Middlebury's Jessica Young scored 2:28 into overtime as the Panthers rallied for a 2-1 triumph Friday at Trinity in the season opener. Middlebury scored once in the middle period and again in overtime to earn the win. The fifth-ranked Panthers and Bantams cap the two-game series Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
The hosts jumped out to the early lead when Hannah Oganeku tucked in a rebound behind Panther goalie Julia Neuburger. Melissa Maffeo had two shots from point-blank range that Neuberger stopped, but Oganeku buried the third attempt 7:09 into the contest.
The Panthers had a chance to tie the game two minutes later when Kelly Sherman went in on the Bantam goal on a partial breakaway. With a defender hounding her approach, Sherman's shot slid just wide of the left post.
In the second period, Middlebury evened the score (1-1) 12:17 into the stanza. Sidney Portner sent a pass from the right boards in the neutral zone to a cutting Janka Hlinka, who ripped a shot from the high slot off goalie Jess Thulin to knot the score.
Young almost gave the Panthers the lead late in the period with a shorthanded chance, but Thulin smothered her shot from the slot.
Middlebury carried the play in the third period, recording a 19-5 advantage in shots, but neither team was able to get on the scoreboard, sending the game to overtime.
The Panthers put plenty of pressure on the Bantam net in the extra session with Young getting two good chances in the opening minutes, including one that went off the post. Middlebury used that sustained pressure to set up the winning goal when Maddie Winslow sent a pass from the corner to Victoria Laven at the left point, who directed a shot on goal. Young deflected Laven's shot as she was cutting through the slot for her initial tally of the season.
Neuburger registered 24 saves to earn the win for the Panthers, while Thulin finished with 38. Middlebury held a 40-25 advantage in shots for the game, while Trinity was 0-4 on the power play and the Panthers went 0-3.