January 10, 2011

         The Middlebury College women’s hockey team returned to action with four games to open the new year. The Panthers lost their first game of the season as the #4 Panthers fell 2-1 in overtime to #9 Elmira.

         Sophomore Molly Downey (E. Sandwich, Mass.) gave Middlebury a 1-0 lead just 3:17 into the game, scoring her first goal of the season, unassisted. After a scoreless second period, Elmira tied the game at the 13:24 mark of the third period, when Alex Bresler scoring the equalizer.

         The Soaring Eagles earned the win 3:19 into the extra session, with Tori Charron netting the game-winner.

         Elmira held a 26-19 shots advantage in the game, as senior netminder Alexi Bloom (Highland Park, Ill.) made 24 saves in goal for the Panthers. Lauren Sullivan made 18 stops to earn the win.

         The Panther women’s hockey team dropped its second straight game as they fell 5-0 at #3 Plattsburgh in the consolation game of the Panther/Cardinal Classic.

         After a scoreless first period, Plattsburgh struck for four second period tallies, including a shorthanded goal with 23 seconds remaining. The Cardinals added a late goal in the third to seal the 5-0 victory.

         Sydney Aveson made 20 saves in goal to earn the win, while first-year netminder Laura Pinsent (Labrador City, Newfoundland) (23 saves) and Bloom (20 saves) split time for the Panthers.

         Middlebury had little trouble with Wesleyan, as the Panthers picked up a 9-0 win over the Cardinals (2-7, 0-5) in Kenyon Arena. Ten different players earned points for Middlebury (7-2, 6-0), including a hat-trick for junior Maggie Melberg (Woody Creek, Colo.).

         Middlebury opened the scoring at 9:07, as sophomore Maggie Woodward (Dover, N.H.) scored from close-range after a feed from Downey. Junior Grace Waters (Snyder, N.Y.) broke in and scored with a backhander to make it a 2-0 game at the 13:30 mark.

         The Panthers kept coming, scoring a pair of goals on the power play in a 1:18 span. Melberg and sophomore Madison Styrbicki (Edina, Minn.) worked the puck with Melberg finishing at the 17:45 mark for her first of the year. Melberg struck again at 19:03, this time in a five-on-three after some nice puck movement.

         Middlebury opened the second period with a power play goal, with sophomore Lauren Greer (N. Hampton, N.H.) scoring her first of the season just 38 seconds in to make it 5-0. Styrbicki finished off a rebound at 10:34, followed by junior Jamie Harisiades (Hooksett, N.H.) doing the same after a sophomore Heather Marrison (Brewster, N.Y.) shot at 14:35 to make it 7-0 after two periods of play.

         Melberg earned the hat-trick and Harisiades added a third period goal to make it a 9-0 final. Harisiades finished with two goals and two assists, Styrbicki had a goal and three assists, while Melberg earned an assist for a four-point night.

         Junior Becca Shaw (S. Burlington, Vt.) made eight saves in goal for Middlebury, picking up her first win of the season. Ashleigh Corvi made 26 stops through two periods for the Cardinals, while Nicole Bonneau earned 11 saves in the third.

         In a battle between a pair of NESCAC teams ranked in the top 10 nationally, #6 Middlebury and #9 Trinity settled for a 1-1 tie on Saturday afternoon in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers held a 24-17 shots advantage in the game, but both goaltenders were solid, keeping the low-scoring affair in a tie.

         Trinity had a great shorthanded bid in the first period, but Bloom made the save on Celia Colman-McGaw’s attempt. Trinity’s Alexa Pujol and Middlebury’s Bloom each denied of pair of scoring opportunities later in the period, leaving the game in a scoreless tie after one.

         Senior Anna McNally (St. Paul, Minn.) scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season for Middlebury 4:50 into the second period. A long pass from Marrison fed McNally, who put home her own rebound after the initial shot on the breakaway was saved.

         Trinity tied the game at the 9:28 mark when Domi Di Dia scored her first of the season, this one coming on the power play. After a face-off win, Di Dia scored with a wrister through traffic as the Panthers allowed their first PPG in their opponent’s last 27 opportunities.

         Neither team could take the lead in the third period, forcing the game into overtime. Middlebury had the advantage in overtime, but could not score the game winner as they held a slight 3-2 advantage in shots during the extra session.

         Bloom finished the game with 16 saves in goal for the Panthers, while Pujol made 23 stops for the Bantams.
• Women’s hockey record: 7-1-2
• Up next: 1/14-15 @ Amherst