Women's Hockey Falls In NCAA Title Game
March 16, 2013
Middlebury saw its hopes of a fourth NCAA Championship come to an end as they fell 1-0 to Elmira in the title game in Superior, Wisconsin. The Panthers, who were making their fifth title game appearance, finish the season with a 20-8-2 record. Elmira wins its third NCAA title and first since ’03, ending the year with a 24-5-1 mark. The win avenges two regular season losses to Middlebury for Elmira, handing the Panthers just their second shutout this season.
The first period ended with the shots tied at 6-6. Middlebury’s Annabelle Jones and Lauren Sullivan of Elmira both stood strong in goal, with several solid saves. The best chance to score in the period came from Elmira, as Ella Stewart hit the post from the left wing. The Panthers ended the period going 0-3 on the power play, including an opportunity that overlapped into the second period.
Ashley Ryan and Brooke Wilgosh of Elmira had a couple of good looks early in the second, but were both denied by Jones, including a nice glove save on a power play. The Soaring Eagles nearly took the lead at 9:41, but Jones made a big glove save on Ashton Hogan after a great dish from Caitlin Metcalf. Elmira broke through at the 12:26 mark, with the seventh of the year from Taylor Steadman. Sam Curk centered a pass from the left side as Jones went down in anticipation of a quick shot. With Jones on the ice, Steadman gathered the puck in the slot and quickly roofed a shot for the 1-0 lead. Middlebury made some noise with 4:30 to go in the period, but shots by Emily Fluke and Maggie Woodward were both stopped by Sullivan. The pace picked up in the second period, as Elmira held a 14-11 shots advantage.
Middlebury had a great chance to tie the game 13:25 into the third when Hannah Bielawski blocked a shot and headed down ice with the rebound. After gaining control of the puck she broke in alone on the right side and saw her shot denied by Sullivan. Less than a minute later, Madeline Joyce was stopped, as she had a great look falling to the ice in the slot. Middlebury was able to pull Jones late in the game for an extra attacker, but were unable to get a good look as Elmira held on for the win.
Middlebury outshot Elmira 13-6 in the third and 30-26 in the game. Sullivan saved all 30 shots she faced to earn her 11th shutout of the season, while Jones made 25 stops for the Panthers. Heather Marrison was named to the all-tournament team.