Swanson's game-winner sends Panthers to semifinals
RUTLAND, Vt. – Freshman Addie Swanson (Anchorage, Alaska) potted the game-winning goal with less than four minutes to play to help lead seventh-seeded Plymouth State University to a 2-1 upset win over second-seeded Castleton University in the quarterfinals of the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) women's ice hockey tournament at Spartan Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers broke a scoreless tie on senior Caitlin Connor's (Bow, N.H.) tally midway through the second and the score remained the same until Castleton pulled even with a power play strike with less than five minutes to go. Swanson countered for PSU, though, whipping a shot from the left face-off circle to the far post with 3:46 left and the Panthers hung on for the win.
Plymouth State picks up its second playoff win in program history to improve to 8-16-2 and will travel to top-seeded Norwich University for a semifinal game next Saturday (Feb. 29) at 3:00 p.m. The Spartans' season comes to an end with a 13-10-3 record.
Plymouth State 2, Castleton 1
Plymouth State (8-16-2)
How it Happened:
- PSU controlled play throughout the first period with a 15-6 edge in shots, but neither team was able to break through.
- Connor gave the Panthers the lead at 12:11 of the second after banging home a rebound on the back door following a shot from freshman Chantelle Ross (Ottawa, Ontario).
- The Panthers had a chance to extend the lead during an abbreviated 5-on-3 power play later in the period, but Castleton goaltender Alexis Kalm (Aberdeen, N.C.) kept the Spartans in the game.
- The hosts pulled even with 4:51 left in regulation on freshman Darby Palisi's (Concord, N.H.) eighth of the season.
- Swanson came right back just over a minute later when she skated in along the left side before firing a shot to the far post at 16:14 for what would prove to be the game winner.
Inside the Numbers:
- Connor extended her career year with her eighth goal of the season.
- Senior Sydney Linnick (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) matched the program record for assists in a season with her 13th helper.
- Sophomore Olivia Petito (St. Augustine, Fla.) was outstanding between the pipes, registering 32 saves to improve to 2-4-1 for the Panthers. Kalm stopped 40 shots but dropped to 11-10-2 for Castleton.
- PSU was held scoreless over seven power play opportunities, while the Spartans converted 1-of-4 chances.
- Plymouth State's only other playoff win came against the University of New England in the 2017-18 season when Linnick tallied the game-winner in overtime for a 3-2 victory.
- The Panthers avenged last season's 2-1 quarterfinal loss to the Spartans to snap a ten-game winless streak against Castleton.
- Seventh-seeded Plymouth State looks for another upset win next Saturday (Feb. 29) when the Panthers head to top-seeded Norwich for a 3:00 p.m. game.
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