|University of Southern Maine||Castleton University|
RUTLAND, Vt. — Timely scoring and strong defense paved the way for the Castleton University women’s hockey team to shut out the University of Southern Maine, 4-0, on Friday night at Spartan Arena.
With the win, Castleton improves to 6-12-4 on the season and 5-7-2 in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) action, while Southern Maine, which came into the night just one point behind Castleton, falls to 6-14-1 overall and 4-9-1 in conference play.
After the two teams skated to a 2-2 draw just two weeks ago at USM Ice Arena, the Spartans earned the upper hand in the season series with all four goals coming over the first two periods. Junior Hannah Rose (Kenora, Ont.) led the offense with two goals on the night, while sophomore Aimee Briand (Barrington, N.H.) flipped helpers on the first and last goals to add two points of her own. Sophomore Jocelyn Forrest (Prince George, B.C.) and rookie Nicolle Trivino (Georgetown, Ont.) also added goals.
Freshman goalie Alexis Kalm (Aberdeen, B.C.) was exceptional between the pipes, making 26 saves en route to her first career shutout victory.
Forrest put the Spartans on the board first with her team-leading eighth goal of the season at the 9:28 mark of the first period. Cycling the puck on the power play, Briand sent a pass to senior Hannah Wright (Arlington, Mass.) at the point, where she ripped a slap shot that USM sophomore goalie Britney Evangelista (North Smithfield, R.I.) initially turned aside. Forrest was on the doorstep, however, to put the Spartans up 1-0 on a rebound goal.
The Spartans tallied three goals over an eight-minute span in the middle frame to take command. Rose notched her fifth goal of the season just over three minutes in, again on the power play. Rose forced a turnover near center ice and weaved through traffic on her own before potting a top-shelf wrist shot to make it 2-0 at the 3:23 mark.
Just over three minutes later, Trivino made it 3-0 on a fast break opportunity after a successful clearing attempt. She lifted a fancy backhander from just inside the far circle that flipped inside the cross bar with rookie Bre Babiarz (Yorkville, N.Y.) and sophomore Chanel Tvergyak (Abbotsford, B.C.) credited on the assists.
Rose finished off the second-period scoring at the 8:08 mark after Evangelista made a strong save on a shot from Briand. The rebound came right back to Briand and she then tipped it across the crease to Rose at the near post to make it 4-0.
Neither side was able to gain an advantage over the final period, despite three power play chances for the visitors. Kalm made 10 stops in the stanza to preserve the shutout. Evangelista made 18 saves before being relieved by junior Courtney Davis (Woburn, Mass.). Davis made nine saves over the final 31:52.
Castleton held a 31-26 advantage in shots in the game. The Spartans converted on its first two power-play opportunities and finished 2-for-5 overall, while holding Southern Maine off the board of five chances with the advantage.