Panthers drop to fourth heading into final week
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Emelie Lindqvist (Gulleråsen, Sweden) made 34 saves for the Plymouth State University women's ice hockey team, but visiting Castleton University pulled out a 3-0 win in a key New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) game at Hanaway Rink on Saturday afternoon.
Plymouth State (6-13-4, 5-5-2 NEHC) came into the game with a one-point lead over Castleton for the third spot in the conference, but the Spartans leapfrogged into third with the win, improving to 10-11-1 and 6-4-1 in league games.
PSU came out strong and controlled the action through most of the first period. The hosts outshot Castleton by a 15-9 margin, but weren't able to put one past sophomore goalie Alexis Kalm (Aberdeen, N.C.). Castleton got on the board with just 1:11 left in the frame. Senior Hannah Rose (Kenora, Ont.) collected a loose puck at center ice, skated around two Panther defenders and flipped a backhanded shot over the glove of Lindqvist to make it 1-0.
Plymouth had a great opportunity in the opening minute of the second period. A puck made its way down into the Panthers' offensive zone. Sophomore Kailey Jacobs (Westwood, Mass.) outskated a pair of Castleton defenders and Kalm came out to play the puck, but the goalie whiffed on a clear attempt and Jacobs had her shot go just wide of the open net.
The Panthers had another excellent chance near the midpoint of the period. After a pair of Castleton skaters collided at center ice, junior Mackenzie Kennedy (Brea, Calif.) picked up the puck and skated in with sophomore Caitlin Connor (Bow, N.H.) on a 2-on-0 breakaway, but Kennedy's wrister just missed the top corner of the far side.
The visitors went up 2-0 with a strong effort by freshman Casey Traill (South Shields, England). Traill collected a pass on the right side of the blue line, skated through three defenders at the right circle then went to the backhand to flip a shot back to the nearside at the 11:50 mark of the period.
Castleton added a power play goal 3:23 into the third period for some insurance.
Lindqvist falls to 4-8-4, despite the strong play in goal, while Kalm improved to 7-7-0 and earned her fourth shutout.
The Panthers wrap up the regular season with a pair of home NEHC games next weekend. The Panthers will host the University of Massachusetts Boston on Friday night (6:00 p.m.), then celebrate Senior Day against Salve Regina on Saturday (2:00 p.m.).
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