Middlebury erased a two-goal deficit in the first period, coming away with a 3-3 overtime tie at Williams on Friday. The fourth-ranked Panthers (16-4-3, 12-1-2) are unbeaten in their last 11 conference games (9-0-2) and have already clinched the top seed in the NESCAC Tournament. Middlebury and the Ephs (10-6-7, 4-5-6) complete the two-game series Saturday in Kenyon Arena at 7:00 p.m.
Middlebury's defense was strong for most of the first period, not allowing a shot for nearly 17 minutes. Williams made the most of its shots, scoring on its first bid on goal. Amanda Reisman fired a shot from the bottom of the left circle that hit the post and ricocheted off Panther goalie Lin Han and in for a power-play tally at the 16:51 mark. The hosts made it 2-0 just 1:29 later on their next shot when Anna Fucillo redirected a shot by Olivia Stokes.
Middlebury cut the margin in half, as Madie Leidt one-timed a cross-ice pass from Jessica Young with 1:31 left before the first intermission. Leidt's 10th goal of the season came 12 seconds into a power play.
In the second stanza, the Panthers evened the score at the 5:43 after creating a turnover in the neutral zone. Elizabeth Wulf broke up a Williams' breakout and Sidney Portner took over from there, firing a shot from the top of the circles past Eph goalie Christina Cleroux. The hosts reclaimed the lead at 3-2 with their second power-play tally of the contest. Brynn Puppe one-timed a pass from out of the corner by Meghan Halloran with 6:15 left in the frame.
Middlebury tied the contest again (3-3) at the 7:06 mark of the third period, scoring just after a power play had expired. Alexis Ryan threw the puck on goal from the right point that Maddie Winslow tipped past Cleroux. Williams had a chance to pull out the win in the final seconds when Annie Rush carried the puck toward the Middlebury net, where Han turned the scoring bid aside to set up overtime.
The Panthers took all seven shots in the five-minute overtime, with Wulf and Leidt both being denied late in the extra session by Cleroux, as the teams finished in a 3-3 deadlock.
Han finished with 14 saves for Middlebury, while Cleroux had 39 for the hosts, as the Panthers held a 42-17 edge in shots. The Ephs went 2-3 on the power play, while Middlebury scored once in five opportunities.