Special Teams Carry #2 Panthers Past Trinity

Mollie Dalbey scored twice in Saturday's win over Trinity. (Will Costello)
Mollie Dalbey scored twice in Saturday's win over Trinity. (Will Costello)

Middlebury netted three power-play goals and erased all six shorthanded situations, as the Panthers earned a 4-1 victory over visiting Trinity on Saturday. Second-ranked Middlebury (14-2-3, 9-1-1) and the Bantams (5-10-2, 0-9-2) wrap up their two-game series Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in Kenyon Arena.

Trinity got the early jump on the Panthers, scoring 3:27 into the game. Ethel Wilhemson's shot from the bottom of the left circle fluttered over Middlebury goalie Lin Han for a 1-0 Bantam lead. The hosts pulled even with a power-play marker with 12:59 on the clock, as Maddie Bayard cleaned up a rebound on a shot from the point by Anna Zumwinkle. The Panthers tacked on another goal with the player advantage when Mollie Dalbey slid in an attempt from the top of the crease for her first collegiate goal. That tally came 5:23 before the first intermission, after Jenna Letterie was denied on the original chance.

In the middle stanza, Middlebury's penalty killing unit erased three Bantam power plays with Ashley McDonald making several key clears during that span to protect the one-goal lead. The Panthers tacked on a late tally for a 3-1 cushion when Letterie's shot from the right wing was kicked out into the slot by Trinity goalie Stephanie Garvis. Katie Hargrave, who drove the net, deposited the rebound behind Garvis with 1:07 on the clock.

Middlebury added the only score of the final period on a nice passing play that started in the neutral zone. Madie Leidt chipped the puck ahead to Letterie on the far boards, who sent a perfect centering pass to the top of the crease where Dalbey directed in her second power-play goal of the contest with only 25 seconds ticked off the clock. The hosts killed off two Bantam player advantages later in the frame to finish a perfect 6-6, keeping the score 4-1 at the final horn.

Han earned the win in goal for the Panthers with 19 saves, while Garvis had 35 stops for Trinity. Middlebury finished 3-6 on the power play. By muting all six Bantam power plays, the Panthers are a perfect 35-35 on the penalty kill in conference play, while ranking second nationally at 94.7 percent (54-57).