MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Middlebury came from behind to defeat visiting NESCAC foe Bowdoin by a score of 4-2 and improve to 9-0.
Bowdoin went up 2-1 at 7:31 of the first period when Kristen Cameron skated down the right board, came out from behind the net and lifted a backhand over Middlebury goalie Kate Kogut’s left shoulder. No. 9 Polar Bears seemed to be in control, and it had been the play of Kogut that had kept No. 1 Middlebury in the game.
“I said to our kids, don’t ever underestimate her, if she was not in the net we could’ve been down 4 or 5 to 1 after the first,” said Middlebury coach Bill Mandigo. “They outplayed us for a period and a half, we got a little bit better in the second and the third period was our best period.”
Momentum turned Middlebury’s way just after a power play expired, as Emily Nakamura grabbed a turnover, walked out from the left corner and beat Bowdoin goalie Cat MacEachern stickside to pull even at 2-2.
Late in the second period, Emily Quizon combined with Ann Marie Cellino on a pretty play to score her sixth of the season, which proved the game winner.
Said Quizon: “Recognizing Ann Marie and myself having the 2 on 1 space, I knew she would throw it across the net, and I figured the goalie would follow it, so I stopped it before the goalie came across and found the open space and put it in the net.”
The goal put the game firmly in Middlebury’s control.
“We dug down deep, had energy left, we hacked it out and got up again,” Kogut said.
Bowdoin outshot the two-time defending NCAA champions 23-21 but could not come out ahead on the scoreboard.
Said Bowdoin coach Michele Amidon: “I thought we played well, played with a lot of heart.it came down to the third period and they outplayed us, they shut us down, they kept attacking, they are the better team, they are deeper, we fought just as hard but they came out on top.”
Looking ahead, Middlebury will have three tough games over the next month against Western contenders — River Falls (Jan. 12), St. Thomas (Jan. 17), and Gustavus Adolphus (Feb. 3).
“We’re glad they are coming, because they will be great games,” Mandigo said. “There are 7-8-9 teams that will have the opportunity to be the last man standing.”
Witnessing the way Middlebury stood it’s ground, came back and took control of this game, the Panthers are still the favorite to three-peat.