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NO. R-288. JOINT RESOLUTION CONGRATULATING THE MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE PANTHERS WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY TEAM ON WINNING THE INAUGURAL AMERICAN WOMEN’S COLLEGIATE HOCKEY ASSOCIATION (AWCHA) DIVISION III NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

(J.R.H. 227)

Offered by: Representatives Ginevan of Middlebury, Nuovo of Middlebury and Smith of New Haven.

Whereas, the Middlebury College Panthers women’s ice hockey team, established as a full-fledged intercollegiate varsity squad in 1981, is indisputably renowned as one of the nation’s best ensemble of collegiate players to have ever skated across the blue line, and

Whereas, the already legendary Panthers have clinched the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association championship for the past five consecutive seasons, and proudly boasting during that time frame, an impeccable league record of 92 wins and no defeats, and

Whereas, despite these impressive statistics, the Panthers were bereft of the deserved recognition that comes upon winning a national title, because none existed for Division III women’s hockey competition, and

Whereas, finally, in March 2000, the AWCHA hosted the inaugural Division III national women’s hockey championship tournament in Boston, and

Whereas, after defeating Augsburg College of Minnesota 5-1, in the first of two matches, ending the Auggies’ ten-game streak of undefeated play, the Panthers walloped their opponents 8-1 for the national title, and

Whereas, in the opening period of the decisive ice encounter, the scoring success of Catherine Elkins, Erin Neil and duo goal scorer Michelle Labbe, gave the Panthers a 4-1 lead, while in the second period, Panthers captain Sarah Hall, Jacqui Phillips, and two-time scorer Sylvia Ryan, ran the Panther’s scoring total to eight points, and

Whereas, throughout the contest, goalie Beth Denoncourt vigilantly protected the Panther goal, amassing 11 saves, and

Whereas, Sylvia Ryan was named all tournament player and Panthers Christa McDougall, Michelle Labbe, Sarah Carpenter and Catherine Elkins were named to the all tournament team, and

Whereas, teammates Lynette Cassidy, Chrissie Fuld, Laurie Richmond, Ashley Morton, Molly Barefoot, Catherine Pullins, Anna Hastings, Angela Kapus, Nico Kieves, Amber Neil, Audrey Pellerin, Kelly Hase, Nina Kieves, and Megan Hutchinson, each performed magnificently on the ice all season long, and

Whereas, Head Coach Bill Mandigo, and his outstanding assistant coaches Michelyne Pinard and Andy McPhee are all to be applauded for their wonderful leadership and encouragement, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates the Middlebury College Panthers women’s ice hockey team on the historic occasion of winning the first AWCHA Division III national championship, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Coach Bill Mandigo at Middlebury College.