Courtesy Middlebury Sports Information
Plattsburgh, NY. — The Middlebury women’s hockey team was defeated 4-1 by Elmira in the third-place game at the NCAA Championships. The Panthers finish their season with a 21-6-3 mark, including a NESCAC Championship title, while the Soaring Eagles complete 2015-16 with a record of 23-5-1. This was the third time Middlebury has played in the third-place game, earning wins in 2009 and 2011.
Elmira took a 1-0 lead just 14 seconds into the game when Maddy Jerolman put home a rebound after the initial shot from Olivia Nystrom had been saved.
Middlebury answered with a power-play goal at the 3:57 mark of the first period when Jenna Marotta netted her goal of the season. Julia Wardwell fed the puck toMaddie Winslow on the left, who made a cross-slot pass to Marotta for the one-timer to knot the game at 1-1.
Elmira had a good scoring opportunity at the 7:50 mark, but Erin Kishoni’s bid from the high slot was denied by Panther netminder Marisa Dreher (24 saves). Winslow broke up the ice seconds later for Middlebury, beating a defender with a great move to the middle of the ice before her shot was denied by Elmira goalie Kyle Nelson (24 saves).
The Soaring Eagles had a chance to take the lead on a power play that began at the 8:19 mark, but a shot from Jerolman hit the crossbar. Elmira broke through later in the period at 14:38, when Katie Granato knocked home a puck in the slot that had bounced high into the air.
Middlebury nearly tied the game with 10 seconds remaining in the opening period, but a bid from Jessica Young after a feed from Winslow went just wide of the Soaring Eagle net.
Elmira took a 3-1 lead when Johanna Eidensten’s backhander from the right face-off circle squirted past a screened Dreher 4:37 into the second session. The Panthers had an unsuccessful power play at the 5:18 mark, followed by a big flurry at 10:10, but were unable to close the gap. After being outshot 13-8 in the first period, the Panthers held a 9-5 edge in shots on goals during the second.
Each team was unsuccessful on power plays in the third before the Panthers put some good pressure on the Elmira net, ending up with a power play at the 9:26 mark. Middlebury had some great looks with the extra player, but was unable to get one past Nelson.
Elmira’s Jessica Prance added an empty-net goal with 1:48 remaining to seal the 4-1 win. The Soaring Eagles finished the game with a 28-25 edge in shots on goal.