Emily Fluke had a three-point night as fourth-ranked Middlebury (9-2-3, 6-1-2) earned a 4-2 road win at #10 Bowdoin (8-4-3, 4-2-1) Friday night in Watson Arena. The two teams return to action on Saturday with game two of the series at 3:00 p.m.
Middlebury came out quickly in the first frame, scoring just over five minutes into the period and took the early lead. Outshooting the Polar Bears 6-0 through the opening minutes, Middlebury converted off a shot from Victoria Laven to go up 1-0. Teeing up a shot from just inside the blue line, Laven sent the puck through traffic and just inside the left post. The Panthers ultimately outshot the Polar Bears 13-2 in the opening frame.
Janka Hlinka gave Middlebury the quick 2-0 edge 56 seconds into the middle period off a feed from Jessica Young. Carrying the puck up from behind the Bowdoin net on the left side, Young dished to Hlinka in the low slot for a one-timer to beat Lan Crofton and double Middlebury's lead.
The Polar Bears broke through 2:45 into the period with Rachel Kennedy's first of the night. Winning the face-off in Middlebury territory, Miranda Bell ripped a shot from left side with Kennedy getting a stick out to deflect the puck through the legs of Annabelle Jones.
Bowdoin and Middlebury traded goals in the third, with the Panthers taking a 3-1 lead before Bowdoin bit back to make it 3-2. Both teams scored similar goals, with the puck being put away off an uncovered rebound. The Panthers goal came when Young cleaned up a rebound from Maddie Winslow. Kennedy netted her second of the night less than a minute later after Chelsea MacNeil's initial bid was denied. With the puck loose, Kennedy wristed a shot over traffic. Middlebury closed the game out with an empty netter from Fluke after killing off a 6-on-4 Bowdoin power play.
Crofton made 18 saves in net for the Polar Bears in 47:37 minutes of play before being replaced by Beth Findley, who made four stops. Jones picked up the win with 23 saves, including a dozen in the third period.