#6 Middlebury Completes NESCAC Sweep of Bowdoin

Maddie Winslow opened the scoring for the Panthers in Saturday's victory over Bowdoin. (Will Costello)
Maddie Winslow opened the scoring for the Panthers in Saturday's victory over Bowdoin. (Will Costello)

The Middlebury women's hockey team recorded its fourth-straight shutout, as the Panthers posted a 3-0 NESCAC victory over visiting Bowdoin on Saturday. Middlebury has outscored its opponents 14-0 during those four games and as a team have not allowed a goal in the last 240:04 of play. The sixth-ranked Panthers (10-3-1, 6-1-1) continue conference play Friday at Hamilton, while Bowdoin (7-6-1, 1-6-1) hosts Wesleyan the same day. Both games start at 7:00 p.m.

The Panthers cashed in on a power play, just 1:26 into the game for the early advantage. Jessica Young put a centering pass to Maddie Winslow at the top of the crease, who backhanded a shot into the top-left corner of the net.

Midway through the period, the Polar Bears were awarded a power play and fired five shots on Panther goalie Julia Neuburger without any success. Neuburger's best save in that stretch was smothering deflection by Julie Dachille at the right post.

The hosts doubled the lead at the 3:22 mark of the middle stanza, when Elizabeth Wulf stepped in front of the net and had her shot denied by Polar Bear goalie Kerri St. Denis. The Panther was able to push the rebound in for her fifth tally of the season. Bowdoin made a big push with less than 10 minutes remaining, as Neuburger made two clutch stops. She first pinned a shot by Dachille under her left pad, before corralling Izzi Stoddard's tip in front on a centering feed from Julia Surgenor.

It was a tight-checking third period with the chances for both teams limited. The Polar Bears had a quality opportunity to cut the deficit in half with less than five minutes left on a shot from the left point by Brigit Bergin, but Neuburger snared the puck with her catching glove as it headed toward the upper corner. Bowdoin pulled St. Denis for an extra attacker with 1:53 on the clock, but just two seconds later was whistled for a penalty. Middlebury tacked on an extra insurance goal with 44 second left when Jenna Marotta blasted a high shot from the point for her first goal of the season.

Neuburger finished with a season-high 26 saves for her second shutout of the year. St. Denis made 16 stops, as the Polar Bears had a 26-19 edge in shots. Middlebury was 2-4 on the power play and erased all three of Bowdoin's opportunities.

Winslow, Wulf and Young each skated in their respective 100th career games for the Panthers.