Spartans Battle Back For 2-2 Draw at Southern Maine

Spartans Battle Back For 2-2 Draw at Southern Maine

GORHAM, Maine – Jocelyn Forrest netted a pair of third-period goals to lead the Spartans back from behind as the Castleton University women's ice hockey team skated to a 2-2 draw at the University of Southern Maine in New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) action on Saturday afternoon at USM Ice Arena.

Trailing 2-1 in the final minute of regulation, freshman goaltender Alexis Kalm raced to the bench in favor of an extra attacker. With relentless pressure deep in the offensive zone, the Spartans cashed in with just 9.5 ticks left on the clock. Chanel Tvergyak peppered a shot from the point that reached Forrest at the door step, where she pounded it home for her second goal of the game to force over time.

The momentum shifted back towards the home team in over time, as Southern Maine outshot the Spartans in the bonus period, 4-1. Kalm stood tall in net, as neither side was able to find the game-winner in the 2-2 draw.

Castleton (4-11-4) collects a point but does not gain any tread in the NEHC, as the team moves to 3-6-2 within the conference. Southern Maine (5-12-1, 3-7-1) bounces back from a 4-1 loss to Norwich on Friday night with its first draw of the season.

Forrest netted her team-leading sixth and seventh goals of the season in the draw, while Bre Babiarz, Chanel Tvergyak, and Hannah Rose each picked up helpers. Kalm was strong from start to finish, with 21 saves to move to 1-6-3 overall.

As the duo has led the team all season long, Alex Mitchell and Katie Couture notched their team-leading seventh goals of the season on the other end. Britney Evangelista stopped 24 shots in net for the Huskies to move to 2-7-1.

Castleton found itself playing uphill less than two minutes into the contest for the third consecutive game after Mitchell struck first just 1:54 into the contest. Mitchell forced a turnover deep in the Spartans' zone and fired a wrist shot over Kalm's right shoulder to give the home team a 1-0 lead.

With three power-play chances in the opening period, including a 5-on-3, Castleton established pressure throughout the first 20 minutes but was unable to convert. Aimee Briand one-timed a rebound that whistled just wide of an open net midway through, but the Huskies skated away with a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.

Both teams shared opportunistic moments through the second period, but neither goaltender lost their edge, as the score remained 1-0 heading into the final frame.

Searching for the equalizer early in the third period, Castleton hit its stride with adamant pressure in the offensive zone. Babiarz and Jade Remillard skated down on a 2-on-1, with Remillard's one-timer chance not making it through. Moments later, Forrest got the Spartans on the board with just over 14 minutes left in regulation to tie the game, 1-1. Babiarz was credited with the assist on the play for her fifth helper of the season.

The deadlock did not last long, however, as USM re-gained the lead 10 minutes later when Couture fired a one-timer just inside the far circle past Kalm. 

Castleton held the advantage in the shots department, 26-23, while neither side was able to break through on six power-play opportunities.

The Spartans will return home next weekend to take on No. 4/5 Norwich at 7 p.m. on Friday night at Spartan Arena.