Middlebury

Women's Hockey Wins Opener At Colby

November 15, 2013

Second-ranked Middlebury opened up its season with a 2-1 NESCAC road win at Colby. The Panthers held a 42-22 shots advantage in the game, but could only get two past Colby goaltender Brianne Wheeler, who made 40 saves. The two teams will go at it again on Saturday at Alfond Rink.

The game started oddly when Colby was penalized for a protocol violation after taking the ice late for warm-ups. 

Middlebury made the Mules pay with a power play goal at 1:58. Jane Freda tipped in a shot from the point that went into the left corner of the goal. Sara Ugalde, who had the shot from the point and Carly Watson had assists on the play, with Freda earning her first collegiate goal and Watson her first assist.

Wheeler kept the Mules in the game with 12 saves in the opening period and 18 more in an entertaining, back-and-forth second period.

The Panthers made it 2-0 at 8:00 of the second period when a shot by Anna Van Kula flipped in the air off Wheeler and Katie Mandigo was there to poke the puck in the net for the goal.

Colby did not give up and scored just 13 seconds later off a face-off from the right of Middlebury goalie Annabelle Jones. Maddie Dewhirst's shot went in front of the goal and Elisa Rascia won a battle in a wild scramble to push the puck over the line.

Colby's best chance to tie the game in the third period may have come from Annie Papadellis. She made a steal near the blue line on the right side, came in on goal, and her high shot just went over the crossbar.

Middlebury's had a chance to extend the lead with 5:54 to play. Katie Sullivan's shot from the point hit a player and went high into the air. The puck landed to the left of Wheeler and she was able to lunge back toward the goal line to make the stop despite losing site of the puck. 

Jones played well in net for Middlebury, stopping 21 shots.