Connor nets Panthers' lone goal
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University battled to bring a tie game into the third period, but Castleton University scored two unanswered goals in the final frame to defeat the Panthers, 3-1, in a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) women's ice hockey matchup at Hanaway Rink on Friday night.
Plymouth State held the advantage in zone time early on, but was unable to light the lamp in a scoreless first period. Castleton came out aggressively in the second and managed to get on the board first with a goal early in the period. The Panthers would rally, though, as senior Caitlin Connor (Bow, N.H.) found the back of the net on a power play just past the halfway point of the period to bring a tie score into the third period.
An early goal would doom the Panthers, as the Spartans struck just 2:34 into the final stanza and the visitors added a short-handed empty-netter in the final 90 seconds to seal the win.
Plymouth State drops to 1-2-0 in NEHC play and 1-3-0 overall, while Castleton remains unbeaten in league play (3-0-0) and improves to 3-2-0 overall on the season.
Plymouth State 1, Castleton 3
Plymouth State (1-3-0, 1-2-0 NEHC)
Castleton (3-2-0, 3-0-0 NEHC)
How it Happened:
- Plymouth State pressured early, cycling through several shifts of offensive zone time towards the start of the opening period.
- Both teams struggled to get shots on net in the early going, as each team only mustered two shots on goal through the opening ten minutes.
- The Panthers had a flurry of chances in the latter half of the first, but could not find the back of the net, and the game went into the first intermission scoreless.
- Castleton was the aggressor early in the second and got on the board first as sophomore Ryanne Mix (Pasco, Wash.) scored on a shot from the near side point at the 3:58 mark.
- Plymouth State countered at 10:40 with a power play strike. After working the puck along the blue line, senior Sydney Linnick (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) slung a shot that Connor tipped up and to the glove side from her position in the slot to even the score.
- The Spartans converted on a power play early in the third period after the puck squirted out from a scuffle in front of the net and onto the stick of junior Courtney Gauthier (Tampa, Fla.), who shot into the gaping net at 2:34.
- PSU pulled its goalie on a power play opportunity late in the third to create a six-on-four advantage, but Gauthier got past the Panthers' pressure and found the empty net for a key insurance goal.
Inside the Numbers:
- Linnick picked up her team-leading fifth point with her assist, while Connor notched her first goal of the season.
- Freshman Becca Bridge (Gadsby, Alberta) made 23 saves for the Panthers, but dropped to 1-3-0 on the year.
- Gauthier finished with two goals and an assists for the Spartans, while Mix also had a multi-point game with her goal and assist.
- Castleton's net minder, senior Alexis Kalm (Aberdeen, N.C.), stopped 27 of 28 shots to improve to 3-2-0.
- PSU held a 22-12 advantage in shots through the first two periods, but Castleton outshot the Panthers, 14-6, in the decisive third period.
Straight From the Coach's Mouth:
"We played a very thorough game," said head coach Mykul Haun. "We just couldn't figure out the scoring opportunities. I was very impressed with our first year players, including Becca [Bridge]. It was great to see our resolve and I'm excited for our next game tomorrow."
- Both teams are back in NEHC action tomorrow (Nov. 16). Plymouth State will travel to New England College for a 7:00 p.m. contest with the Pilgrims, while Castleton visits Southern Maine at 1:00 p.m.
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