Top-seeded Middlebury edged out Bowdoin (13-9-3) 2-1 to advance to the NESCAC Championship game for the fourth-consecutive year. The Panthers (19-4-3) will take on Amherst at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. The winner of Sunday's title contest will receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Bowdoin got on the board with just 22 ticks left on the clock in the first period. Brooke Solomon sent a pass from the right faceoff circle to Nell Fusco in the slot who tipped it into the net, making it 1-0. Middlebury controlled much of the period, outshooting the Polar Bears 13-7.
The Panthers knotted the game 1-1 with 10:48 remaining in the second period with a power play goal. Jessica Young centered a pass from the right side that deflected off two Bowdoin players before crossing the goal line.
In the third period, the Polar Bears killed off four Middlebury power play opportunities. During the span, Bowdoin nearly netted one of their own after a Panther turnover, but Marissa Fichter's short-handed shot sailed high. Middlebury scored the game-winner on its fifth power play of the period during five-on-three action. Madie Leidt sent a slap pass from the right point down low to Maddie Winslow, who one-timed it into the back of the net. The Panthers now led with a 2-1 advantage with 5:35 remaining. The Polar Bears pulled their goaltender late, but were unable to muster up a quality scoring opportunity.
Middlebury held a 41-15 shots advantage in the game, going 2-8 on the power play, while Bowdoin went 0-1. Lin Han tallied 14 stops to pick up the victory, while Kerri St. Denis made 39 stops for the Polar Bears.