Middlebury Women’s Hockey Hands Lake Forest Its First Loss

Goalie Julia Neuburger made 20 saves to earn the victory. (Photo courtesy of Will Costello)
Goalie Julia Neuburger made 20 saves to earn the victory. (Photo courtesy of Will Costello)

The Middlebury women's hockey team scored the deciding goal in the third period to pull out a 2-1 win over Lake Forest on Tuesday in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers, ranked eighth nationally, handed the third-ranked Foresters their first loss of the season. Middlebury (5-2-1) returns to conference play on Friday with a 7:00 p.m. start at Amherst, while Lake Forest (10-1-1) is right back on the ice tomorrow at St. Michael's.

The Panthers had a quick opportunity to open the scoring when Shanna Hickman fired a shot from the left circle off of the cross bar 1:20 into the game. Middlebury later got the initial goal of the contest on the power play at 10:46 as Katie Mandigo tucked home a short rebound on a shot by Elizabeth Wulf in the slot. 

Lake Forest got a power-play chance in the final five minutes of the period and had three shots on goal, but Panther goalie Julia Neuburger turned away each of those scoring bids.  

The Foresters tied the game 2:34 into the second when Amy Budde put a low shot inside the far post after Michelle Greeneway gained possession of the puck along the boards.

The visitors almost took the lead late in the period when Leah Ebdon one-timed a pass from close range that was denied by Neuburger. Lake Forest had another chance to take the lead with a power play late in the period, but the Panthers killed off that attempt as the teams stayed tied 1-1 after 40 minutes of play.

Middlebury earned deciding goal at the 7:57 into the third period when Anna Van Kula swept in a rebound on a shot by Victoria Laven.

Lake Forest kept things close by killing off three Panther power plays in the final 8:13, including a 5-on-3 for 54 seconds.

The Foresters pulled goalie Allie Carter with 49 seconds left, but a crucial blocked shot by Middlebury's Maddie Winslow and a save by Neuburger (20 saves) secured the win. Carter finished with 32 saves for Lake Forest as her team was outshot 34-21.

The Panthers finished 1-5 on the power play and held the Foresters scoreless on their two opportunities. Lake Forest entered the game with the nation's top power play at 41 percent and was only one of four teams without a loss.