Middlebury

Women's Hockey Scores Late To Earn 1-1 Tie At Williams

February 15, 2014

Middlebury settled for a 1-1 tie on the road, taking three points from Williams (11-8-3, 8-3-3) in a home-and-home series. The second-ranked Panthers (17-2-4, 12-0-4) finished the season unbeaten in NESCAC play and will return to action on Wednesday with a non-league game at Norwich.

Williams struck first late in the opening frame, and would hold onto the lead until 2:34 to go in regulation, when the Middlebury offense knotted the game at 1-1.

The score stayed knotted at 1-1 for the remainder of regulation and into the overtime period, as Eph goaltender Charlie Billadeau and Panther netminder Annabelle Jones went back and forth making nice saves to keep their teams in the game and force the contest to a draw.

Unlike last night, both sides were plagued by a flurry of penalties to open the game. Each team saw man-up opportunities, including 50 seconds of five-on-three play for the Ephs. Despite generating a handful of scoring chances, neither the Ephs nor the Panthers could find the back of the net.  

After nearly 19 minutes of scoreless play, Williams drew first blood with just 1:10 remaining in the frame. Cristina Bravi came off the bench on a line change and kept the puck in. She skated between two defenders and made a nice forehand backhand deke to beat Jones for an unassisted goal.

The Panthers outshot the Ephs by a slight margin, posting eight shots to Williams’ seven after 20 minutes of play, but it was the Ephs with the 1-0 advantage headed into the intermission.

After several minutes of competitive back-and-forth play in the second, Middlebury saw their best chance to equalize during a powerplay with eight minutes in to go in the second frame. The Panther offense peppered Billadeau with shots, including a slap shot from Jennifer Krakower that ricocheted off the crossbar. Billadeau stayed strong between the pipes, as the Ephs escaped the tirade to hold onto their 1-0 lead.

The Ephs would keep their lead as the scoreless middle stanza came to a close. Williams got off four shots, while Middlebury tested Billadeau six times.

Headed into the final frame, the Panthers needed to find an offensive stride to stay in the game. The relentless Eph defense gave them few looks, and Billadeau continued to remain unwavering in net.

Middlebury refused to go quietly in the game’s final minutes. With under three minutes to go, the Panthers turned up their offensive intensity and notched a game-tying goal at 17:26. Set up by the tandem of Katie Mandigo and Madeline Joyce, Pam Schulman took a shot from the right side that made its way past Billadeau to even things up.

The Panthers nearly stole the game with just seconds remaining on a shot that hit the crossbar, but the buzzer would sound to send the game into extra minutes.

In a thrilling five minutes of play, both sides saw chances to capture the victory, but Billadeau and Jones denied all attempts, finalizing the score at 1-1. 

Jones finished the night with 22 stops, while Billadeau turned away 24 bids.