No. 8 Middlebury Erupts for Six Goals in Win Over Colby

Ashley McDonald netted her first collegiate goal in the win over Colby. (Will Costello)
Ashley McDonald netted her first collegiate goal in the win over Colby. (Will Costello)

Middlebury scored a season high six goals, as the Panthers claimed the opening game of their two-game series with Colby with a 6-2 victory on Friday. Eighth-ranked Middlebury (14-3-3, 9-2-2) and the Mules (10-8-3, 7-8-0) return to the ice on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. 

The hosts held a territorial advantage throughout the opening period and were helped by an early power play. The Mules had a quality chance to score first when Lexi Cafiero skated in on Middlebury goalie Lin Han from the right wing. Han held her ground and made a left pad save with just over 14 minutes remaining.

The Panthers struck for a pair of late goals, coming 40 seconds apart. Katarina Shuchuk knocked in a rebound on an Ellie Barney shot with 1:36 showing on the clock for her third goal in the last two games. Less than a minute later, Ashley McDonald deflected a shot from the high slot by Jenna Marotta for her first collegiate goal.

Middlebury exploded with four goals in the middle frame, starting with power-play marker at the 1:19 mark. Jenna Letterie tucked home a shot from the left post after the puck slid along the goal line. Marotta made it a 4-0 game minutes later with a shot from the slot, while the hosts added two more scores 45 seconds apart to balloon the lead to 6-0. Barney benefitted from McDonald's work in the corner for her first goal and fourth point of the night, while Katie Hargrave took advantage of a Mule turnover for an unassisted tally with 6:01 on the clock.

Colby added a goal with 4:13 left in the second stanza, as Elizabeth Brashich scored on a rebound in the slot after Carly Thomas's initial shot was denied by Han.

The Mules notched the only goal of the final stanza at the 2:01 mark, as McKinley Karpa slid a loose puck under Han's trapper by the left post. The visitors nearly made it a three-goal contest at the midway point when Anna Cosentino hit the cross bar from the left side with her team on a power play.

Han made 10 saves during the win for the Panthers, while Cierra San Roman made 12 saves (33:39) and Savannah Shaw added 12 (26:01).

Middlebury held a 36-12 advantage in shots and went 1-7 on the power play, muting Colby's only chance with the player advantage.

Rachael St. Clair appeared in her 100th game in a Panther uniform.