NEW LONDON, Conn--Caroline Corbett (Norwood, Mass.) buried a shorthanded goal with 1:58 remaining to lift the Connecticut College women's hockey team to a 3-2 victory against Middlebury College at Dayton Arena Saturday.
Samantha Shuffenecker (Oswego, N.Y.) scored twice while sophomore Kelsie Fralick (West Chester, Pa.) stopped 39 of 41 shots against the fifth ranked Panthers, who suffered their first setback in this longstanding rivalry.
The Camels improve their record to 10-8-1 and even their mark at 6-6-1 in conference play, while the Panthers fall to 12-4-2 with a 9-2-2 record in league play.
The two teams skated to a 1-1 draw in Middlebury, Vermont back in December of 2008.
Middlebury College junior defender Jennifer Krakower (Montreal, Quebec) scored her third goal of the season while sophomore Emily Fluke (Sandwich, Mass.) potted her team leading 11th goal of the year for the Panthers. Hannah Bielawski (Evanston, Ill.) dished out her conference leading 15th assist for the visitors.
Sophomore Laura Pinsent (Labrador City, Newfoundland) finished with 23 saves for the Panthers, who held a 41-to-26 advantage on the shot chart.
"We were hyped up for this game and we just came off a good weekend against Amherst," Shuffenecker said after the win. "We have the kind of team that when we are down a goal, we can pick each other up."
Krakower opened the scoring 2:33 into regulation when her shot from the right point went through the pads of Fralick. But Shuffenecker got one back in the middle period when she went top shelf with a shot from the left circle with 3:37 remaining in the frame.
The Panthers out-shot the Camels 19-to-7 in the third period. With 7:38 remaining, Fluke put the Panthers back on top when she redirected a shot from Bielawski that came from the left dot. Madison Styrbicki (Edina, Minn.) had the second assist on the goal.
But the Camels would not go away. With 4:10 to go, Shuffenecker scored the equalizer for the Camels with her shot from the below the right circle. The senior forward buried a one-timer past Pinsent to the far post side of the goal and the two sides were knotted up at two.
The Camel defense continued to match the Panthers offensive intensity. The hosts were a perfect 3-for-3 on their penalty kill. Middlebury had one last power play that was awarded with 3:32 remaining in regulation. But Corbett was able to collect a steal in the neutral zone and the senior skated in alone and flipped one in with her backhand to put the Camels on top for good.
"I'm just pumped!" Corbett exclaimed. "It feels good. We thrive off of each other. These girls are the best friends I have in school…When you get that puck and you know where it's going, there is no better feeling than that!."
Middlebury had two more shots in the closing moments. Styrbicki fired a shot with 22 seconds left that was saved and then Fralick denied Bielawski on the visitors' last shot with 8.1 seconds left.
The two teams will meet tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m.