AMHERST, MA - Middlebury College senior forward Michelle Labbe (Pt. Claire, Quebec) scored the first and last goals of the game, both assisted by sophomore twin sisters Erin and Amber Neil (Port Crane, NY), as the visiting Panthers crushed Amherst College 8-0 in an ECAC women's ice hockey matchup on Saturday. Seven different players scored for Middlebury (15-1-1)-the top ranked team in the nation according to the latest U.S. College Hockey Online Division III poll.
The Panthers found the net four times in the game's first 10 minutes to take a 4-0 lead at the first intermission. After Labbe opened the barrage at 5:33, sophomore Angela Kapus (Milwaukie, OR) connected at 6:06, followed by junior Anna Hastings (Pomfret, CT) at 8:43 and junior Nina Kieves (Minneapolis, MN) at 9:13.
Middlebury then scored three more goals during a frenetic two-minute span in the second period. Nina Kieves' twin sister, junior Nico Kieves (Minneapolis, MN), struck first with a right-handed wrist shot at 13:33, before freshman forward Jean Butler (W. Hartford, CT) cracked the scoring column just 17 seconds later with her fourth goal of the season. Amber Neil capped the second period onslaught with a nifty one-timer at 15:26 off a perfect feed from Labbe, who notched her team-leading 15th goal of the season at the end of the third period to set the final score at 8-0.
Middlebury freshman goaltender Kati Madouras (White Plains, NY) turned away nine shots for her third career shutout. Meanwhile, Amherst sophomore Heidi Alexander (Edina, MN) posted 23 saves in defeat, as the Jeffs fell to 6-13-1 on the season.
Amherst returns to action tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon for its final home game of the season against the University of Connecticut at 3:00, before finishing its 2001 slate with a trio of road games at Williams, Colby and Bowdoin Colleges next week.