The Castleton Spartans Women’s hockey team will move onto the semifinals after beating the Plymouth State Panthers 2-1 on Saturday Afternoon.
Castleton and Plymouth met twice during the regular season with 3-3 ties in Plymouth on Nov. 29 and then a Spartan win in overtime on Jan 26.
Saturday proved to be much of the same from the two schools in another closely contested game with a trip to the semis on the line.
After giving up a goal in the first, Castleton’s Aimee Briand said, “Everyone shook Plymouth’s goal off and became determined to get the next one. Knowing that a loss would be season ending, we turned our game around really quickly after that one went in.”
Despite going one for seven on the power play, Castleton got it’s one goal when it mattered. A third period power play goal by Jocelyn Forrest gave the Spartans a lead with less than 15 minutes left in the game, which they would end up holding on to.
Briand said that the after the goal, the team had to keep its focus because there was still hockey to play.
Forrest and Captain Briand both led the team with a goal and assist on the afternoon.
And once again, Rylie Wills put up another solid start making 26 of 27 saves in the win.
Wills had a 6-7 record in the regular season, but she did have a very solid 2.13 goals against average.
Wills finished sixth in the NEHC in goals against, but also got a lot less minutes than most of the goalies in the top ten.
When asked about how her play has affected the team down the stretch, Wills credits her teammates for keeping the shots to the outside and said she feels confident in how she has been playing lately.
Castleton will host Johnson and Wales on Saturday for a chance to play in the ECHC finals. The Spartans split the season series with the Wildcats. The Spartans won their first meeting 1-0 and then dropped the second meeting 3-2.