The Castleton University women’s ice hockey team shut out the visiting Southern Maine Huskies in a 4-0 win on Pink the Rink night on Friday night.
In a tight race for home ice advantage and playoff contention, the Spartans were only one point ahead of the Huskies in the New England Hockey Conference. After picking up the win the Spartans moved to 5-7-2 in the NEHC and 6-12-4 overall. The Huskies fell to 4-9-1 in the NEHC and 6-14-1 overall.
The Spartans scored early and never looked back. On a power play opportunity 9:28 into the first period, Castleton’s leading goal scorer Jocelyn Forrest found the back of the net for the 8th time this season, assisted by Hanna Wright and Aimee Briand.
The Spartans led 1-0 at the end of the first period.
“After the first period, coach just said we needed to build on the good things we did in the first period, but go even harder,” said senior captain Hanna Wright. “He said to keep the pressure on them, stick to the game plan and just play simple hockey.”
The Spartans came out strong in the second period as Hanna Rose picked up the team’s second power play goal of the night, just 3:23 into the period. Rose took a shot that hit a stick, but she secured her own rebound and found room between the goaltender’s pads pushing the Spartans lead to 2-0.
“For us on our power play, we made adjustments and studied film as to where the seams would be and how we could get goals and it worked,” said senior Ashley Pelkey.
It wasn’t long until the Spartans found the back of the net two more times in the second period, pushing the score to a comfortable 4-0 lead. The first was a backhanded goal by freshman Nicolle Trivino assisted by Bre Babiarz and Chanel Tvergyak. The next goal was off a two-on-one breakaway that a post-to-post effort by Huskies goaltender Britney Evangelista wasn’t enough to stop Rose from picking up her second goal of the night.
Despite strong offensive play by the Spartans, Wright believes it was the defense that helped carry the team to victory.
“It was great to see us step up on defense. I’d say today was probably one of our best games defensively, in terms of breaking the puck out clean and limiting their offensive chances,” said Wright, who added that great goaltending was just as important.
Goaltender Alexis Kalm played a full 60 minutes, facing 26 shots and recording 26 saves in the shutout victory. Her record improves to 2-7-3 on the season.
The Spartans won the face-off battle 32-30 and also outshot the Huskies 31-26.
On Pink the Rink night, the Spartans did not let the stress of preforming for those affected by breast cancer get in the way of picking up a much needed win.
“It was huge and we knew that prior to the game, but for some reason we didn't let the pressure get to us,” said Pelkey.
“Winning on Pink the Rink night was a really great feeling. We play for such a great cause and it’s nice to have a game that brings the community together like that. I have a personal connection with breast cancer and I know a lot of other girls on the team do too, so it was really special playing for those people,” said Wright.