Centerville, Mass. – After setting a program-record with nine conference wins this year Castleton has earned the third seed in the upcoming ECAC East Tournament and will host No. 6 Southern Maine on Saturday at 7 pm in Spartan Arena.
The Spartans finished the regular season with a program-record 14-9-2 mark and 9-5-2 record within conference play. Southern Maine is 10-14-1 and posted a 7-9-0 ledger within the ECAC East. The Spartans and Huskies split the regular season series, with each team taking a game on home ice. Castleton has been staunch defensively, allowing just 42 goals this season, which is the second-fewest of any team in the tournament. Junior goaltender Paula Stephens has the Conference's best save percentage this season (.943) and is ranked in the top-five in goals against average (1.62). Offensively, the Spartans have two of the top-three scorers in the ECAC East in sophomores Nicoline Jensen and Anna Daniels. Jensen has handed out a league-high 19 assists to go along with 12 goals for 31 points, while Daniels has a balanced stat line of 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points.
The Huskies will need a big game out of junior Liz Bergstrom to advance to the semifinals. Bergstrom enters the tournament with 2.50 goals against average and statistically ranks among the top handful of goaltenders in the tournament. Senior Erin Banfield has been Southern Maine's most consistent offensive threat through the first 25 games, finding the back of the net 12 times and adding six assists for 18 points. Classmate Bridget O'Brien will look to repeat the success she enjoyed against the Spartans the first time the two teams met, as she scored both goals in Southern Maine's 2-1 triumph back in November.