Women’s Hockey: Spartans Knock Off Norwich for the First Time in Program History

Courtesy Castleton Sports Information

RUTLAND – The No. 6/10 Castleton women’s hockey program picked up its first-ever win over in-state rival Norwich on Saturday evening, taking down the ninth-ranked Cadets by a final score of 1-0 at Spartan Arena.

Ashley Pelkey scored the lone goal of the contest, striking at 13:49 of the second period to record her third goal of the season. Jess Cameron was phenomenal once again, stopping all 39 shots she faced en route to her third shutout of the season.

The Spartans now move into first place in the New England Hockey Conference, sitting at 7-0-1 in conference play and 12-2-2 overall. The Cadets fall to second in the NEHC with a 7-1-0 record and are now 9-5-0 overall.

After a scoreless first period, both teams came out of the locker room firing. Anna Daniels carried the puck into the zone following a faceoff win by the Spartans to open the period and ripped a shot off the crossbar just 18 seconds into the middle frame. Norwich continued its offensive onslaught, putting 13 pucks on goal in the period, but Cameron would continue her strong play to keep the game scoreless at 0-0. With just 6:11 left in the second period, Aimee Briand won an offensive-zone face off to Pelkey, who carried the puck around the boards. After making a move to the front of the net, Pelkey pulled the trigger on a wrist shot in close, beating Norwich goalie Laurie King to the near post to put the Spartans up 1-0 heading into the second intermission.

Norwich once again controlled the shot battle in the final frame, but the Spartans had looks of their own. With just more than nine minutes gone by in the third period, Hannah Rose sprung Taylor Steadman on a breakaway, but Steadman was stuffed by King to keep the score at 1-0 moving forward. The Cadets kept putting pressure on Cameron to the tune of 12 shots in the final frame, but the senior was ready for the test, turning away all 12 of those shots to keep the Cadets off the board until the final horn.

The victory was Cameron’s 12th of the season and her seventh in conference play, while the shutout was her third. King suffered her first conference loss of the season, moving to 2-1 in NEHC play and 4-2 overall.

Norwich held a heavy shot advantage in the contest, outshooting the Spartans 39-24. Face-offs were nearly even in the game, with Norwich holding a 25-24 advantage at the dot. Neither team could find a goal on the power play, as each side went 0-1 in the game.

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