Middlebury, Vt. - No. 6-ranked Middlebury College scored twice in the first period to come away with a 2-0 victory over the Trinity College Bantams on the opening night of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women's hockey season at Kenyon Arena on Middlebury's campus. The two teams conclude the season series tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m.
Trinity had the first quality scoring chance of the opening period when junior Claire Foran (Greenwich, Conn.) fired a shot from the right side that Panther starting goalie Lin Han (Toronto, Ontario) turned aside with 6:39 on the clock. The rebound went directly to first-year Abigail Riskevich (Shakopee, Minn.) by the left post, but Panther defender Haley LaFontaine (Summit, N.J.) knocked the puck away before Riskevich could get off a shot.
Less than a minute later, Middlebury broke through with the game's first goal. Maddie Winslow (Manchester, Vt.) took a shot from the left circle that Trinity senior netminder Sydney Belinskas (Port Orange, Fla.) denied, but the rebound went right to Katherine Jackson (Portsmouth, R.I.), who buried the chance for a 1-0 lead with 5:43 left in the period. Middlebury made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at the 16:21 mark, as Jessica Young (Mission Hills, Kan.) jammed in a rebound from in the crease on a shot by Elizabeth Wulf (Larchmont, N.Y.).
The two teams skated through a scoreless middle stanza, but had their chances. Middlebury's Madie Leidt (Killingworth, Conn.) fired a shot from the slot off the left post with less than five minutes expired, while Trinity's best opportunity came on a five-on-three power play in the closing minutes. Han made a tough shoulder save on a rising shot by rookie Taylor Peracchio (Wayne, N.J.) from the right circle, keeping the score at 2-0 after 40 minutes of play.
The Bantams had several chances to close the gap in the third period, as they were awarded four power plays in the final 12 minutes. On the first one, Young had the best chance on either side with a breakaway, but her shot missed wide left. Trinity's best flurry came with just under five minutes to play when a shot by senior Tasha Adams (Reston, Va.) was stopped and Han followed that up with a save on sophomore Olivia White's (Oakville, Ontario) rebound attempt, preserving her second-career shutout.
Belinskas finished with 23 saves for the Bantams, as the visitors held a 27-25 edge in shots. Middlebury went 1-4 on the power play, while Trinity came up empty in seven opportunities.