January 30, 2012

Junior Lauren Greer (N. Hampton, N.H.) scored three times as the fourth-ranked Panthers held off Saint Anselm 4-2 in non-conference women's hockey action Tuesday night at Kenyon Arena. The Panthers won their fourth straight to improve to 12-1-2 and stopped the six-game winning streak of the Hawks (12-5-0).

Greer, a junior forward who led the Panthers a year ago with 14 goals, had just four coming into the contest before recording her first hat trick of the season. Twice in the third period she answered goals by the Hawks that had cut the margin to one.

The Panthers had an edge in the play in the opening stanza and drew first blood on rookie Hannah Bielawski’s (Evanston, Ill.) fifth of the season at 16:26. A low wrist shot by Bielawski, from the left point on the power play, snuck through goalmouth traffic past Saint Anselm goalie Amy Zappen to make it 1-0. Junior Libby Miner (Fairfield, Conn.) and senior Maggie Melberg (Woody Creek, Colo.) assisted on the goal with Melberg extending her point-streak to nine games.

Middlebury added another early in the middle period on Greer's first of the night at 3:32. She took a feed from first-year player Emily Fluke (Sandwich, Mass.) in the left corner and skated to the low slot where she snapped a low drive past Zappen for her fifth of the year.

Consistent pressure by Saint Anselm produced its first goal of the evening when Rosemarie Giarusso converted a three-way passing play to make it 2-1 at 8:42 of the third. Feeds by Courtney Winters and Kathryn Picarello worked the puck to Giarrusso for a tap-in at the left post. Greer countered at 12:07 on the power play as she tipped a shot from junior Madison Styrbicki (Edina, Minn.) past Zappen.

Saint Anselm had chances by Franny Nicholson and Picarello turned aside by Middlebury's senior Becca Shaw (S. Burlington, Vt.) before a power play goal by Tiffany Herron, on an assist from Andi Foss, again made it a one-goal game with 1:35 to play. It was Greer again answering just 36 seconds later on an end-to-end rush to complete her hat trick. Fluke added her second assist of the contest on the play.

Middlebury finished with a 21-16 advantage in shots as Zappen had 18 stops for the Hawks. Shaw had 14 saves, 13 after the first period. Middlebury went 2-4 with an extra skater while Saint Anselm converted once in two opportunities.

Laura DiCarlo scored with 10.6 seconds left in overtime as Hamilton upset fourth-ranked Middlebury 2-1 in a NESCAC game at Hamilton's Russell Sage Rink on Jan. 27.

Stephanie Lang was credited with her seventh assist of the season on DiCarlo's game-winner. Katie Zimmerman tied it at 1-1 with 6:19 left in the third period when she scored a short-handed goal. Zimmerman leads the NESCAC with 14 goals. Becca Hazlett made 41 saves.

Rookie Katie Sullivan (Bethesda, Md.) scored the goal for the Panthers as senior Grace Waters (Snyder, N.Y.) and Melberg were each credited with an assist. Rookie netminder Annabelle Jones (Homer, N.Y.) made 24 saves in net.

Lang collected a loose puck at the Hamilton blue line and sent a pass ahead to DiCarlo at center ice. DiCarlo gathered the puck, skated in alone on goal, and lifted a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Jones to seal the victory. It was the fifth goal of the season for DiCarlo, and the 15th of her Hamilton career.

Zimmerman's game-tying goal was the Continentals' first short-handed tally of the season. After stealing the puck at Hamilton's blue line, Zimmerman skated in alone on net and slid the puck between the legs of Jones. The Continentals successfully killed four penalties, and Hazlett made 18 saves in the third period.

Middlebury had a good opportunity to take the lead when Styrbicki fired a wrist shot from between the circles that clanged off the right post at 12:21 of the first period. The game was scoreless through the first intermission.

Sullivan's goal gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at 7:49 of the second period. Melberg played the puck to between the circles to Waters, who fired a shot that was initially saved by Hazlett. But Sullivan was there to bang home the rebound for her fifth goal of the season. Middlebury led 1-0 at the second intermission.

Middlebury held a 42-26 shot advantage. The Panthers were 0-8 on the power play, while the Continentals were 0-5.

Greer posted a goal and an assist to lead #4 Middlebury to a 2-1 win over Hamilton in game two of a NESCAC series at Russell Sage Rink on Jan. 28. Bielawski scored the other goal for the Panthers, and now leads the team with 17 points. Sullivan posted two assists, while Melberg added one. Jones made 24 saves in net to earn the win.

Laura DiCarlo scored her sixth goal of the season for the Continentals. Meredith Bitterman tallied her team-leading ninth assist, while Abby Runyon added another. Becca Hazlett stopped 25 shots.

Middlebury opened the scoring just 5:04 into the first period. Sullivan played the puck behind the left side of the goal to Melberg, who sent a pass to Greer in front for a one-timer into the back of the net. Greer is now tied for the team-lead with eight goals.

The Panthers stretched their lead to 2-0 at 9:04 of the period when Bielawski banged home a rebound following a shot by Greer that was initially saved. Middlebury led 2-0 at the first intermission.

Jones made several strong saves during the second period to preserve the Panthers' lead. She made a blocker stop on a backhand shot by Stephanie Lang at 3:45, and another sliding save on a backhand effort by Jill Tokarczyk with 4:10 left. The Panthers led 2-0 at the second intermission.

Hamilton cut its deficit in half on DiCarlo's power-play goal at 5:40 of the third. Runyon played the puck across the blue line to Bitterman for a one-time slap shot from the left point that was initially saved. DiCarlo was there to pound home the rebound for her second goal in as many nights against the Panthers.

Hazlett kept the score at 2-1 with a pair of saves on an effort by Fluke in front with 3:50 to play. Hazlett was pulled for an extra skater with 1:19 to play, but the Continentals were unable to score the tying goal.

Middlebury held a 27-25 shot advantage and went 0-3 on the power play, while Hamilton was 1-2.
• Women’s hockey record: 13-2-2
• Up next: 2/3 vs. Conn. – 7:00, 2/4 vs. Conn. – 3:00