Courtesy of Williams Sports Information
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - Top-seeded Williams won its first NESCAC title since 2014 and second overall with a 3-2 victory over No. 2 Middlebury on Sunday afternoon at Lansing Chapman Rink.
Middlebury opened the scoring in the first period with 3:30 remaining, as Madie Leidt fired a shot from the top of the left circle to give the Panthers a 1-0 advantage. Williams answered two minutes later, as Brynn Puppe's shot from the slot slipped past Middlebury goalie Lin Han through traffic to knot the game at 1-1.
The Ephs converted a power-play opportunity 3:35 into the second period to take its first lead of the game, Amanda Reisman redirected a pass from Mia Carroll into the net for a 2-1 edge. Middlebury responded, scoring nine seconds into a 4-on-3 power play at the 8:53 mark to even the game at 2-2. Katherine Jackson kept the puck in the zone with a faceoff win, while Anna Zumwinkle's shot from the right point squirted past Eph goalie Chloe Heiting with 11:07 on the clock.
Williams came close to taking the lead in the latter stages of the period when Gabi Montembeaugh broke in alone on Han, but the Panther goalie came up with the key stop.
The Ephs took a 3-2 lead 9:08 into the final period. Delaney Szlezyngier's shot hit the post and was then deflected in by Meghan Halloran. The Panthers had a power play opportunity minutes later but were unable to generate any quality scoring chances.
In the final minute, Middlebury pulled Han for an extra attacker and appeared to score the game-tying goal with 56 seconds on the clock, but the tally was waived off by the officials.
Han was credited with 19 saves for Middlebury, while Heiting made 23 stops for the Ephs. Middlebury held a 25-22 edge in shots and went 1-6 on the power play, while Williams went 1-3 with the extra skater.