#6 Women’s Hockey Blanks Trinity 2-0 In Season Opener

Lin Han stopped all 27 shots she faced as the Panthers opened the season with a 2-0 win against Trinity.
Lin Han stopped all 27 shots she faced as the Panthers opened the season with a 2-0 win against Trinity.

Sixth-ranked Middlebury scored twice in the first period and Lin Han made 27 saves as the Panthers earned a 2-0 NESCAC triumph in their season opener Friday night in Kenyon Arena.  The teams complete the two-game series Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

Trinity had the first quality scoring chance of the opening period when Claire Foran took a shot from the right side that Han turned aside with 6:39 on the clock. The rebound went directly to Abigal Riskevich by the left post, but Panther defender Haley LaFontaine knocked the puck away before the Bantam could get off a shot.

Less than a minute later, Middlebury broke through with the game's first goal. Maddie Winslow took a shot from the left circle that Trinity netminder Sydney Belinskas denied, but the rebound went right to Katherine Jackson, who buried the chance for a 1-0 with 5:43 left in the period. Middlebury made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at the 16:21 mark, as Jessica Young jammed in a rebound from in the crease on a shot by Elizabeth Wulf.

The teams skated through a scoreless middle stanza, but had their chances. Middlebury's Madie Leidt fired a shot from the slot off the left post with less than five minutes expired, while Trinity's best opportunity came on a five-on-three power play in the closing minutes. Han made a tough shoulder save on a rising shot by Taylor Peracchio from the right circle, keeping the score at 2-0 after 40 minutes of play.

The Bantams had several chances to close the gap in the third period, as they were awarded four power plays in the final 12 minutes. On the first one, Young had the best chance on either side with a breakaway, but the Panthers' shot went wide left. Trinity's best flurry came with just under five minutes to play when Tasha Adams' shot was stopped and Han followed that up with a save on Olivia White's rebound attempt, preserving her second-career shutout.

Belinskas finished with 23 saves for the Bantams, as the visitors held a 27-25 edge in shots. Middlebury went 1-4 on the power play, while Trinity came up empty in seven opportunities.