Middlebury, Vt. - The visiting Trinity College Bantams lost, 4-1, against the Middlebury College Panthers in the quarterfinal round of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women's Ice Hockey Quarterfinals at Kenyon Arena this afternoon. No. 8-seeded Trinity closes the year with an 8-13-4 record, whilet top-seeded Middlebury is now 20-2-3 and advances to the conference semifinals next weekend.
In the opening period, the teams played a tight defensive game with a limited number of shots on goal. Trinity had a good chance with seven minutes expired when junior Sierra Lee’s (Ferguson's Cove, Nova Scotia) shot in the slot was blocked by Middlebury’s Claudia Vira and Cassidy McNeeley (South Easton, Mass.) collected the rebound and fired a shot just wide of the left post. The Panthers opened the scoring with 8:11 on the clock on Elise Park’s first-career goal on a shot from the point. The hosts tacked on a 5-on-3 power-play goal in the final seconds, as Madie Leidt wired a shot into the upper corner of the net with 13.6 seconds left before the intermission.
The Bantams cut the margin to a goal with 7:59 remaining in the middle stanza, netting a power-play goal. Rookie forward Ethel Wilhlemsson (Stockhol, Sweden) shot from the slot but was stopped by Panther goalie Lin Han. Junior forward Martha Peppes (Licoln, R.I.) tucked the rebound into the net to make it a 2-1 contest. The hosts regained their two-goal cushion less than four minutes later when Jenna Letterie’s bid was denied by Trinity senior netminder Kai-Lilly Karpman (Playa del Ray, Calif.) only to have Katie Hargrave dive into the crease and jam the puck over the goal line for a 3-1 lead.
Middlebury pressed to add to its lead in the third frame, as Leidt raced in on goal with a rising shot that was turned aside. She collected the rebound behind the net, sliding a pass to Hargrave on the doorstep with her quick shot being smothered by Karpman. The Bantams had a power play with just over 12 minutes remaining, as sophomore forward Ellie Fellows (Westport, Mass.) had the best chance on the advantage with a shot from the right circle that Han corralled. Trinity pulled Karpman for the final 1:01, but Leidt scored into an empty net with 5.3 seconds left. Han stopped 20 of 21 shots in goal for the Panthers, while Karpman had 23 saves. Middlebury held a 27-21 edge in shots as each team converted once on the power play with the Bantams getting four opportunities and the Panthers one.