CASTLETON, Vt. – Coming off a quick three-game road trip, the Castleton University women's ice hockey team will return home this weekend for a pair of New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) contests against nationally-ranked Norwich and New England College on Friday and Saturday.
Castleton will host the No. 4 Cadets on Friday night with puck drop slated for 7 p.m., before inviting the Pilgrims of New England College to town on Saturday at 3 p.m.
The Spartans will welcome free admission to all faculty and staff members on Friday night, while all fans are encouraged to wear white to create a whiteout at Spartan Arena. The first 100 fans into the contest will receive a complimentary white rally towel.
Castleton (4-11-4) looks to get back into the win column this weekend after settling a 3-2 loss at the University of New England last Friday with a 2-2 draw at Southern Maine on Saturday. The Spartans are currently ranked eighth in the NEHC with a 3-6-2 mark in the conference.
Sophomore forward Jocelyn Forrest has caught fire for the Spartans with four points in the last three games. The Prince George, B.C. native leads the unit with 12 points on seven goals and five assists on the season. Half of her points have come in NEHC play, as Forrest leads the team with three goals and three assists versus conference foes.
After dishing out two helpers last weekend, sophomore defenseman Chanel Tvergyak ranks second on team with eight points on four goals and four assists. Hannah Rose has picked up four goals and three assists for seven points, while Nicolle Trivino and Aimee Briand have each collected six points to date.
Alexis Kalm has made four consecutive starts between the pipes and leads the team with 10 nods on the season. The freshman net minder has posted a .906 save percentage and 2.94 goals against average to go with her 1-6-3 record. Kalm has played exceptional of late, allowing three goals or less in four of her last six games for a stingy 1.95 goals against average over that span. Rylie Wills has also seen quality time in net this season, making 200 saves of 218 shots for a .917 save percentage and 3.14 goals against average in five starts.
Norwich (14-4-1) comes to town ranked second in the NEHC with a 10-1-0 clip in conference action. The Cadets had a three-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday after falling to No. 7/9 Middlebury, 5-3.
Junior Sarah Schwenzfeier deposited two goals in the loss at Middlebury, adding to her team-leading 11 goals and 23 total points on the season – both ranked fourth in the NEHC. Junior defenseman Kim Tiberi leads the squad and ranks second in the NEHC with 17 assists, while adding four goals for a total of 21 points. Tiberi sits at the top of her team with 17 points in conference contests this season.
Defensively, Laurie King rules the net with an impressive .941 save percentage and an outstanding 1.10 goals against average. After surrendering her first battle of the season at Middlebury, the junior net minder has a 12-1-1 record on the year.
The two teams faced off earlier this season at Kretizberg Arena, where the Cadets topped the Spartans, 3-0. In 23 all-time matchups between the two programs, Norwich holds a 21-1-1 record. The lone Spartan win came last season, upsetting the Cadets 1-0 at home.
New England College enters the weekend 5-13-1 overall, including a 3-8-0 mark in the NEHC. The Pilgrims will take on the University of New England on Friday afternoon before making their way to Spartan Arena on Saturday. The Pilgrims have sputtered of late, failing to eclipse two goals in any contest over their current four-game losing streak
Senior forward Rachel Vigliano leads the offense with 14 points on nine goals and five assists to date. She is tied for first in the NEHC with two short-handed goals on the season, contributing to her team's seventh-ranked penalty-kill unit in the conference. Marisa Roth has tallied 12 points on six goals and six assists, while Alexa Scribner and Mackenzie Meegan have each recorded eight points on the campaign.
The Pilgrims have shared the net between a pair of sophomores thus far, with Ashley Catriotta (2-10-1) recording a .898 save percentage and 3.27 goals average over a team-high 13 starts. Jackie Clark has gotten the nod in four out of the last five games, however, and leads the duo with a .941 save percentage and 2.29 goals against average in five nods on the season.
New England College holds a 13-6-2 all-time advantage over Castleton, but the Spartans have spun off off five straight wins over the last five seasons and have not surrendered to the Pilgrims since 2012.