Women’s Hockey: Plattsburgh State Edges Middlebury, 2-1

Courtesy Middlebury Sports Information

MIDDLEBURY —¬†Plattsburgh State’s Kayla Meneghin scored 5:26 into the third period, breaking a 1-1 tie as the Cardinals slipped past Middlebury 2-1 Tuesday in Kenyon Arena. The fourth-ranked Panthers (12-4-1) return to NESCAC play this weekend, starting a two-game series with Wesleyan on Friday at 7:00 p.m., while second-ranked Plattsburgh State (16-2-1) heads to Oswego State at the same time. The setback was the first for the Panthers since early December, while the Cardinals extended their unbeaten streak to 10-0-1.

The visitors opened the scoring 7:29 into the game, as Melissa Sheeran skated up the right side from inside her zone, before wristing a shot past Middlebury goalieLin Han from the bottom of the circle. The hosts had a good opportunity to pull even late in the period, but Plattsburgh State goalie Brooke Wolejko made two key stops. She knocked away a shot from the point by Haley LaFontaine, before pinning an attempt on the rebound by Maddie Winslow under her right pad.

The visitors got off to a strong start in the second period, benefitting from a power play. Han came up big for the hosts, stopping a flurry of shots, including one by Hannah Kiraly from the right side on a rebound. The Panthers successfully navigated the shorthanded situation and knotted the game minutes later. Winslow dug the puck out from below the goal line and Sidney Portner elevated a shot from close range over Wolejko with 4:06 expired. Middlebury had a chance to take the lead when Winslow had a breakaway with just under seven minutes remaining, but Wolejko held her ground and made the save.

In the final period, Mackenzie Millen carried the puck up the left side and got off a shot from close range that Han stopped, but Meneghin crashed the net and poked the puck over the goal line at the 5:26 mark.

Middlebury’s best chance to get the equalizer came with 2:25 on the clock, as Jessica Young fed a pass out from to Portner, who fired a shot just wide of the net. The Panthers were able to get Han to the bench for an extra attacker in the closing seconds, but Plattsburgh State held on for the win.

Han finished with 22 saves for the hosts, while Wolejko had 41 for the Cardinals. Middlebury held a 42-24 edge in shots, Plattsburgh State went 0-4 on the power play and the Panthers were 0-3.