#7 Women’s Hockey Tallies 1-0-1 Mark During NESCAC Series at #10 Amherst

Alexis Ryan scored her first collegiate goal in the win over Amherst.
Alexis Ryan scored her first collegiate goal in the win over Amherst.

The Middlebury women’s hockey team began 2018 with a 1-0-1 record at #10 Amherst in NESCAC play. On Friday, the Panthers scored the game’s first three goals on their way to a 4-2 victory. A day later, Middlebury and Amherst each tallied in the third period to account for all of the scoring, as the teams skated to a 1-1 tie.

On Friday evening, the hosts had a good chance to open the scoring with 14:07 on the clock in the first period. Amherst’s Emma Flynn skated in on a breakaway against Panther sophomore goalie Lin Han (Toronto, Ont.), who made a nice glove save to keep the contest scoreless. Middlebury grabbed a 1-0 lead with 11:07 expired when rookie Alexis Ryan (Mesa, Ariz.) netted her first collegiate goal with a wrist shot from the high slot that found its way into the lower-left part of the net.

In the middle stanza, the Panthers increased their lead to 2-0, as senior Elizabeth Wulf (Larchmont, N.Y.) tucked in her own rebound with 16:38 on the clock. The advantage grew to three goals 2:27 when rookie Madie Leidt (Killingworth, Conn.) ripped a one-timer from the left circle into the upper part of the net while on the power play. Amherst took a timeout following the goal and the hosts tallied 28 seconds later on a score by Alex Toupal from left side of the crease, cutting the difference to 3-1.

The final period got off to a fast start, as Han stopped Amherst’s Jocelyn Hunyadi on a breakaway right off the opening faceoff. The Mammoths eventually pulled to within a goal (3-2) at the 2:27 mark when Emma Griese scored on a power-play from the top of the crease. Sophomore Sidney Portner (Andover, Minn.) regained Middlebury’s two-goal advantage with 12:02 remaining, firing a shot from the right circle inside the far post for her second tally of the season to close out the scoring.

Han earned the win in goal for the Panthers with 25 saves, while Bailey Plaman (25:50) had 12 stops and Dobbins (32:55) had 15 for the Mammoths. Middlebury held a 31-27 advantage in shots and each team went 1-2 on the power play.

During Saturday’s tie, the teams skated through a scoreless opening period, with the hosts getting the first quality chance. Katelyn Pantera had a point-blank opportunity near the mid-way mark that Middlebury senior goalie Julia Neuburger (Fayetteville, N.Y.) denied. Plaman countered just over a minute later at the other end of the ice, thwarting senior Maddie Winslow (Manchester, Vt.) twice from the top of the crease.

The hosts stepped up the offensive pressure in the next 20 minutes with a 12-6 edge in shots, but the result was the same as the first with no goals. Middlebury junior Jenna Marotta (Katy, Texas) nearly put the visitors on the scoreboard with 10:04 on the clock, as her shot from the point rang off the right post. Alex Toupal had Amherst’s best scoring chance, racing in on a break from the right side, only to miss the net with her shot.

The Panthers struck for the game’s initial goal with 8:05 expired in the final period, as Wulf netted her second goal of the series. Portner dug the puck out of the left corner, before setting Wulf up for a shot from the slot. The hosts tied the game 1-1 with 5:43 showing on the clock, as Emma Flynn chipped in a pass from Toupal, setting the stage for overtime.

Middlebury controlled play throughout the extra five-minute session where the teams skated four players aside, taking all eight shots. Plaman had an answer on each attempt as the game finished tied at 1-1.

Making her first start of the season, Neuburger finished with 24 saves and Plaman also made 24 stops. The teams both directed 25 shots on goal, while the Panthers went 0-3 on the power play and the Mammoths were unsuccessful on their only attempt.

• Women’s hockey record: 5-3-1
• Up Next: 1/9 vs. Morrisville State – 7:00 p.m., 1/12 at UMass-Boston – 4:00 p.m., 1/13 at Endicott – 3:30 p.m.