POTSDAM, N.Y.-Despite strong defense and a late power-play goal, the SUNY Potsdam women's hockey team (4-8-2) came up just short against No. 7/8 Middlebury College (6-1-3) 2-1 on Tuesday afternoon. Junior captain Shelbi Thacker (Chesterfield, Mich./Honeybaked) scored for the Bears and sophomore goalie Samantha White (Oceanside, Calif./Anaheim Lady Ducks) made 43 saves.
The first period saw no scoring and few strong offensive chances thanks to tight defense at both ends of the ice. The Bears killed off a penalty midway through the period with White making several key stops. She finished the opening 20 minutes with 11 saves, while Panthers sophomore goalie Anna Goldstein (Edina, Minn./Edina) stopped all six shots she faced.
Middlebury finally got on the board just 1:33 into the second period as sophomore forward Ellie Barney (Mequon, Wis./Milwaukee Jr. Admirals) poked her own rebound past White. The goal and quick power play got the Panthers' offense going in the second, but they were unable to add to the lead despite a 17-5 edge in shots. They took the one-goal lead into the second intermission.
An early power play continued Middlebury's momentum in the third, but White kept Potsdam in the game. The Bears got into some more penalty trouble just over halfway through the stanza and the Panthers went on a 5-on-3 advantage at 11:10. After calling a timeout at 11:48, Panthers freshman forward Katie Hargrave (Westford, Mass./Assabet Valley) made it 2-0 at 13:16. Just 1:28 later, Middlebury was whistled for its lone penalty of the game and Potsdam took advantage, just before the penalty expired, Thacker fired a shot that squeezed through Goldstein's pads at 16:41. Good pressure from the Panthers the rest of the way prevented the Bears from pulling White for an extra attacker and they closed out the 2-1 win.
Goldstein made 19 saves for her third win of the season. Middlebury was 1-for-5 on the power play and Potsdam was 1-for-1.
The Bears return to NEWHL play on Friday at 7 p.m. when they host Oswego State.
Middlebury edges Potsdam 2-1