and outshot the Cardinals, 14-1, in the first 20 minutes. 

Senior Heather Marrison (Brewster, N.Y.) made it 5-0 just 12 seconds into the middle period with a power play goal before Wesleyan began to mount an attack. Kelsey Muller and Jordan Schildhaus each had good power play bids at Panther junior starter Laura Pinsent (Labrador City, Newfoundland) early in the second. Wesleyan broke through at 19:22 on another extra-skater advantage as a shot from the point by Laura Wasnik found its way past Middlebury rookie backup goalie Marisa Dreher (Aspen, Colo.). Lilah Fones and Muller picked up assists on Wasnik's fourth of the year.

The Panthers poured in on Cardinal goalie Ashleigh Corvi with 18 shots in the third with Joyce wrapping up the scoring, on assists from Martin and rookie Julia Wardwell (Marlborough, Mass.), with her third of the season at 11:22.

In addition to Martin, Joyce, Bielawski, Marrison and Fluke finished with goal-assist efforts while Styrbicki chipped in with a pair of helpers. Middlebury went 1-3 on the power play while the Cardinals converted once in two attempts.

Corvi finished with 37 stops for Wesleyan, while Pinsent stopped all three shots she faced in 31:26 before giving way to Dreher (two saves), who made her collegiate debut.  

Mandigo tallied two goals and junior Jennifer Krakower (Montreal, Que.) scored one and set up another as Middlebury came from behind to top Wesleyan, 3-1, in NESCAC women's hockey action Saturday afternoon at Kenyon Arena.

Trailing 1-0 late in the second period, Mandigo rapped home a rebound off a shot by Krakower for the equalizer and 48 seconds later. Krakower fired home the go-ahead goal. Mandigo added her second of the game midway through the final period to give the fourth-ranked Panthers their fourth straight victory and complete a weekend sweep of the pesky Cardinals.

One day after Middlebury opened the game with a four-goal first period, Corvi was outstanding in Saturday's first stanza stopping all 16 shots including several while killing three Cardinals penalties.

Corvi was solid again in the second period stopping many Middlebury scoring chances before Wesleyan's Hannah Jellinek broke through with the first goal of the game at 8:03. Alicia White caused a turnover on a forecheck just inside the Panthers blue line where Jellinek scooped up the loose puck and her high shot beat sophomore goalie Madeline Marsh (Kanata, Ont.) to make it 1-0.

Corvi and Wesleyan's penalty killing units kept it a one-goal game before Mandigo tied it at 18:29, punching home a rebound off a Krakower's point blank shot with Bielawski also adding an assist on the power play goal, the Panthers first with an extra skater in six attempts. Krakower then snapped one past Corvi at 19:18 to give Middlebury its first lead converting from the right faceoff circle with by Downey and Sullivan.

Mandigo completed the scoring finishing senior Maggie Woodward's (Dover, N.H.) centering pass 12:34 into the third for her fourth of her first season and her first multi-goal game. Martin, who had a goal and two assists in Friday night's 6-1 win, also picked up an assist.

Corvi, who stopped the Panthers first 33 shots of the contest, finished with 43 saves while at the other end, sophomore Madeline Marsh made five saves in picking up her second victory of the year in as many starts. Wesleyan killed five of six Middlebury power plays including a key 5-on-3 opportunity in the second period while going 0-for-4 with an extra skater.

• Women’s hockey record: 8-1-1

• Up next: 1/11 vs. Amherst – 7:00, 1/12 vs. Amherst – 3:00