Middlebury's Madie Leidt recorded a hat trick and goalie Anna Goldstein stopped all 24 shots she faced, as the Panthers earned a 3-0 NESCAC home victory over Amherst on Saturday. Sixth-ranked Middlebury (5-1-3, 4-0-2) returns to the ice Tuesday with a 4:30 p.m. start at Potsdam, while the Mammoths (4-5-2, 1-3-2) are idle until Saturday's home tilt with Bowdoin at 7:30 p.m.
The teams played a tight first period, with the hosts holding a slim 8-7 edge in shots. Middlebury's best chance to get on the scoreboard came just under five minutes into the contest, as Leidt cut in from the left side and wired a shot off the post. Amherst's best opportunity came with 1:30 remaining when Emma Flynn had a partial breakaway from the right wing. Goldstein held her ground to make the save, keeping the game scoreless after 20 minutes of play.
Middlebury made a strong push in the latter stages of the second stanza, generating several scoring opportunities from close range. Mammoth goalie Caitlin Walker came up with three big saves in less than a minute, denying Panther forward Katherine Jackson twice and Leidt once. Middlebury later cashed in on a 5-on-3 power play with 1:29 left in the period, as Leidt ripped a one-timer from the left circle on a feed from Jenna Marotta.
In the third period, Amherst's Miriam Eickhoff forced Goldstein to make a couple of tricky saves from the point that went through traffic in front, while Jamie McNamara's shot from the slot was also stopped. Minutes later, the hosts doubled their advantage, as Leidt swatted in a pass from behind the net from Jackson with 10:53 on the clock. Middlebury's Alexis Ryan sparked the play with a good keep in along the left boards. Leidt completed the hat trick with her second power-play tally of the contest, sending a rebound on a shot from Anna Zumwinkle through Walker with 5:42 remaining.
Goldstein made her final save in the closing seconds, stopping a good power move to the net by McNamara from the left side. The shutout was Goldstein's second of the season and the fourth of her young career.
Walker finished with 27 saves for the Mammoths, as the hosts held a 30-24 advantage in shots. Middlebury went 2-3 on the power play and Amherst came up empty in three attempts. The Mammoths entered the game with the second-best penalty-killing unit in the country.