Sheline’s First Career Goal Lifts #6 Middlebury Past Bowdoin

Lizzie Sheline tallied her first career goal, the eventual game-winning tally, during Friday's win over Bowdoin.
Lizzie Sheline tallied her first career goal, the eventual game-winning tally, during Friday's win over Bowdoin.

Lizzie Sheline broke a 1-1 tie with her first career goal at 7:43 of the third period, lifting the sixth-ranked Middlebury women's hockey team to a 2-1 NESCAC road win Friday over Bowdoin in Watson Arena. The Panthers (9-2-2, 5-1-1) and the Polar Bears (8-6-2, 3-4-1) cap the two-game conference series on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

Middlebury put together a pair of promising scoring opportunities near the midway point of the first period. Jessica Young broke out down the right boards and forced Polar Bear goalie Kerri St. Denis to make a near side kick-save. The Panthers mounted a three-on-one rush a minute later with a centering pass that found the stick of Amanda Navratil, but St. Denis denied the scoring attempt. The Panthers outshot Bowdoin by a 9-6 count in the opening frame.

Young put the visitors ahead with her team-leading eighth goal of the season at the 7:01 mark into the middle frame. The junior took a wrap-around shot at the right post, but St. Denis left the rebound sitting just outside the crease. Young quickly tracked down the puck and roofed a shot.

After consecutive power plays, the Polar Bears evened the game 3:14 into the third period. On the second extra-skater opportunity, Maureen Greason took a hard shot on net that Panther netminder Julia Neuburger turned away. Kaite Leininger controlled the rebound and knotted the game at 1-1.

The Panthers took the lead for good on Sheline's first career goal. Janka Hlinka controlled the puck on the right side and connected with Sheline, skating toward Bowdoin's net. The clean feed allowed Sheline to slide a shot inside the far post for the 2-1 edge.

St. Denis ended the day with 24 stops for the Polar Bears, while Neuburger made 20 saves for Middlebury. Bowdoin was 1-4 on the power play, while the Panthers was scoreless in five attempts.