BRUNSWICK, Maine – Kayla Lessard made 33 saves to lead the Bowdoin College women's ice hockey team to a decisive 3-0 victory over visiting Middlebury tonight in Watson Arena.
The seventh-ranked Polar Bears (13-1-1, 7-0-0 NESCAC) scored a goal in each period against the fourth ranked defense in D-III and extended their unbeaten streak to 14 games. The fourth-ranked Panthers (9-2-2, 6-1-2 NESCAC) saw their eight game unbeaten streak come to an end, and suffered their first shutout loss of the season.
The Polar Bears earned the 1-0 lead with 8:55 left in the first period. Rachel Kennedy scooped up a loose puck from outside a crowd in front of the net and slid it past Middlebury's goalie Annabelle Jones for the first score of the game.
The second period opened with over 18 minutes of scoreless play. Bowdoin goalie Kayla Lessard remained perfect making ten saves, including a shot by Middlebury's Hannah Bielawski from just outside the crease. Bowdoin snapped the dry spell with just 1:46 remaining in the period. Kayte Holtz picked up an errant puck at center ice and skated down towards the Middlebury goal. Holtz crossed behind the net, and passed back up to the left post where Kim Tess-Wanat connected with the puck and one-timed it for the 2-0 lead.
Bowdoin wasted no time increasing its lead to 3-0 just 11 seconds into the third. Chelsea MacNeil took the opening faceoff for the Polar Bears, and passed the puck to Holtz who skated down the left side. With a quick shot to the lower left, Bowdoin was on the board with its third and final goal of the game.
Lessard stopped all 33 shots to record her fourth shutout for the season. Jones blocked 23 shots in the game. Lessard and Jones both rank among the top 15 goalies statistically in the country.
The Polar Bears and Panthers will face off again tomorrow at 3:00 PM in Watson Arena.