Middlebury completed a NESCAC weekend sweep at Wesleyan (6-6-1, 0-5-1), as the second-ranked Panthers netted a pair of goals in the third period for a 3-1 triumph on Saturday. Middlebury (10-0-2, 5-0-1) puts its 12-game unbeaten streak on the line Tuesday, traveling to top-ranked Plattsburgh at 7:00 p.m.
The Panthers, which boast the best team defense in the country, held the hosts without a shot on goal for the first 11 minutes of the game. The Cardinals did get a scoring chance with Colleen Castro firing a shot from inside the left circle that Panther goalie Lin Han snared with her glove. Jenna Letterie gave Middlebury a boost in the final minutes of the frame, stealing a Wesleyan clearing attempt for a shot and then getting a stab at the rebound, but was denied by Cardinal goalie Allegra Grant to keep the game scoreless at the first intermission.
Katie Hargrave had a quality chance in the opening minutes of the second stanza for the visitors, as she circled into the slot and fired a high shot that Grant shrugged aside. Wesleyan's Caitlin Reilly had an opportunity moments later, with her bid from the inside of the right circle stopped by Han. Caroline Seibold gave the hosts a 1-0 lead with 9:25 expired when her shot from along the right wall went through traffic and eluded Han. Middlebury finally solved Grant with 38 seconds left in the period when Madie Leidt flipped in a rebound as she dove to the ice in the slot.
Middlebury's defense led the charge in the final 20 minutes, allowing only one shot on goal. During that time, the offense picked up a pair of goals with one coming early and the other in the latter stages of the frame. Morgan Griffin gave the Panthers their first lead with 2:19 expired, sweeping a low shot inside the left post on the rush. Leidt made it a 3-1 cushion when she jammed in a rebound on a shot from Anna Zumwinkle with 5:32 on the clock for an insurance goal.
Han stopped 10-11 of the shots she faced, while Grant was much busier, making 39 saves on 42 Middlebury attempts.
Middlebury came up empty on five power plays, killing off the lone Cardinal advantage. The Panthers have killed off 31-32 shorthanded situations this season, ranking third in Division III.