Middlebury wrapped up the home portion of the schedule with a 3-1 NESCAC victory over visiting Williams on Sunday. The second-ranked Panthers (17-2-3, 12-1-1) hit the road for the final weekend of the regular season with a pair of games at Bowdoin, while the Ephs (11-8-4, 8-6-2) host Plymouth State on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.
Williams jumped out to a 1-0 lead 5:58 into the opening period. Kelly McCarthy knocked in a pass from behind the net off the stick of CC Wallin. The hosts used a late power-play tally to send the teams into the first intermission deadlocked at 1-1. Mollie Dalbey slid a pass from behind the net to Madie Leidt at the bottom of the left circle, who one-timed a shot past Williams goalie Chloe Heiting with just 8.2 seconds left on the clock.
Middlebury didn't waste any time taking its first lead in the second stanza, pulling ahead after just 1:52 of action. Sidney Portner skated up the left side and wired a perfect shot into the upper-right corner of the net for her fourth tally of the season. The Ephs made a push with on a power play later in the period, with Panther goalie Lin Han making a leg save on a bid by Delaney Szlezyngier and Avery Dunn's rebound attempt. Leidt increased Middlebury's lead to 3-1 with 2:33 on the clock, wristing a shot from the left circle past Heiting. The score was her conference-leading 15th of the campaign.
In the final period, Middlebury relied on its conference-leading penalty killing unit to wash out 15 seconds of carryover time, before muting a second opportunity just over a minute later. Han came up big in the late stages, stopping Elizabeth Welch with a pad save from the slot. The Ephs pulled Heiting for the final 2:35 looking to close the margin to a goal, but the hosts protected the lead for the 3-1 final.
Han earned victory in goal for the Panthers with 22 saves, while Heiting registered 25 stops for the hosts.
Middlebury shined again on special teams, going 1-3 on the power play and killing off three shorthanded situations, increasing its season total to a perfect 43-43 in NESCAC play.