Piacenza '21 scores in women's hockey setback at Middlebury

Kate Piacenza '21 (Josh McKee photo)
Kate Piacenza '21 (Josh McKee photo)

Middlebury College's Katherine Jackson and Katarina Shuchuk scored empty-net goals late in the third period and the Panthers pulled away for a 4-1 NESCAC win against the Hamilton College Continentals at Middlebury's Kenyon Arena on Friday night.

Kate Piacenza '21 pulled Hamilton within 2-1 with 4:11 remaining in the third period. Andrea Rockey '19 redirected a pass deflected by a Middlebury player in front of the net to Piacenza inside the left faceoff circle. Piacenza lifted a wrist shot over the left shoulder of goaltender Lin Han (nine saves) into the top-left corner of the net for her sixth goal this season. Rockey picked up her seventh assist.

Middlebury, which is ranked eighth in both the D3hockey.com and USCHO.com Division III Top 10 polls, opened the scoring at 13:55 in the first period. Sidney Portner passed the puck from the goal line to Anna Zumwinkle, who fired a wrist shot into the top-left corner of the net from the right point.

Hamilton (10-5-2, 4-3-2 NESCAC) nearly tied the score five minutes into the second period. Mya Berretta '22 and Nancy Loh '22 had a 2-on-2 scoring opportunity, but Loh's shot from close range was tipped wide by Han.

The Panthers (10-2-3, 6-1-2) doubled their lead 7:21 into the second period. Ellie Barney played the puck to Madie Leidt at the top of their own left faceoff circle. Leidt raced up the left wing on a 2-on-1 breakaway and fired a rocket past goaltender Sammy Johnson '20 (18 saves) from the dot.

Hamilton pulled Johnson for an extra skater twice in the last two minutes, but Middlebury scored an empty-net goal with 1:06 left and again with 11 seconds to go.

The teams will play each other again on Saturday, January 26 at 3 p.m. in Middlebury, Vermont.

-- Recap by Amanda Ghiloni '22