MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – For the second consecutive season, the eighth-seeded Wesleyan University women's ice hockey team faced off against top-seeded and No. 4-ranked Middlebury in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC Tournament on Saturday afternoon, as the Panthers utilized a four-goal output in the second period to earn a 5-0 win at Kenyon Arena.
The Panthers (18-4-3, 13-1-2 NESCAC) will face off against fifth-seeded Bowdoin in the semifinals on Saturday, March 3, at 1 p.m. in Middlebury, Vt. The Cardinals (6-15-4, 2-10-4 NESCAC), who were making their sixth all-time appearance in the NESCAC playoffs, compiled some great moments during the 2017-18 season, including beating then-No. 8-ranked Amherst, 2-1, on Feb. 16, and edging Hamilton, 3-1, on Jan. 20.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Cardinals went on the power play at the 4:19 mark of the first, but Middlebury senior forward Maddie Winslow stole the puck in the Panthers' defensive zone, and cruised through the neutral zone and into the attacking end. She dumped the puck to senior forward Jessica Young at the right wing, and then Winslow skated to the front of the net and tipped in a pass from the right circle by Young at the 4:32 mark, giving Middlebury a 1-0 lead with its second short-handed goal of the season.
- Wesleyan generated a scoring chance with three minutes, 40 seconds elapsed in the second, as senior forward Cici Frattasio and senior Alex Horton embarked on a 2-on-1 in the offensive zone. Frattasio laced a pass in front of the net from the left circle, but before Horton was able to put a stick on it, Panthers sophomore goalie Lin Han used her stick to knock the puck out of danger.
- Middlebury then transitioned quickly to offense, with senior forward Janka Hlinka chipping a puck up the boards to freshman forward Morgan Griffin, who sent a heads-up indirect pass off the boards to freshman forward Ellie Barney. The Mequon, Wis. native then carried up ice and attacked the net on the left side, sneaking a puck pass Cardinals sophomore goalie Allegra Grant short side for a 2-0 advantage at the 3:47 mark of the second.
- Freshman forward Madie Leidt gave her team a three-goal advantage with 11:34 left in the middle frame, sniping a slap shot from the left point into the bottom left corner of the goal on the power play. The hosts extended their lead to 4-0 three minutes, two seconds, later. Young curled through the slot, and ripped a shot from the left circle, which created a lively rebound, as sophomore forward Sidney Portner netted the rebound from the edge of the crease.
- The Panthers concluded the scoring with 55 seconds left in the second, as Leidt nailed a shot from the right slot into the top-right corner of the net off a feed by Winslow.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Sophomore goalie Sam Smith was phenomenal in relief for the Cardinals, stopping all 17 shots during the final 28 minutes, 32 seconds. Han (9-3-2) earned the win in net for the hosts, saving all 10 shots for her sixth shutout of the season.
- Middlebury claimed a 36-10 lead in shots on goal, including a 26-5 edge during the final 40 minutes.
- The hosts went 1-for-3 on the advantage, and the visitors were unable to convert on any of their three power plays.
- Sophomore forward Colleen Castro won 5-of-10 draws for Wesleyan, and freshman forward Sydnee Goyer contributed with a 9-for-19 showing at the dot. Senior forward Elizabeth Wulf won 10-of-17 faceoffs for the Panthers, while Hlinka went 6-for-8.