MIDDLEBURY. Vt.--(Brad Nadeau, Middlebury) Justina Germano scored 10:00 into overtime to give Connecticut College (11-11-3) a 2-1 upset victory over top-seeded and fourth-ranked Middlebury in a NESCAC Quarterfinal game in Kenyon Arena. The Camels advance to next weekend's semifinal round, while the Panthers (17-4-4) will hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament when the pairings are announced on March 10th.
Connecticut College jumped on the board first, finding the back of the net 6:10 into the contest. After a flurry of offensive pressure, the Camels broke through when Ashley Anctil scored on a rebound after a shot from the left point by Stephanie Izzi was saved. The goal was the eighth of the season for Anctil.
Madeline Joyce nearly tied the game on the other end just over a minute later, but she was denied by Kelsie Fralick breaking in all alone. A penalty was whistled on the play, but the Panthers were unable to capitalize on the power play.
Julia Wardwell nearly knotted the game midway through the period, but her shot from the right side rang the crossbar. Joyce had another chance shortly thereafter, but her shot was saved and then cleared off the goal line by Julie Beattie.
Middlebury tied the game 31 seconds into the second period with the third of the year from Joyce. Jennifer Krakower made a pass ahead up the board to Pam Schulman on the right side. Schulman gathered the puck and centered it to Joyce for the quick one-timer in the slot.
The Panthers nearly went ahead at the 3:45 mark, but a sprawling save by Fralick in net kept it a 1-1 game. Fralick came up big on Katie Mandigo at 9:05 on the power play as the Panther had some great looks on pair of opportunities, but could not take the lead. Middlebury controlled the period with a 14-2 shots advantage, but entered the locker room in a 1-1 tie.
The Panthers looked to take the lead with a full two-minute five-on-three power play 6:36 into the third period, but could not find the back of the net. The Camels had a flurry of shots 11:00 into the period, but Annabelle Jones stood her ground. Connecticut College went on the power play with 3:20 left into the contest, but the Panther defense held, forcing the game into overtime.
Connecticut College nearly won the game just 20 seconds into overtime, but Jones came up big on Izzi in the goal mouth. Middlebury went on its ninth power play of the game at the 6:38 mark, calling a timeout before enjoying the advantage. The Panthers put some shots on Fralick, but she was equal to the task in preserving the 1-1 game.
The game-winner came when Germano won a face-off to Shelley Moore in the corner. Moore skated to the left dot and snapped a shot that Germano tipped past Jones for the game-winner, her third tally of the year.
The Panthers out shot the Camels 40-20 in the game, going 0-9 on the power play. Fralick finished with 39 saves in goal to earn the win, while Jones made 18 stops for the Panthers.