Middlebury and Amherst battled to a 1-1 tie in the opener of a two-game NESCAC series on Friday night in Kenyon Arena. The eighth-ranked Panthers (2-0-1, 2-0-1) and Mammoths (1-1-1, 1-1-1) conclude their weekend set on Saturday with a 3:00 p.m. faceoff.
Amherst had the better of the early chances in the initial period, as Emma Flynn's rising shot from the left circle was bodied away by Middlebury goalie Lin Han with 16:50 on the clock. Minutes later, Han denied Kate Pohl from point-blank range on a pair of attempts. The Panthers had two good opportunities late in the frame with Mary Thompson being stopped from the top of the crease and Sidney Portner from the left side.
The visitors had a pair of great chances midway through the middle stanza, with Han coming up with key stops on both. She first made a sprawling save while on the ice to rob Flynn of a tally, before turning away Rose Mroczka on a partial breakaway. Middlebury broke the scoreless tie with 1:07 left in the period when Delanie Goniwiecha won the puck in the corner and pushed a short pass to Portner in the left circle. Porter fed Anna Zumwinkle at the point, who wristed a shot through traffic that eluded Mammoth goalie Caitlin Walker.
Amherst knotted the game at 1-1 with 8:29 remaining in regulation, as Pohl buried a shot from the slot after the puck bounced off a player in front of the net. The goal was the first allowed by the Panthers this season, as the team started the year without allowing a score in 171:31. With just under five minutes left, Han prevented the guests from taking the lead, stopping Mia DelRosso from close range and Leslie Schwartz on the rebound bid.
In the extra five-minute session, Middlebury came within inches of winning the contest when Madie Leidt directed a shot off the cross bar with 2:25 on the clock. Thompson also came close to ending the game, but her shot from the slot hit off Walker's glove and went just wide of the right post as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Han stopped 22-23 shots for the Panthers, while Walker finished with 32 saves on 33 Middlebury attempts.
The hosts went 0-3 on the power play and muted all four Mammoth opportunities.