Hartford, Conn. – Junior forward Jessica Young (Mission Hills, Kansas) scored the game-winning goal 2:32 into overtime to lead the visiting Middlebury College Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the Trinity College Bantams in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women's ice hockey action this evening at Williams Rink. Both teams were playing in their season opener and they will complete the two-game set in Hartford tomorrow at 4 p.m. Middlebury wins its fourth in a row over the Bantams, including a 3-1 victory in the NESCAC Championship Semifinals, which was also the last game both teams had played before tonight.
Trinity came out strong with a 10-to-4 shooting advantage in the first period and scored the game’s first goal 7:09 into the game. Junior forward Kelcie Finn (Weymouth, Mass.), less than a week after playing in the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Tournament for the Bantams in Maryland, sent the puck in front of the net from the right corner, and initial shots by both junior forward Melissa Maffeo (Melrose, Mass.) and first-year forward Olivia White (Oakville, Ontario) were stopped by Panther junior goaltender Julia Nueburger (Fayatteville, N.Y.) before junior defender Hannah Oganeku (Castle Pines, Colo.) knocked it into the net on the third try.
Middlebury turned things around after the first break, outshooting Trinity, 33-to-6 for the remainder of regulation and tying the game at 1-1 on a wrist shot from straight-on by junior forward Janka Hlinka (Stratford, Conn.) with 7:43 left in the second period. There was no scoring in the final frame, as Trinity junior goalie Jess Thulin (North Reading, Mass.) stopped all 19 shots in the period and Nueburger added five of her 24 saves. Middlebury possessed the puck for the majority of the overtime minutes and Thulin made three more saves to keep things going before Young redirected in a shot from the point by senior captain Victoria Laven (Fargo, N.D.) for the clincher.
Thulin finished with 38 saves in her Bantam debut, after transferring to Trinity from Colby this fall. The teams combined for 14 penalty minutes and combined to go 0-for-7 on power plays. Middlebury finished with a 40-to-25 shooting edge.