June 24, 2024

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Middlebury women’s hockey tops off program’s first-ever perfect season with a national title

4 min read

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (WCAX) – There was a minute in Saturday night’s NCAA Division III women’s college hockey national title recreation where the Middlebury Panthers believed the recreation was about, but then it wasn’t.

Less than a second remaining in the 3rd period of time, the Gustavus Adolphus Gusties — a program generating its initial look in the NCAA championship — located the back of the internet to mail the recreation to additional time at Kenyon Arena. After likely body by body in the replay booth, the referees issued the signal for the objective and the Panthers experienced to regroup after additional with the game leveled at two plans each and every.

But a group that has seemingly located a way all season extensive the moment all over again pulled off one thing distinctive with Middlebury’s Ellie Barney scoring with about 6 minutes to go in the added interval to provide a 3-2 win and the program’s sixth national title. It marks Middlebury’s to start with nationwide championship due to the fact the 2006 season as the victory also extends an presently record period with a system-finest 27 wins.

The sport remained deadlocked via considerably of the 3rd period of time until eventually the senior captain Madie Leidt slotted house the rebound off Katie Hargrave’s original shot attempt with 2:47 remaining in the match. Middlebury just needed to hang on to its 2-1 direct, but with .1 seconda remaining the Gusties uncovered a way to send the game to additional time. Online video confirmed Molly McHugh poked in a rebound into the suitable side of the net as Gustavus was skating with a 6-on-4 gain.

The feeling of the rug remaining pulled from beneath them when the Panthers believed they experienced the squad to contend for a nationwide title in each these seasons. This time about, the Panthers got their chance and confirmed just how excellent they are to skating their way to the progam’s to start with-ever excellent period.

“I essentially explained to them that the purpose the purpose counted was because they needed to play additional,” Middlebury head coach Monthly bill Mandigo stated. “They weren’t ready for the time to conclusion, they wanted to devote additional time with me.”

The NESCAC Mentor of the Calendar year and winningest mentor throughout women’s university hockey added that what will make this year’s group so unique is their resiliency. No make a difference the overtimes, 1-target game titles or taking part in from at the rear of this season, this Middlebury women’s hockey crew in no way faltered.

Penalties proved to sway the momentum in the Gusties favor to get started the countrywide title sport as Gustavus Adolphus received back-to-back again electric power performs midway by way of the to start with frame. But it was the Panthers that would seize the initially intention of the activity guiding Jenna Letterie breaking up a go in the defensive zone on a breakaway to objective. Letterie pounced and took gain to set Middlebury on top rated early.

In the 2nd interval, the site visitors evened up the rating at 1-1 with 7:30 on the clock, coming off an additional power engage in. Clara Billings set a shot from the slot beneath Middlebury’s freshman goalkeeper Sophia Merageas.

The game remained deadlocked by a great deal of the third period right up until the senior captain Madie Leidt slotted household the rebound off Katie Hargrave’s initial shot try with 2:47 still left in the sport. Middlebury just needed to hold on to its 2-1 lead, but with .1 seconds left the Gusties observed a way to send out the recreation to additional time. Movie evaluation confirmed Molly McHugh poked in a rebound into the appropriate facet of the net as Gustavus was skating with a 6-on-4 edge.

Middlebury arrived out in additional time decided. 7 photographs on objective later on and with about 6 minutes still left to enjoy, Eva Hendrikson connected with Ellie Barney on an outlet pass that led to Barney collecting her individual rebound off the Gustavus Adolphus goalkeeper to empty the Middlebury bench in celebration of getting countrywide champs after again.

“I just consider as a team, we are really resilient and we realized just one goal would not adjust the consequence of the activity,” Letterie mentioned. “We have been still concentrated, we have been nonetheless all set to go, and we just held stating, ‘We are successful this match, we are successful this video game. It’s not likely any other way.’”

Merageas in her incredibly to start with time, and in her quite to start with NCAA Match, served to preserve her side in the activity as she concluded with 29 whole will save and was named the tournament’s most excellent player.

“It’s a great team,” Mandigo explained. “We’re going to overlook the heck out of the seniors graduating and it is been a special, entertaining 12 months that I’ll try to remember for the relaxation of my existence.”

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