Panthers Blank Polar Bears

Lin Han earned her 17th-career shutout.
Lin Han earned her 17th-career shutout.

Second-ranked Middlebury shutout Bowdoin (8-12-3, 4-10-1) by a 3-0 score on Friday night in game one of a two-game NESCAC series. The Panthers (18-2-3, 13-1-1) face the Polar Bears again on Saturday, this time with a 3:00 p.m. faceoff.

Middlebury took a 1-0 lead at the 7:09 mark of the first period when Sidner Portner took advantage of a turnover and wristed a shot into the top-left corner of the net. The lead doubled at 13:30 when Jenna Letterie converted a breakaway with a quick shot to the top-right corner of the goal. Bowdoin nearly got on the board with 1:30 left in period, but Panther netminder Lin Han made a nice save to deny Izzi Stoddard on a breakaway.

After a scoreless second period, Middlebury continued to pressure, but could not add to its lead until late in the third. The Panthers sealed the game when Alexis Ryan collected a loose puck behind the Panther net and banked a pass off the right side boards to Letterie. Just outside her team's own blue line, Letterie sent a lengthy shot down the ice and into Bowdoin's net for the 3-0 win.

Han made 13 saves in goal to earn her 17th-career shutout, while Stoddard finished with 33 stops. The shutout was the 11th for the team in 23 games this season, as the Panthers remained perfect on the penalty kill this season (45-45), by denying a pair of Polar Bear chances.