Women's Hockey Pulls Away From Williams

February 10, 2012

Middlebury took game one of a home-and-home with Williams, topping the Ephs 5-1 in Williamstown. The Panthers scored three unanswered goals in a 1:18 span in the third period to secure the win. The teams will meet again on Saturday at Kenyon Arena with a 4:00 p.m. face-off.

Middlebury took a 1-0 lead in the second period with a power play goal at the 5:32 mark. Sara Ugalde sent the puck across the ice to a waiting Maggie Woodward who ripped a close range shot over the right shoulder of Chloe Billadeau, earning her team a 1-0 lead.  Lauren Greer  also contributed on the play.

Seconds later, Emily Fluke  nearly upped Middlebury’s lead to two, following a breakaway.  Although she didn’t put the Panthers on the scoreboard, her offensive opportunity along with Ugalde’s tally would set the tone for the remaining 14:28.  Middlebury dominated the ice, recording 17 second period shots to Williams’ six.

Set up by Maria Bourdeau , Madison Styrbicki fired a slapshot from just in front of the blue line to register Middlebury’s second goal of the afternoon at the 16:40 mark.

Just 46 seconds into the game’s final frame, Aimee Dennett made it a one-goal game.  Kristen Tubbs  controlled the puck off a face-off in the Ephs‘ offensive zone, then carried the puck behind the goal line. Tubbs slid a pass to Dennett, who was streaking into the slot and fired a shot past Jones to cut the Panthers‘ lead to 2-1.

Middlebury’s took quick penalties to give the Eph power play unit their first opportunities of the evening. Williams forwards were able to pepper Annabelle Jones and the Panther defense with several close-range shots. On a five-on-three with just under 15 minutes remaining in the period, the Ephs’ Cristina Bravi tested Jones with some solid opportunities, but the Panther netminder was able to turn away all of the Ephs’ attempts, and Middlebury was able to cling to their narrow margin.

A trio of Panthers scored in a 1:18 span cemented Middlebury’s lead and give the Panthers some room to breathe. With 4:53 left to play, Maggie Melberg forced a turnover in Williams’ defensive zone, then skated the puck in close and fired a shot that eluded Billadeau to give Middlebury a 3-1 lead.

Middlebury’s Greer drew the puck off the faceoff to Katie Sullivan, who skated up ice with Greer for a 2-on-0 with Billadeau. Sullivan broke away from a Williams defender and hit the mesh to put the Panthers up 4-1 just six seconds after Melberg’s goal.

With two Ephs in the penalty box, Middlebury collected their fifth goal of the evening with 3:35 to play. Ugalde picked up a rebound in the slot and put home the loose puck, finalizing the score at 5-1.

Billadeau turned away 29 shots between the pipes for the Ephs. Middlebury’s Jones managed to deny Williams 18 times with Greer earning three assists on the day.