Middlebury Athletics

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Alexi Bloom made 20 saves in goal to earn her eighth shutout of the season as No. 5 Middlebury (16-3-1) earned a 1-0 victory against No. 3 Plattsburgh (15-3-3) in Kenyon Arena. The win was the first for the Panthers in their last 11 tries (1-7-3) against the Cardinals, avenging a 5-0 loss on Jan. 3 in New York.

Both teams had good chances to score in the first period, but the goaltenders stood their ground. Mandy Mackrell stopped Middlebury’s Grace Waters at the 10:00 mark and then denied Anna McNally on a rebound. Alexi Bloom kept the Cardinals off the board at 12:10, making a nice save on a wrap-around attempt by Jordan Caldwell.

The second period was played relatively neutral, with each team earning five shots on goal. Middlebury’s Julia Ireland almost took advantage of a turnover, but her shot from the slot hit the right post midway through the period. The Panthers broke through late in the period with Lauren Greer scoring her seventh of the season with an assist from Ireland. Greer completed a self-pass at center ice before wristing in a shot from the blue line that appeared to fool Mackrell.

The teams exchanged unsuccessful power plays in the third period before Bloom denied Kylie Klassen as she came out to cut off the angle. The Cardinals had another golden opportunity at the 11:00 mark, but Bloom stopped Brittany Meade on a breakaway.

Plattsburgh went on the power play with just 1:10 left in the game, but were unable to tie the game with just one shot on goal. The Cardinals did have some nice crossing passes, but the Panthers held strong with a late icing of the puck from Madison Styrbicki.

Mackrell finished with 14 saves as the Cardinals held a 20-15 shots advantage in the game.