Knotted at 1-1 heading into the third period, the No. 2 Middlebury women's hockey team scored twice to top Wesleyan 3-1 on Friday night. With the victory, the Panthers (9-0-2, 4-0-2) improve extend their unbeaten streak to 11, while the Cardinals fall to 6-5-1 overall and 0-4-1 in conference play. The teams play their second game of the series on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in Middletown, Conn.
Middlebury opened the scoring at the 5:50 mark of the first period. Jenna Letterie forced a turnover, before feeding the puck to Madie Leidt who sent the puck top-shelf for the 1-0 edge. The Cardinals had a good chance to tie the game with 11:40 expired, but Colleen Castro's attempt was foiled by Panther goalie Lin Han.
Out of the break, Leidt had a good opportunity to give Middlebury a two-goal lead, but her breakaway attempted hit the crossbar and careened away. The Panthers skated 5-on-3 for 1:3 beginning at the 6:37 mark, but a strong Cardinal defense denied the visitors another score. Wesleyan knotted the game 1-1 with 10:15 expired when Audrey McMahon one-timed a centering pass from Cali Stevens.
After 11:10 of scoreless play in the third period, Audrey Lazar put her team up 2-1 with a goal on a rebound after a shot from Leidt had been saved. The Panthers increased the lead to 3-1 when Sidney Portner wrister home a shot for her fifth goal of the season after a nice feed from Katie Hargrave. The Cardinals earned a power play with 2:23 remaining, but the Panther defense held to secure the 3-1 victory.
Han earned the win in goal for the Panthers, stopping 16 shots, while Wesleyan's Allegra Grant saved 33 over 58:01 of play. Middlebury held a 33-16 advantage in shots.