Bowdoin Edges #6 Middlebury 2-1 in Overtime

Janka Hlinka picked up her fourth goal of the season against Bowdoin.
Janka Hlinka picked up her fourth goal of the season against Bowdoin.

Bowdoin's Marissa Fichter scored with less than a minute remaining in overtime, lifting the Polar Bears to a 2-1 overtime win Saturday over visiting Middlebury in Maine. The sixth-ranked Panthers (9-3-2, 5-2-1) had their eight-game unbeaten streak snapped, while Bowdoin (9-6-2, 4-4-1) topped Middlebury for the first time since 2013. Middlebury returns home next weekend for a two-game series with Hamilton, starting Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Kenyon Arena.

The Panther penalty kill came up big in the first period, killing off 1:33 of a five-on-three disadvantage. Bowdoin mustered five shots over the span, putting two on Middlebury goalie Lin Han and watching three more turned away by the Panther penalty-killing unit. Jessica Young had a promising look for Middlebury late in the period as the puck slid into Polar Bear territory behind the defense, putting her on a short breakaway. Young looked to go stick side on Bowdoin netminder Kerri St. Denis, ringing her shot off the far pipe.

Bowdoin's Jill Rathke scored the game's first goal on the power play 2:48 into the middle frame. Brigit Bergin and Rathke were working space high in the Middlebury zone, with Rathke finally unleashing a slapshot from the blue line that found its way into the Panther net. That goal held through the rest of the frame, as the hosts held a 1-0 lead with one period left to play.

Middlebury tied the game late in the third stanza while on a six-on-four advantage. The hosts were called for penalty with 1:30 left in regulation and Han was replaced by an extra skater. Panther blue-liner Carly Watson fired a shot from the right point, allowing Janka Hlinka to get a touch on the puck as it flew past. Hlinka's deflection popped over St. Denis and into the net. The tying goal came with 1:16 on the clock and was her fourth of the season.

In an overtime that saw penalties on both sides, Middlebury and Bowdoin skated on a wide open sheet of ice with three skaters on both sides. Bergin sprung Fichter on a breakaway and she netted the game-winning goal with 56 seconds left in the extra session.

Han finished with 20 saves for the Panthers, while St. Denis collected 30. Each team scored once on the power play with Middlebury getting six chances, while the Polar Bears were awarded five.