Spartans Fall to Plymouth St. 4-3

Spartans Fall to Plymouth St. 4-3

RUTLAND, Vt. – Castleton held a 3-2 lead in the third period, but the Plymouth St. Panthers battled back with two goals in the final 8:13 of regulation to capture a 4-3 victory on Friday afternoon in Spartan Arena.

The Spartans put on a dominating performance in the offensive zone with 46 shots on target, but failed to capitalize on any of its three power play opportunities. Anna Daniels, Ashley Pelkey and Brie Narodowy provided the goals in the losing effort, as Castleton fell to 8-6-1 (3-3-1 ECAC East) on the season. Plymouth St., on the other hand, improved to 2-12-1 (2-5 ECAC East) on the year and snapped their 11-game losing streak with the win. 

The Panthers wasted little time to capture the first lead of the game after Marisa Zamrock found the back of the net at the 3:58 mark in the opening period. Katie Banys delivered a pass into the crease that Zamrock slipped just underneath Castleton's Jess Cameron to give the visitors an early 1-0 lead.

After struggling initially, the Spartans found their footing, and forced Plymouth's Mariah Trupp to make a flurry of saves with 18 shots on goal in the first stanza. 

Castleton nearly tied the game with less than three minutes remaining in the first when Sabrina Hosner's shot looked to have gone in net. The sophomore defender received the puck on the far wing and rifled a shot through traffic that clanged off the cross bar, but play continued after a goal was not awarded.

The Spartans continued their solid attack play in the middle frame, and at the 1:38 mark, the home side found an equalizer when Pelkey notched her first career goal. The sophomore forward skated towards the middle of the point and wristed a shot past Trupp to even the game at one.

Less than two minutes later, Narodowy scored for the first time this season, handing Castleton a 2-1 advantage. Emily Raber and Hosner were credited with assists on the play, as Narodowy finished the puck top shelf to give the hosts their first lead of the contest.

However, the lead did not last long as the Panthers leveled the game when Banys' shot beat Cameron at the 7:49 mark in the second. After a turnover by the Spartans, Banys received the puck on a one-on-one opportunity and buried the puck home to tie the game at 2-2. 

Just past the midway mark in the second, Castleton came close to retaking the lead when Brianna Keats deked past a defender and had a one-on-one opportunity with the goalie, but her shot deflected off the pipe and was cleared from danger. 

In the third period of play, Castleton was able to strike first when Daniels scored on a short-handed opportunity, but the Panthers battled back and tied the game at 3-3 just past the halfway point in the period when Kelsey Cosby knocked home her fourth goal of the year.

With 1:26 remaining in regulation, Plymouth grabbed the game-winner when Courtney Evans scored her first career goal. The freshman defenseman received the puck just wide of the net, and fired a shot through traffic and past Cameron to capture a 4-3 victory.

In net, Cameron suffered her fourth loss of the year after stopping 24 of the 28 shots that she faced. Trupp, meanwhile, started and played the first 27:49 for the Panthers with 25 saves. Her replacement, Alyssa Altschuler, picked up the win after producing 18 saves in just over 32 minutes of action.

Castleton returns to the ice tomorrow afternoon at 3 pm when they square off with the third-ranked Norwich Cadets in ECAC East action at Kreitzburg Arena.