January 24, 2011

            The Panther women’s hockey team improved to 8-1-1 in NESCAC play with a 5-0 win at Williams. The ninth-ranked Panthers move to 10-3-1 overall, while Williams falls to 2-8, 2-6 in NESCAC play.

            The Panthers got on the board early, with first-year player Sara Ugalde (Burlington, Conn.) notching Middlebury's first score of the night 4:13 into the game. Rachel Nguyen stopped the initial shot by junior Grace Waters (W. Hartford, Conn.), but Ugalde was able to send home the rebound. 

            With Middlebury holding a five-on-three advantage, senior Anna McNally (St. Paul, Minn.) put the Panthers up 2-0 with 3:45 remaining in the first period on a rebound.

            The Panthers notched their third tally of the game 5:54 into the middle frame. With help from sophomore Lauren Greer (N. Hampton, N.H.), senior Julia Ireland (Greenwich, Conn.) wristed home a loose puck on the right post to bring Middlebury's lead to 3-0.

            Middlebury tallied one more goal to give the Panthers a 4-0 lead after two periods. Waters carried the puck up the left wing on a two-on-one, then centered a pass to McNally, who redirected the puck for the goal with 2:23 to play in the middle frame.

            Greer picked up a tally of her own for Middlebury with 3:14 remaining. Receiving a pass from sophomore Madison Styrbicki (Edina, Minn.) inside the left circle, Greer wristed a high gloveside shot just over the reach of an outstretched Nguyen for Middlebury's last goal, finalizing the 5-0 score. 

            Nguyen racked up 49 saves in net for the Ephs, while her counterpart senior Alexi Bloom (Highland Park, Ill.) was credited with 13 stops for her fifth shutout of the season.

Earlier in the week, Greer scored one goal and set up another to lead Middlebury to a 4-1 victory over Holy Cross in a non-conference women's hockey game Tuesday evening at Kenyon Arena.

            Greer tallied her fourth of the season 7:35 into the third period, converting a feed off a faceoff by senior Nora Bergman (Concord, Mass.), to give the ninth-ranked Panthers (9-3-1) a commanding 3-0 advantage. Greer's nice pass set up Ugalde's team-leading fifth goal of the year at 15:31 of the final stanza to make it 4-0. Greer now has three goals and three assists this year, all coming in the last five games.

            The two goals held off the Crusaders (10-6-0), who had a strong third period after being outshot 16-5 in the first 40 minutes. With 23 seconds to go, Alex Campione of Holy Cross ended the shutout bid by Bloom with a goal from the goal crease on a good second effort. HC's Kylee Sullivan and Jocelyn Kratchmer assisted on the tally.

            Junior Jamie Harisiades (Hooksett, N.H.) opened the scoring 4:32 into the contest as the Panthers cashed in on a turnover deep in the Crusaders zone. Just after a point-blank shot by Ugalde rang off the goal post, Holy Cross could not work the puck out and its clearing pass was picked off in the slot by Harisiades, who fired it past goaltender Monique Gallant (19 saves) for her third goal of the season.

            The Panthers continued to control play in the middle period and a goal by junior Maggie Melberg (Woody Creek, Colo.), off a nice centering pass by Ireland, made it 2-0 at 17:15. Senior Heidi Woodworth (Princeton, N.J.) also picked up an assist on Melberg's fourth goal of the campaign. Ireland, the Middlebury captain, added another assist in the third period.

Middlebury finished with a 23-15 edge in shots on goal and killed three Holy Cross power play bids. Bloom was busier in the final period stopping nine of 10 shots, including back-to-back shots by Rebecca O'Quinn and Stacey Hochkins early in the stanza.
• Women’s hockey record: 10-3-1
• Up next: 1/25 vs. N.E.C. – 7:30, 1/28 @ Wesleyan, 1/29 @ Trinity