Amherst Skates to Scoreless Tie At Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY, VT – Sixty-five minutes wasn't enough time to decide a winner in a battle between two of Division III's elite women's hockey teams, as top-ranked Amherst College (9-1-3, 6-0-2 NESCAC) and seventh-ranked Middlebury College (7-4-1, 5-2-1) battled to scoreless tie Saturday afternoon in Kenyon Arena.

The Jeffs held on to sole possession of first place in the NESCAC standings for another day as the lone team yet to suffer a conference loss. Amherst is 5-1-4 against Middlebury in the past 10 meetings and is a remarkable 42-0-8 in regular season conference play dating back to the 2006-07 season, the longest such streak since the NESCAC Championship format began in 2001.

Amherst junior Caroline Hu (Cerritos, CA) made 22 saves to earn the shutout and improve to 5-1-1 on the season, while Lani Wright stopped 20 shots for the Panthers. Saturday's game marked the first time all season Amherst had been out-shot.

Amherst held a 7-5 edge in shots during the first period, while Middlebury looked strong in the second session with a 9-5 advantage. Both teams had opportunities to score, with Middlebury going 0-for-4 on the power play through two periods of play.

Amherst had the best chance to score 11 minutes into the third period, as an Emily Vitale (Cheshire, CT) shot from the left point deflected off Wright's glove and off the crossbar. Middlebury had solid chances as well, including a backhander by Lauren Greer that was denied by Hu in the 14th minute. Regulation ended with Middlebury holding a 22-20 edge in shots, as the game moved into overtime.

Middlebury had a golden opportunity in the extra frame, going on the power play just 1:06 into the five-minute session. The Panthers were unable to muster up a shot, settling in a 0-0 tie. The Panthers return to action next weekend with a home-and-home series with Williams. The Jeffs will try to avenge their only loss of the season when they visit Elmira on Wednesday for a highly anticipated 7 p.m. showdown with the second-ranked Soaring Eagles.