Women's Hockey Downs NEC, 4-1

Women's Hockey Downs NEC, 4-1

Rutland, Vt. – The Castleton University women's ice hockey team used three second-period goals to fuel a convincing 4-1 victory over New England College in a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) matchup on Saturday afternoon at Spartan Arena.

Castleton holds its ground in the NEHC standings, improving to 4-7-2 within the conference and 5-12-4 overall on the season. New England College falls to 5-15-1, 3-10-0 with the loss.

Aimee Briand and Hannah Rose led the offense with two points each on a pair of assists, while Hannah Wright and Maeghan Vasile both notched their first goals of the season. Sophomore Chanel Tvergyak and senior Ashley Pelkey also netted goals in the win. Rylie Wills played strong in net from start to finish tonight, making 28 saves in total to improve to 2-3-1 on the season.

New England College's Rachel Vigliano tallied the lone goal for the Pilgrims, with helpers coming from Mackenzie Meegan and Demi Latham.

Bringing heavy pressure in the first period, Castleton came through when Tvergyak tallied her fifth goal of the season at the 12:55 mark. Bre Babiarz battled the faceoff at the far circle, before a failed New England exit pass reached Sabrina Hosner at the point. Hosner then skipped it over to Tvergyak, who let go of a clapper from the point that slipped through traffic in front and past Jackie Clark to give the Spartans a lead they never relinquished.

The Spartans turned it on with three more goals in the second period, taking advantage of two early Pilgrim penalties. Wright sparked the ignition with a power-play goal just 3:23 into the period, sending home a hard shot from the point that slipped past a screened Clark in net and inside the far post. Controlling the puck in the offensive zone, Briand and Rose set up the goal with sharp passes behind the net before finding Wright creeping in towards the slot.

Ashley Pelkey tallied her fourth goal of the season just over five minutes later. Rose sent an outlet pass to Briand near center ice, where she led a streaking Pelkey inside the Pilgrim zone. Pelkey took care of the rest, giving Castleton a healthy 3-0 lead at the 8:32 mark of the period. Vasile chipped in with her first career goal less than a minute later, sending home a rebound to give the Spartans a 4-0 lead at 9:25.

A penalty-filled third period included six infractions, including four from the Spartans. New England College cashed in on one of them with Vigliano picking up her team-leading 11th goal of the season with just under eight minutes left in regulation. With control in the Spartan zone, Meegan skipped a pass to Latham at the point, who then found Vigliano at the door step to get the Pilgrims on the board. Despite two more power-play chances down the stretch, Wills was strong the rest of the way to secure the 4-1 victory for the Spartans.

Castleton outshot New England College over the first two frames, 25-17, but the Pilgrims fought back over the final 20 minutes to level shots at 29-29 for the contest. New England College won the faceoff battle, 28-25, while converting one of eight power-play chances. Castleton finished 1-for-4 with the woman advantage.

The Spartans will stay at home next weekend for a pair of NEHC contests, starting with Southern Maine on Friday night in the annual "Pink the Rink" game at 7 p.m. Castleton will also celebrate senior night on Saturday when the team takes on the University of New England at 3 p.m.