February 7, 2011

The Panther women’s hockey team earned its ninth shutout of the season as the seventh-ranked Panthers (15-3-1, 12-1-1) picked up a 3-0 victory over Connecticut College (9-8-2, 5-5-1) in Kenyon Arena. Senior Alexi Bloom (Highland Park, Ill.) made 15 saves in goal to earn her sixth shutout of the season, improving to 11-2-1.

            Middlebury took a 1-0 lead late in the first period, when senior Anna McNally (St. Paul, Minn.) put home her own rebound at 18:12 for the 52nd of her career. The Panthers ended the period with a 6-4 shots advantage.

            Connecticut College put on some pressure early in the second period, but a pair of blasts by Brigid O’Gorman were stopped by Bloom. Middlebury had a pair of power play opportunities midway through the period, capitalizing on the second one at the 11:15 mark. First-year player Sara Ugalde (Burlington, Conn.) worked the puck to sophomore Madison Styrbicki (Edina, Minn.) at the point, with her blast being saved by Amy Leichliter. Sophomore Lauren Greer (N. Hampton, N.H.) was there to bury the rebound for her seventh of the year to make it a 2-0 game.

            The Camels had a great chance to cut into the lead in the third, with a pair of power plays including a five-on-three situation for 1:03. Bloom stood tough in net, making several saves as Connecticut College increased its shots advantage to 18-13 in the game at the 7:33 mark.

            Middlebury gained some breathing room at 14:20 of the third, with a power play goal just 16 seconds after the penalty. Styrbicki’s shot from the left point was tipped in down low by Ugalde for her ninth of the year, making it a 3-0 final.

            The Camels held a 21-15 shots advantage in the game, as Leichliter made18 saves in goal.

            The previous night, Middlebury earned a 6-1 victory over Hamilton (8-10, 4-7) in Kenyon Arena. Senior Julia Ireland (Greenwich, Conn.) scored her team-leading 11th and 12th goals of the year in the game, giving her nine tallies in her last five contests.

Middlebury took a 1-0 lead on a power play goal from rookie Madeline Joyce (Boxborough, Mass.) at the 13:41 mark of the first period. After a pair of shots were saved, Joyce finished off the rebound from just outside the slot.

Ireland struck twice in the second period, the first at 3:31 as she scored on a rebound from the far side after a shot from senior Andrea Buono (Ashburnham, Mass.) had been saved. Her second came just over three minutes later, converting a quick pass from Greer for the 3-0 lead.

            Bloom kept it a 3-0 game at the 8:00 mark, denying Riley Smith from close-range. The Panthers increased their lead at 12:59, when junior Grace Waters (Snyder, N.Y.) scored on the doorstep, finishing off a senior Heidi Woodworth (Princeton, N.J.) rebound.

            Hamilton got on the board with 1:57 left in the period, with Stephanie Miguel redirecting a nice pass from Emily Baxter in transition for her sixth of the year. Middlebury ended the second period with a 5-1 lead when junior Jamie Harisiades (Hooksett, N.H.) scored cutting to the goal from the right side with a quick shot to the top right corner.

            Ugalde scored with a wrister from the left wing for the only goal of the third period to make it a 6-1 final.

Six Middlebury players finished with multiple points, including two helpers each for sophomore Heather Marrison (Brewster, N.Y.) and McNally. Bloom finished with 20 saves to earn the win, while Rebecca Hazlett made 29 stops for the Continentals.
• Women’s hockey record: 10-3-1
• Up next: 2/9 vs. Plattsburgh – 7:00