Hockey Sweeps Colby, Ready for Playoffs

Middlebury Athletic Communications

By SEBASTIAN SANCHEZ

Middlebury women’s hockey played eight games in the span of two weeks, winning six of them and solidifying a top spot before the playoffs begin. The team’s most recent victories came against the Colby Mules on Feb. 9 and 10

Even though the Mules held the Panthers scoreless through the first period, Middlebury shot 15 of the 16 shots on goal, keeping Colby’s goaltender busy.  The visitors finally broke the stalemate at the 6:39 mark. Haley LaFontaine’18 started the play behind Middlebury’s net, dangled the puck up the ice and then found Ellie Barney ’21 on the left side, who finished in the bottom right corner — the shorthanded goal came at the 6:39 mark.

After Barney’s firsts score, Middlebury could not find another opportunity in the second period and moved to the third with a 1-0 lead. The Mules could not find a shot passed Lin Han ’20, who would finish with her team-leading fifth shutout. With two minutes left, the Mules pulled their goalie hoping to find someway around Han, but Middlebury iced the game with .3 seconds left, as LaFontaine found the back of the open net. The win marked the tenth shutout victory for the Panthers this season and would return to action on Saturday to close their doubleheader.

Middlebury completed the sweep at Colby, outscoring their opponents 7-2, while taking an unprecedented 52 shots on goal over the course of the game. The Panthers took the lead on a power-play opportunity thanks to a score by Jessica Young ’18, assisted by Janka Hlinka ’18. Barney scored her second goal in just as many games moments later, poking the puck through the legs of Colby’s goaltender giving the guests a 2-0 advantage.

The Mules got on the board for the first time all weekend in the second stanza, but not before Middlebury cashed in on another power-play. Anna Zumwinkle ’20 took a pass from the left point, skated to the high slot, fired the shot through several defenders and found the back of the net to give the Panthers a 3-1 lead. Their momentum was sustained throughout the third period as Middlebury saw scores four scores from three different Panthers.

Madie Leidt ’21 wristed the shot past the goaltender on the third power-play opportunity for the Panthers making it 4-1. Katrina Shuchuk ’19 scored her first of two goals three minutes after Ledit, one timing a pass from Elizabeth Wulf ’18 and finding the back of the net to give the guest a 5-1 advantage. The Mules scored to cut into the lead, but the Panthers handily response with another power-play goal, this time by captain Janka Hlinka ’18 shooting from the penalty box and giving the guests a 6-2 lead. Shuchuk tacked on her second goal of the night to give the Panthers a season-high, seven goal win.

To say it has been a long and tough stretch, would be an understatement,” said Elizabeth Wulf ’18. “We will be taking this week to get healthy, rest our minds and bodies and be ready to play our best hockey heading into the playoffs. We want to solidify our spot at the top, while carrying the momentum. Our mentality is simple: we feel that we can beat any team in the country and in order to do so, we need to play our best hockey”

The Panthers return to action this weekend with a Nescac doubleheader against the Williams Purple Ephs.

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Hockey Sweeps Colby, Ready for Playoffs