February 20, 2012

Middlebury scored with its netminder pulled and 48 seconds remaining to earn a 4-4 tie with Plattsburgh in Kenyon Arena. The fourth-ranked Panthers (18-3-3) have clinched the top seed for the upcoming NESCAC Tournament and will host Colby on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The third-ranked Cardinals move to 17-5-3 on the season.

            Middlebury took a 1-0 lead just 2:41 into the game on a power play goal. Sophomore Jennifer Krakower (Montreal, Quebec) scored on a one-timer from the top of the right circle, converting a pass from rookie Hannah Bielawski (Evanston, Ill.). The Cardinals tied the game late in the period when Jenny Kistner scored after a scramble in front.

            Senior Grace Waters (Snyder, N.Y.) scored Middlebury’s second power play goal of the game just 19 seconds into the second session. Junior Madison Styrbicki (Edina, Minn.) ripped a shot from the point that was tipped in by Waters for her seventh of the season.

            Plattsburgh scored twice in 55 seconds midway through the period to take a 3-2 lead. Kylie Klassen scored the first at 11:33 on a rebound, while Ashton Hogan gave the Cardinals the lead at the 12:28 mark. Middlebury senior Maggie Melberg (Woody Creek, Colo.) nearly tied the game late in the period as her shot rung the post.

            Middlebury went ahead 3:13 into the third period when rookie Katie Sullivan (Bethesda, Md.) scored her 10th of the year, converting a feed after junior Lauren Greer’s (North Hampton, N.H.) shot was saved.

            Plattsburgh regained the lead with 1:50 left in the contest, as Shannon Stewart scored after a nice crossing pass from Teal Gove. Middlebury pulled its netminder late in the game, tying it up with just 48 seconds left to play. Sophomore Sara Ugalde (Burlington, Conn.) scored her team-leading 13th goal of the season, converting a two-on-one with a nice shot over the goaltender’s shoulder.

            Plattsburg went on the power play with 15 seconds remaining in regulation and into overtime, but could not net the game-winner.

            The Cardinals held a 36-16 shots advantage in the game, as first-year netminder Annabelle Jones (Homer, N.Y.) made 29 saves for the Panthers and Sydney Aveson made 12 stops for the Cardinals.

            Earlier in the week, Middlebury saw its six-game winning streak come to an end as they dropped a 5-3 road game at #2 Norwich (20-2-1).

Melissa Rundlett tallied two goals, including the eventual game-winning goal to lead the Norwich offense. Despite being whistled for four penalties in the first period, the Cadets escaped without surrendering a goal and went into the first intermission still tied 0-0.

            However, shortly after Norwich killed off Middlebury’s 5-on-3 power play that carried over into the start of the second period, the Panthers finally got on the board when junior Maggie Woodward (Dover, N.H.) banked a shot off Norwich goalie Kelly Fisk’s left pad from the bottom of the right face-off circle to make it 1-0 at the 1:54 mark.

            First-year player Emily Fluke (Sandwich, Mass.) increased the Middlebury lead to 2-0 at the 7:16 mark with a power play goal off an assist from Waters. Waters made a tremendous individual effort by backhanding the puck up to Fluke on the doorstep of the crease from the seat of her pants in the right face-off circle. Fluke corralled the pass on her backhand, flipped the puck over to her forehand to get Fisk to commit and then slammed the puck into an open right side with Fisk sprawling to try and get a glove on it.

In desperate need of a spark, Renee Lortie stepped up with her 16th goal of the season to cut the deficit to one with a power play goal just past the midway point of the second period at 10:26. Lortie slammed the puck into a wide open net after she pounced on a loose puck sitting in the crease. Just over three minutes later, Norwich tied the game up at two with a textbook tic-tac-toe set up to lead to Kaycie Anderson’s 17th goal of the season.

Anderson re-directed a shot into the upper right hand corner of the net after Stephanie Invernizzi  found her streaking to the doorstep of the crease. Amanda Wilks started the scoring chance when she kept the puck in at the blue line, side stepped a Middlebury player and sent a cross ice pass to Invernizzi standing in the left face-off circle.

The Cadets kept the momentum rolling at the start of the third period when DeBus gave Norwich its first lead with her 16th goal of the season just 1:13 into the final frame.

DeBus skated the puck into the zone from the right wing after collecting an outlet pass from Brittany Sharman. With a Middlebury defender in front of her, DeBus did a 360-spin to create space and then slid the puck through Jones’ five-hole to give the Cadets a 3-2 lead.

Rundlett tipped home a blast from Kayla Parsons at the point to increase the Norwich lead to 4-2 at the 13:48 mark of the third period for her first goal of the night.

Rundlett then put the game away for good exactly five minutes later when she scored an empty netter to make it 5-2. Senior forward Julie Fortier created the chance when she blocked a shot and then dove at full extension to poke the puck over to Rundlett who take care of the rest with a wrist shot into the wide open Middlebury net for her 13th goal of the season.

Middlebury sophomore Madeline Joyce (Boxborough, Mass.) scored a power play goal with nine seconds left to cap the scoring.

The Panthers finished 2-for-8 on the power play, while Norwich was 1-for-4. Middlebury outshot Norwich 24-22. Fisk stopped 21 shots for Norwich to improve to 13-1-0 on the season. Jones made 17 saves for Middlebury and fell to 12-3-2 on the year. 
• Women’s hockey record: 18-3-3
• Up next: 2/25 vs. Colby – NESCAC Quarterfinals – 1:00