Courtesy Middlebury and Vermont Sports Information Offices
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WILLIAMSTOWN, MA. — The Middlebury women clinched the top seed in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament, securing a key 4-0 road win at Williams on Saturday afternoon. The second-ranked Panthers (16-2-3, 11-1-1) cap the two-game series with the Ephs (11-7-4, 8-5-2) on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in Kenyon Arena.
The hosts had a good opportunity to open the scoring the game’s first three minutes when Gabi Montembeault spun and fired a shot from the slot that Panther goalie Anna Goldstein denied. Middlebury’s best chance came with 6:02 on the clock, as Ellie Barney raced up the left wing and her shot off the rush was shouldered aside by Eph netminder Chloe Heiting. The teams went into the first intermission in a scoreless tie.
The Panthers grabbed a 1-0 lead with a power-play marker with 7:21 expired in the middle stanza. Eva Hendrikson’s shot from the point went through traffic for her second tally of the season. The visitors nearly doubled their advantage minutes later on another power play, but Heiting knocked down a shot by Madie Leidt from the slot and thwarted Claudia Vira on the rebound. The best scoring chance for Williams came with 1:50 on the clock, as Elizabeth Welch’s sweeping shot was smothered by Goldstein.
In the final period, Middlebury exploded for three insurance goals, starting at the 5:04 mark when Leidt one-timed a shot from the slot following a Williams turnover. The Panthers cashed in on another power-play opportunity just over two minutes later when Jenna Letterie redirected in Hendrikson’s slap pass from the point, while she was camped out by the left post. Letterie closed out the scoring with her second of the contest with 47.1 seconds remaining for the 4-0 final.
Middlebury’s defense was tremendous in the final frame, limiting Williams to a lone shot on goal for a 23-16 edge for the game.
Goldstein finished with 16 saves for her fifth shutout of the season and second in as many starts, while Heiting had 19 stops for the hosts.
Middlebury excelled on special teams, going 2-3 on the power play and killed off both shorthanded situations. The Panthers are a perfect 40-40 on the penalty kill this season against NESCAC foes.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury grabbed an early 1-0 lead, but Williams scored five-straight goals, as the Ephs handed the Panthers men (8-11-3, 6-7-3) a 5-3 setback Saturday in Kenyon Arena. Middlebury is home again on Friday hosting Amherst, while the Ephs (15-6-1, 12-4-0) entertain Hamilton the same day with both contests starting at 7:00 p.m.
The hosts had a pair of power plays in the opening 10 minutes, but were unable to solve Williams goalie Cosimo Lazzarino. The Ephs had a good chance just past the midway mark when Max Fuld circled the net with his rising shot that hit Panther netminder Brian Ketchabaw in the shoulder. Middlebury cashed in on its third man-advantage of the period, when Alex Heinritz’s shot from the left circle hit off a defenseman’s skate and went into the net. That tally came with 4:46 on the clock as the hosts went into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.
The visitors had a territorial edge in the second frame, thanks in part to three power plays. The Ephs tied the game 4:21 into the period, when Nick Van Belle tucked in a puck that bounced off teammate Bobby Beniers in front of the net for a power-play goal. With 8:21 on the clock, Mac Carso wired a shot into the upper corner of the net from the right circle on a rush as the visitors took the lead. Tyler Scott increased the advantage to 3-1, as he slipped a shot through Ketchabaw from the left wing with the teams skating four players aside.
Williams increased its lead to 4-1 just 51 seconds into the final period, as Niko Karamanis scored from the right side after a good keep in at the point by Jack McCool. McCool made it 5-1 with a high shot from the right circle with 12:51 on the clock.
Middlebury pushed back, taking advantage of a power play with 5:05 remaining. Owen Powers set up Mitchell Allen for a redirection in front of the net for his sixth marker of the season. The Panthers continued to press and were rewarded with another score with 2:15 on the clock with goalie Adam Wisco on the bench in favor of an extra skater. Powers buried a shot from the slot off a feed from Antoine Belisle in the corner to make it a 5-3 final.
Ketchabaw finished with 14 saves in 40:51 of game time, while Wisco had seven saves in just under a period. Lazzarino had 25 stops for the Ephs.
Middlebury had a narrow 28-26 edge in shots and each team converted once on the power play. Williams had three chances and the Panthers had six opportunities.
BURLINGTON — Andrew Lucas cut the Providence lead to one with 7:12 to play in the third period, but the 14th-ranked Friars held off a Vermont Catamount push to escape with a 3-2 Hockey East win Saturday night.
“I am so proud of our team’s effort this weekend, and our composure displayed tonight,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon. “Providence capitalized on their power plays early and we had to battle back in the game. I thought the second half of the game was outstanding for our team.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Providence opened the scoring on its second power play chance of the game at 9:12 of the first period. While on the kill, Vermont was penalized for the third time and Patrick Moynihan found the back of the net on the delayed call.
Tyce Thompson made it 2-0 Providence at 10:33 of the first. The goal marked PC’s second power play goal of the game on an extended 5-on-3 advantage.
Max Kaufman cut the Providence lead in half at 12:00 of the first period. The junior skated down the right side on a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush with Bryce Misley, who hit Kaufman across the slot for the one-time goal.
Providence regained a two-goal lead at 16:29 of the second period. During 4-on-4 play, Max Crozier netted his fourth of the season with assists from Parker Ford and Jack Dugan.
Lucas brought Vermont within a goal at 12:48 of the third period. Lucas received a blue line pass from Christian Evers before his shot deflected off a Providence defenseman and through Michael Lackey.
Vermont pushed in the final minutes for an equalizer, but could not get a third goal by Lackey.
Vermont finished the game with a 41-34 advantage in shots, despite Providence opening the game with a 15-2 edge behind four power play opportunities.
Providence was 2-for-4 on the power play in the first period and ended the night 2-for-6. Vermont went 1-for-5 on power play chances.
Stefanos Lekkas ended the night with 31 saves. Providence netminder Michael Lackey recorded 39 saves to pick up the win.
Vermont heads to Orono, Maine for a Hockey East weekend series against the Maine Black Bears (15-10-4, 9-8-2 HEA). Vermont and Maine are scheduled to play at 7 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 21) before a 4:30 p.m. start on Saturday (Feb. 22). Saturday’s game will broadcast on NESN.
WORCESTER, MA. — Carlie Magier’s goal with just over a minute left in regulation lifted Holy Cross (4-21-5, 4-18-2 HEAW) to a 2-1 victory over Vermont (10-15-7, 7-13-5 HEAW) in Hockey East women’s action on Saturday afternoon at the Hart Center.
“I’m really disappointed that we couldn’t bring our A-game today with so much on the line,” head coach Jim Plumer said. “Credit to Holy Cross’ goalie for another great game, but we simply weren’t as sharp as we needed to be. We will have to be better tomorrow.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Catamounts controlled the play in the first period with a 14-2 shot advantage. UVM had established zone time for the full two minutes of an early power play, but were unable to strike.
Maggie Hallisey opened the scoring with her first goal of the season 6:30 into the second period. The forward capitalized on a rebound in front of Blanka Škodová (20 saves) for a power-play marker. Carly Beniek and Darci Johal were credited with assists on the tally.
Ève-Audrey Picard answered for the Cats late in the frame to tie the game at 1-1. The senior entered the Crusaders’ zone on the rush and fired a shot that beat Jada Brenon (40 saves) low blocker-side. Anna Erickson and Sara Levesque earned assists on the tying marker.
Vermont pushed for the lead in the third period, outshooting Holy Cross 13-5. But in the late minutes, Magier deflected a shot past Škodová to clinch the game. The sophomore notched her team-leading fifth goal of the season with 1:11 left in regulation.
The Catamounts brought on the extra attacker for the final 1:11, but timely saves by Brenon and blocks by the Crusader defense stymied any tying attempts.
Picard’s goal was the 97th point of her career, which puts her in a tie for the second-most points all-time at UVM. She matches Dayna Colang ’16 and Brittany Zuback ’15 who trail only Amanda Pelkey ’15 with 105 points.
Vermont and Holy Cross return to action on Sunday (Feb. 16) at 12 p.m. Fans can watch the Catamounts’ final road game of the regular season on NESN.
BURLINGTON — The Vermont men’s hockey team suffered another heartbreaking loss, this time 3-2 to Providence on Saturday night inside Gutterson Fieldhouse. Details to follow.