December 5, 2011

The Panther women's hockey team scored a power play goal 7:43 into the second period and made it stand up, posting a 2-1 win over Trinity (1-3, 1-2) in their home-opener in Kenyon Arena.

            Middlebury took a 1-0 lead 5:10 into the first period with rookie Hannah Bielawski (Evanston, Ill.), scoring her first career goal. After a shot from sophomore Madison Styrbicki (Edina, Minn.) went wide left, Bielawski picked up the puck in the corner and circled to the right face-off circle before snapping a wrister into the top left corner of the net.

            Trinity tied the game at the 11:30 mark, with Lauren Glynn skating across the crease before scoring with a backhander to the top corner of the net. Trinity goaltender Alexa Pujol kept it a tie game at the 15-minute mark, denying junior Molly Downey (E. Sandwich, Mass.) with a big save after a feed from Bielawski.

            Tied at 1-1 after one period, Middlebury had some good looks on a power play at 2:35, but could not take the lead. Panther junior Lauren Greer (N. Hampton, N.H.) let a blast go eight minutes into the period, with it ringing off the crossbar and rebounding wide.

            Trinity nearly took a 2-1 lead at 13:08 when Rebecca Rosen’s shot from the right point was deflected on its way to the net, but Middlebury first-year netminder Annabelle Jones (Homer, N.Y.)  was able to react and make the save. The period ended in a 1-1 tie with Middlebury holding a 16-7 shots advantage.

            Middlebury scored the eventual game-winner at the 7:43 mark of the third, just 25 seconds into a power play. Greer fed a pass to sophomore Sara Ugalde (Burlington, Conn.) in the slot, with the pass hitting Ugalde’s skate and deflecting off the post. Ugalde grabbed the rebound and quickly stuffed it home to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead with her second of the year.

The Bantams pulled Pujol for the final 47 seconds, but were unable to muster up a quality shot as Middlebury hung on for the win. Jones finished with nine saves for the Panthers, while Pujol made 21 as Middlebury held a 23-10 shots advantage.

Middlebury completed a two-game sweep of Trinity with a 3-1 win over the Bantams (1-4, 1-3) on Saturday. Ugalde scored twice in the game, netting the game winner both games over the weekend.

            Following a scoreless first period, the Panthers took a 1-0 lead just 1:09 into the second frame. Junior Maggie Woodward (Dover, N.H.) carried the puck down the right side to the face-off circle, before centering a pass to Ugalde for the quick wrister. Trinity had a chance to knot the game at the 6:00 mark, but sophomore goaltender Lauren Pinsent (Labrador City, Newfoundland) (14 saves) denied Emily Kleidon on a breakaway.

The Panthers made it a 2-0 game just under a minute later, with Ugalde finishing off her own rebound on the power play after the initial shot was saved by Pujol (28 saves).

            The Bantams got on the board with a power play tally of their own, this one coming at the 9:24 mark. Payson Sword let a blast go from the right point that hit a defender and changed direction, with the puck sliding past Pinsent to make it a 2-1 game.

            Leading 14-12 in shots after two periods, the Panthers came out and dominated the third, outshooting their opponents 17-3 in the period, 31-15 in the game. Middlebury gained some breathing room late, with its second power play goal of the game, this one coming with just 42 seconds remaining. After an initial shot by Bielawski was stopped, sophomore Madeline Joyce (Boxborough, Mass.) pounced on the rebound and finished with her fourth of the year.
• Women’s Hockey record: 5-0-1
• Up next: 12/9 vs. Manhattanville – 7:00