Late Surge Not Enough As Women's Ice Hockey Falls to Endicott

Late Surge Not Enough As Women's Ice Hockey Falls to Endicott

Rutland, Vt. – The Castleton University women's ice hockey team packed three goals into a three-minute span in the third period of the opening game of the Rutland Herald Invitational tournament, but Endicott was too much early as the Gulls earned a 7-3 victory over the Spartans on Saturday afternoon at Spartan Arena. 

Following the loss, Castleton falls to 3-8-0 on the season, while Endicott remains unbeaten and improves to 12-0-1 overall. The Gulls advance to the RHI championship on Sunday at 4 p.m. and will face the winner of Saturday night's 7 p.m. contest between SUNY Canton and Holy Cross. Castleton will take on the loser of that matchup in the consolation game Sunday at 1 p.m.

Jocelyn Forrest, Aimee Briand, and Chanel Tvergyak netted goals in the loss for Castleton, while Hannah Rose finished with a pair of assists to lead the team with two points on the afternoon. Alexis Kalm finished with 26 saves on 32 shots and saddled the loss to fall to 1-4-0 overall. Rylie Wills relieved Kalm late in the third and saved her only contested shot.

The Gulls had six players tally two points in the contest, led by Ellin Carter and Jade Meier with two goals apiece. Teneal Perry and Courtney Walpole each recorded a pair of assists, while Jillian Gibbs and Lexi Klein split their two points on a goal and assist each.

Endicott came out strong in the opening period, outshooting the Spartans 16-4.  Two of those turned into goals as Castleton found itself down 2-0 less than four minutes into the contest. Jillian Gibbs notched her fourth goal of the season at the 2:20 mark on an assist from Courtney Walpole. Just as the Spartans killed off a penalty, Walpole controlled possession behind Kalm, skated to the far slot, and found Gibbs open in front for a bang-bang play to put the road team up.

Just over a minute later, Jade Meier skated behind the net and looking to put the puck in front from the goal line, the shot went off the pad of Kalm and into the net to give the Gulls a 2-0 advantage at the first intermission.

The middle stanza was back-and-forth for an extended period of time with strong defense highlighting both sides of play. Endicott, however, was able to pull away late and double its lead to 4-0 before heading into the locker room. Carter notched her first goal of the game on a slap shot that snuck through a scrum in front of the net at 14:35, before Klein scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal at the 16:43 mark.

After yet two more goals from the Gulls, the Castleton offense came alive with three unanswered goals down the stretch of the third period. Forrest started the attack, netting her team-leading third goal of the season on a 4-on-4 opportunity. The sophomore stole an errant Gulls' pass near the slot, before taking one stride and slipping a wrist shot through the wickets of Jonnson at the 13:53 mark of the period. Still playing 4-on-4 hockey just 19 seconds later, an outlet pass from Rose found Briand near center ice, and she controlled the puck deep into the Endicott zone before lifting a backhander past Jonnson to make it 6-2.

The Spartans were not done yet, as two minutes later the 6-0 Endicott lead evaporated and was cut in half. Looking to be more aggressive, Rose again sent an outlet pass to a forward attacker near the Gulls' defensive blue line. This time, Tvergyak received the pass, skated in to the far slot, and ripped a wrist shot that found the short-side top shelf corner and made it 6-3 with just under four minutes left in the contest.

Time was not on the Spartans' side, however, as Endicott came out on top, 7-3, after Meier pocketed an empty-net goal with less than a minute left to secure the victory for the Gulls.

Endicott was in control for most of the contest, and the unbeaten Gulls outshot Castleton 34-15 on the afternoon. They finished 1-for-6 on the power play, while Castleton was held scoreless in its one power play chance.