Middlebury downs Williams 2-0

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — The Williams College women's hockey team (12-10-1) lost to NESCAC opponent Middlebury College (16-4-3) tonight 2-0. Sophomore Jessica Young (Mission Hills, KS) scored the game winning goal at 6:29 in the first period. The Ephs are now 8-7-0 for conference play, while the Panthers are 12-0-3.

Middlebury took advantage of Williams' first penalty of the game, scoring 15 seconds into the power play to go up 1-0 in the first period. Young scored assisted by her two teammates, junior Kelly Sherman (Washington, DC) and sophomore Maddie Winslow (Manchester, VT).

Play went up and down the ice after the Middlebury goal. At 10:29, the Ephs had scoring opportunities on the power play, but failed to convert a goal. 

With 7 minutes left in the period, Williams freshman goalie Julia Mini (Fayetteville, NY) made a good glove save off a shot from the top of the circle to keep it a one goal game.

Then, with 2:30 left in the period, Mini made another great butterfly save off a shot from below the hashmarks.

The Ephs received a penalty at the end of the first that carried over to the beginning of the second period. With 10 seconds to go in the  first period, junior Chelsey Stevenson (Tilbury, ONT) blocked a slap shot to keep the puck out of the Williams end.

Williams began the second period displaying good defense, earning a successful penalty kill. 

Mini stayed tough between the pipes throughout the second frame. At 6:33, she made a good blocker save off a shot close in to keep it a one goal game. 

Play picked up in the second half of the period. Junior Hanna Beattie (Whitehouse Station, NJ) had a good look off a high shot from the point, but Middlebury goalie Julia Neuburger (Fayetteville, NY) made a glove save to stop play.

With 7 minutes to go in the period, a Middlebury forward won the face off after Neuburger's save, and carried the puck up the the ice to rush the Williams net. Mini made a butterfly save to deflect the puck into the corner. Senior Natalie Bernstein (Kenilworth, IL) picked up the puck and carried it back down the ice to take a high shot from the top of the circle. The puck hit the post and deflected into the corner.

At 15:42, Middlebury forced a turnover in the neutral zone. Freshman Katherine Jackson (Portsmouth, RI) carried the puck up the boards and scored a top shelf goal on Mini's glove side to make it 2-0 for the Panthers.

Williams went on the power play at 17:58, but Neuburger stayed big in net to keep it 2-0 for Middlebury going into the final period. 

The Ephs continued their fast paced play at the beginning of the third. At 7:20, the Ephs received a delayed penalty, so Middlebury pulled their goalie to get a 6 on 5 advantage. Mini stayed big in net holding off the Panthers with several saves until Williams gained control of the puck.

On the penalty kill, the Ephs showed good defensive and offensive play. At 7:48 junior Emily Krueger (Manasquan, NJ) took a shot from the top of the slot, but Neuburger covered up the puck to stop play.

Playing physical hockey, the Panthers earned a penalty of their own for 30 seconds of 4 on 4 hockey. The score remained 2-0 after the penalties.

Play went back and forth, until  Williams went on the power play at 17:04. Though they didn't score, head coach Meghan Gillis said the Ephs improved with the one man advantage.

"We were outworked early on in our first three power plays, but we kept it simple on our last one" commented head coach Meghan Gillis, "which gave us some good scoring chances."

The Ephs pressured Middlebury when they pulled their goalie with one minute remaining in the game, but were unable to convert.  

"We had a lot of good chances tonight, so tomorrow we'll focus on capitalizing on our chances and containing Middlebury's speed," reflected coach Gillis.

Mini made a total of 18 saves, while Neuburger earned a shut out with 24 saves.

The Ephs face off against Middlebury tomorrow night at Kenyon Arena. The puck drops at 7pm.