RUTLAND, Vt. – Castleton women's hockey held a 1-0 lead in the second period of play, but couldn't hold on, as they suffered a 2-1 defeat to the U. of New England Nor'easters this afternoon in New England Hockey Conference action at Spartan Arena.
The eighth-ranked Spartans now stand at 14-6-2 overall (9-4-1 NEHC) after suffering their third loss in the last five games. Lisa Kilroy provided the lone goal for the hosts, while Jess Cameron took her sixth loss of the year, despite turning in a 35-save performance.
For UNE, Kim Gosselin scored the game-winner, and Shannon Smith added one of her own, as the squad improved to 12-7-2 overall (7-6-2 NEHC) and moved one game above .500 in the conference. Sydney Helmbrecht turned in a fantastic outing for her 11th win of the year, stopping 34 of the 35 shots that she faced with a .971 save percentage.
The game was scoreless after the opening period of play, but it didn't stay even for long in the second. Kilroy grabbed her sixth tally of the season just 3:45 into the frame on a power play opportunity, when Hannah Rose delivered a shot from the left point that Helmbrecht knocked aside. Kilroy was there to finish the rebound and give the club a 1-0 lead.
With 3:25 left in the second, UNE grabbed an equalizer. Carly Perrault delivered a pass through the crease to Smith at the far post, and the junior forward finished the puck top shelf for her sixth score of the season to bring the game back to level terms at one.
The Nor'easters carried the offensive momentum into the third and took the lead just 1:44 into the frame. Kim Gosselin received a deflected pass in the left faceoff circle before lofting a shot overtop the outstretched glove of Cameron and into the back of the net to give the away side its first lead of the game, 2-1.
With 1:25 left to play, the Spartans pulled their goalie in favor of an extra attacker, producing eight shots, including four on-target, but UNE stood strong to hand the Spartans a 2-1 defeat.
Castleton returns to action tomorrow afternoon at 1 pm, as they square off with the Southern Maine Huskies for Senior Day in the final regular season home game of the Year at Spartan Arena.