CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton opened its season with a big victory at Spartan Arena against Oswego St., 2-0, in non-conference action on Friday night.
The Spartans outshot the Lakers 24-28 and killed off all seven of their penalties, including a five-minute major, while going 2-for-7 on the power play. Brianna Keats and Sam Pion netted one goal apiece, while Paula Stephens delivered an impressive performance in goal to lead the Spartans to victory.
In the first period, the Castleton controlled the pace of play and outshot the Lakers by nine, 15-6, but they were unable to break through.
Oswego St. earned three power plays in the second period, but failed to take advantage as Stephens made save after save. Just over four minutes into the period, it seemed that the Lakers had taken the lead. Kendall Appelbaum fired a slapshot from the point that was heading towards the back of the net, however, Stephens made save with her leg to keep it scoreless.
Two minutes later, the Spartans took a 1-0 lead when Keats tallied her first career goal at 5:43. From the far side behind the net, Rachel Bombardier slipped a pass through the crease to Keats, and the freshman forward tapped it in to give the home side a one-goal advantage.
At 10:24 of second period, Castleton doubled its lead on Pion's first goal of the season. Anna Daniels fired a shot in front of the net, and Pion gathered the rebound at the top of the point and rifled a shot into the top shelf to make it 2-0 in favor of Castleton.
The Spartans defense continued its solid play, including killing off a five-minute penalty. The Lakers received their best chance to cut into Castleton's lead with 1:55 remaining in the game. Oswego St. had a two-on-one advantage on the break, but Stephens once again came up big for the home side, deflecting Rachel Lenard's shot wide to maintain the shutout.
Stephens, who was named the 2013-14 ECAC East Goaltender of the Year, picked up her first win of the season after making 28 saves, while Bridget Smith dropped to 0-1 on the year after stopping 32 shots in the losing effort.
The Spartans move to 1-0 and return to the ice on Saturday at 3 pm when they square off with non-conference opponent Cortland St. at Spartan Arena.