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College Hockey:
Sullivan stops 30 to lead Elmira over Middlebury for its third national championship

— Lauren Sullivan stopped 30 shots in her school record 11th shutout of the season and freshman Taylor Steadman tallied her seventh goal of the season as Elmira defeated Middlebury, 1-0, in the NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championship Saturday evening at Wessman Arena.

The Soaring Eagles (23-5-1) avenged a rematch of the 2005 NCAA Championship against Middlebury where the Panthers (20-7-2) beat Elmira on its home ice. The national championship marks the third in Elmira’s 12-year history and ties them for the most titles in women’s hockey history with Middlebury.

Both teams saw plenty of scoring opportunities early. Elmira’s Ella Stewart came closest, hitting the left post from the point. Middlebury meanwhile, was unable to convert on three power-play opportunities.

In the second, Elmira failed on two power play opportunities. However, Samantha Curk, who scored the overtime game-winner against Gustavus Adolphus on Friday, played a shot in from a tricky angle from the front of the left faceoff circle. Steadman was camped in front of net and picked off the rebound, beating Annabelle Jones low glove side for the 1-0 lead.

The third period was a defensive battle, and Sullivan made 11 stops in the final period to preserve the win. Jones made 25 saves in the loss for Middlebury. Sullivan also tied the school record for career shutouts with 22.

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