Women's Hockey Advances To NESCAC Championship
March 3, 2012
Middlebury advanced to the NESCAC Championship game for the eighth time in 11 years with a 4-1 win over Trinity in a semifinal match-up in Kenyon Arena. The fourth-ranked Panthers (20-3-3) will take on the winner of the Bowdoin/Amherst game played later today in the title game on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Trinity finishes up its season at 15-11.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead 11:17 into the first period with the eighth of the season from Grace Waters. Maggie Melberg carried the puck in on the right wing, crossed to Emily Fluke on the left, who found Waters in the slot for the 1-0 lead.
Trinity tied the game at 15:14 when Abby Ostrom fed a pass up to Lucy Robinson who broke in and scored her fifth of the year. The Panthers were on a power play for the final 4:28 of the period, including 1:57 of five-on-three play, but could not regain the lead. The period ended with shots tied at 10-10.
Middlebury’s Emily Fluke put on a great move on a breakaway early in the second period, but was denied by Trinity netminder Alexa Pujol (19 saves). Bantam Lindsey Weiner had a great shot from close range at 4:38, but was stopped by Middlebury goaltender Annabelle Jones (27).
The Panthers took a 2-1 lead at the 5:47 mark when Maria Bourdeau’s dump in from the blue line slipped past Pujol for her third of the season. Middlebury had a couple more great chances in the period, with Sara Ugalde denied at 8:05 and Waters being stopped driving in from the right side at 16:48.
The third period saw both teams with solid opportunities to score on both ends of the ice. Pujol made a great save on a redirect from Hannah Bielawski after a nice feed from Maggie Woodward at the 8:47 mark. The Bantams had nice chances at 11:30 and 12:12, but Jones denied Payson Sword and Chelsea Campbell from close range to keep it a 2-1 game. The Panthers had an opportunity to add to their lead at 13:01, but Lauren Greer was denied by a diving glove stop from Pujol.
Middlebury gained some breathing room at the 17:25 mark, with Greer netting her 12th of the season. Ugalde sent a puck from the left point down low to Katie Sullivan who quickly found Greer for the redirect. The Panthers sealed the game with 1:43 remaining when Madeline Joyce netted her sixth of the year, this one coming from the blue line with an empty net.