Setback doesn't dampen Panthers' best season in program history
RUTLAND, Vt. – Taylor Steadman scored two goals and goaltender Jess Cameron stopped all 14 shots she faced Saturday afternoon to lead second-seeded Castleton University to a 3-0 victory over Plymouth State University in the quarterfinals of the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Women's Tournament at Spartan Arena.
The Spartans improve to 17-7-2 overall and advance to the NEHC semifinals next Friday at a site to be determined. PSU finishes its season at 10-16-0 overall, setting a program record for victories in a season.
Castleton takes the rubber match in the season series; the Spartans won the first game between the two schools, 4-1, in Plymouth in January, and PSU upset the nationally-ranked Spartans 3-2 in Vermont on Feb. 6.
The home team peppered PSU freshman goaltender Emelie Lindqvist (Gullerasen, Sweden) all afternoon as Castleton finished with a 40-14 margin in shots on goal. Lindqvist made 37 saves with one of the goals going into an empty net with her on the bench late in the game in favor of a sixth attacker.
Lindqvist kept the Panthers in the game in the first period as the scoreboard was empty after 20 minutes despite a 15-3 shot advantage for the home team. It was similar in the middle frame with a 14-6 shot advantage for Castleton, but Lindqvist kept the visitors in the game.
Castleton managed just one goal in the second period as Steadman potted her 14th of the season at the 5:17 mark. That stood as the difference in the game until Brianna Keats doubled Castleton's lead at the 7:38 mark of the third period. Steadman sealed the win with the empty-netter with a minute and a half to play.
Senior Kelsey Lynch (Collegeville, Pa.) finishes the season as PSU's leading scorer with a program-record nine goals and 14 points. Junior Haley Branovan (Canandaigua, N.Y.) collected a team-high nine assists, and Lindqvidt set PSU season records for wins (9), goals against average (2.29) and save percentage (.923).
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