MIDDLEBURY, VT – The 4th-ranked Amherst College women's ice hockey team handed top-ranked Middlebury College its first loss of the season, with a 3-0 result at Kenyon Arena. The Panthers fall to 4-1-2 on the year, while the Jeffs improve to 6-0-0 and gain sole possession of first place in the NESCAC standings.
This is just the second win over Middlebury in the history of Amherst women's ice hockey. The shutout is the first suffered by the Panthers at home since a 1-0 loss to Bowdoin in the season-opener on Nov. 21, 2003.
Amherst threatened early as Tarasai Karega (Detroit, MI) just missed the net on a breakaway attempt. The Jeffs broke through at 8:35 with a power play goal as Kate Dennett (Highlands Ranch, CO) poked in a rebound after a bouncing puck had settled.
The Panthers had a solid opportunity on their second power play of the game, but Grace Waters' shot hit the post. The Jeffs took a 2-0 lead at 15:24, as Stephanie Clegg (Woburn, MA) scored on a rebound after an initial shot was saved by Alexi Bloom.
Both teams had some chances in the second period, but the Panthers were unable to solve Caroline Hu (Cerritos, CA) despite an 11-3 shots advantage in the period.
Amherst gained some breathing room early in the third period when Dennett netted her second of the game after a scramble in front. That would be the game's final goal as Middlebury ended the game with a 26-14 shots advantage.
Hu made 26 stops in goal to earn the shutout, while Bloom made 11 saves for the Panthers. The Lord Jeffs have been playing exceptional hockey and are off to a 6-0-0 start for the first time in program history. Amherst will break until after vacation, and will face Gustavus Adolphus Jan. 2, 2009 at 7 p.m. on the road.