Lauren Greer scored a pair of goals as the Middlebury College women's ice hockey team rallied from a two-goal deficit to clinch the top seed for the 2011 NESCAC Tournament with a 4-2 win at Bowdoin on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers finish the regular season at 18-4-1 overall (14-1-1 NESCAC) while Bowdoin falls to 14-8-2 (9-6-1). Middlebury will host eighth-seeded Williams at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 26 in the quarterfinals with the right to host the championship if they advance.
In addition to Greer's two goals, Jennifer Krakower and Nora Bergman each contributed a goal for the Panthers. Kayte Holtz had a goal and an assist to lead the Polar Bears.
Holtz got Bowdoin on the board first with a short-handed tally early in the opening period. The sophomore skated into the offensive zone and ripped a perfect shot from the top of the left circle, beating Alexi Bloom high to the glove side at 1:29. The Polar Bears doubled their lead when Jill Campbell received a nice centering pass from Holtz and beat Bloom with a backhand shot to increase Bowdoin's lead to 2-0 at 18:21.
In the second period, Middlebury capitalized on a Bowdoin turnover deep in the zone and Greer's shot beat Connolly glove side at 4:29. Middlebury tied the game on the power-play when Jennifer Krakower blasted a slap shot from the right point at 17:23, sending the contest into the third period deadlocked at two.
Middlebury took the lead with 11:06 left in the third as Nora Bergman picked up a loose rebound in front and roofed the puck past Connolly. Middlebury sealed the win at 14:48 as Lauren Greer finished off a loose puck in front. Tara Connolly had a strong game between the pipes, making 32 saves for the Polar Bears. Alexi Bloom had 18 saves for the Panthers, including eight in the final period.
Bowdoin split the season series against Connecticut College, winning at home (4-3) on December 4 before falling on the road (4-3) on January 16. Middlebury swept its season series against Williams, taking 3-0 and 5-0 victories.