Women’s Hockey: Spartans Earn First Ever Win Over Middlebury, Topping Panthers 3-2 in Overtime

Courtesy Castleton Sports Information

MIDDLEBURY– Castleton’s Anna Daniels scored the game-tying goal with 3.5 seconds left in regulation and Hannah Rose provided the game-winning goal in overtime for a 3-2 victory over No. 4 Middlebury on Saturday afternoon at Kenyon Arena.

Trailing 2-0 late in the second period, the Spartans netted three unanswered goals over the final 25 minutes to secure the program’s first-ever win over Middlebury and first against a top-five team. Senior Taylor Steadman found the back of the net with just 28 seconds to play in the second to begin the comeback. Daniels then drew the game even with time winding down in the third period and Rose sealed the victory 3:18 into the overtime period.

Both Rose and Daniels finished with a goal and an assist in the contest while Jess Cameron stopped 25 of the 27 shots she faced. The victory moves the Spartans to 9-1-1 on the year while Middlebury falls to 4-2-1 with the loss. Castleton was outshot 27-24 in the contest but held an impressive 15-6 advantage during the third period and overtime.

Middlebury got on the board first just 3:50 into the game when Kelly Sherman was able to push the puck over the goal line during a scrum in front of the net. Haley LaFontaine sent a pass from behind the net into the crease that Cameron appeared to have covered, however Sherman’s stick punched the puck over the line to give Middlebury a 1-0 lead. The Spartans would have a pair of power-play opportunities in the first, however, they were unable to convert either one, and the game headed into the first intermission with Castleton still trailing, 1-0.

The Panthers stuck again in the second frame, when, on the power play, Victoria Laven took a slap shot from the blue line that was deflected by Anna Van Kula over the blocker of Cameron to give the hosts a 2-0 lead.

With time winding down in the middle frame, the Spartans forced the puck in deep to put pressure on Middlebury. Jade Remillard and Aimee Briand battled with a pair of Panther defenders in the corner, before Briand came away with the puck. The freshman sent a pass to the far side of the crease, where Taylor Steadman was waiting to bury the puck into the open net with just 28 seconds remaining in the period, cutting the Middlebury lead to 2-1.

The Panthers had a prime scoring opportunity early in the third period, as they skated in with a 3-on-2 advantage, however Cameron was able to absorb the initial shot and not allow any rebounds to keep the game at 2-1 for the time being. Just under five minutes into the frame, the Spartans had an opportunity to the draw the game even after forcing a turnover deep in the Middlebury zone, however a shot by Steadman slid through the crease and out of harm’s way before being cleared by the Panthers.

The Spartans had numerous looks in the final minutes of the game after pulling Cameron to gain an extra attacker with 1:35 to play. Castleton finally broke again when Daniels buried a rebound off of shots from Rose and Rachel Bombardier with just 3.5 seconds to play in regulation to draw the game even at 2-2.

In the overtime period, Castleton drew a penalty with 3:07 remaining to go on the power play. Middlebury got a shorthanded look, as Elizabeth Wulf skated in with another Panther forward on a 2-on-1 rush, however Cameron made back-to-back saves to keep the game knotted up.

Later in overtime after advancing the puck in deep, Daniels and Lisa Kilroy battled a Middlebury defender for the puck along the far boards. Daniels got the puck and sent a pass to Rose at the point. Rose pulled the trigger on a wrist shot from the blue line that went top-right corner to seal the victory for Castleton.

Julia Neuburger took the loss in net for Middlebury to drop to 2-1 after making 21 saves for the Panthers.

The Spartans look keep up their impressive play when they host Connecticut College Sunday at 3 pm.

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