Middlebury won its fourth NESCAC Championship and second straight over Bowdoin with an 8-2 win over the Polar Bears in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers will make their fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament when the pairings are announced Sunday night. Bowdoin will hope for an at-large bid to the tourney.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead just 3:50 into the game as Emily Quizon's shot from the left point deflected into the net off a defender. The Panthers had several other chances in the next 10 minutes, but Bowdoin's Emileigh Mercer denied the opportunities. Quizon struck again at 16:49 as a great deke move on a breakaway led to an open look at the net. The NESCAC player of the year completed the natural hat-trick with 25 seconds remaining in the period with a similar shot for a short handed breakaway goal. Middlebury held a 12-3 shots advantage in the first period, with the Polar Bears first shot coming at the 16:04 mark.
Bowdoin got on the board at 5:50 of the second period as Meghan Gillis' shot from outside the blue line on the left wing deflected into the net off the glove off Middlebury netminder Kate Kogut. Middlebury made it 4-1 game at 16:47 of the second period with a power play goal. Shannon Tarrant found Annemarie Cellino at the right face-off circle for the one-timer.
Erika Nakamura scored just 1:58 into the third period as she poked home a puck on the goal line. Leading 5-1, Middlebury scored three goals in a 4:13 span to seal the win. Cellino and Abby Kurtz-Phelan converted breakaways, before Cellino notched her hat trick with a shortie at the 17:11 mark. Gillis scored her second of the game for the Polar Bears with 10 seconds remaining.
Kogut ended the game with 14 saves for the Panthers, while Mercer made 31 saves for the Polar Bears.
Date: March 5, 2006 - 1:00 p.m.
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.
TEAM 1 2 3 OT F
Bowdoin (17-9-1) 0 1 1 - 2
Middlebury (24-2) 3 1 4 - 8
M-1st (3:50) - Emily Quizon
M-1st (16:49) - Quizon (Annmarie Cellino)
M-1st (19:35) - SH: Quizon
B-2nd (5:05) - PP: Meghan Gillis (Kristen Cameron)
M-2nd (16:47) - PP: Cellino (Shannon Tarrant)
M-3rd (1:58) - Erika Nakamura (Margaret McDonald, Kerry Kiley)
M-3rd (12:58) - Cellino (Tania Kenney, Tarrant)
M-3rd (13:29) - Abby Kurtz-Phelan (Karen Levin)
M-3rd (17:11) - SH: Cellino (Emily McNamara)
B-3rd (19:50) - Gillis (Sam Stewart)
Kate Kogut-M (60 min., 14 saves, 2 GA)
Emileigh Mercer-M (60 min., 31 saves, 8 GA)