WINCHENDON, Mass. - For the second consecutive game, the Castleton women's hockey team skated into the final frame even at 3-3, but this time came up short as Franklin Pierce scored an early third-period goal and held on for a 4-3 win in New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) action on Friday night at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena.
Hannah Rose led Castleton with two goals on the night. Jocelyn Forrest also picked up a goal, while Bre Babiarz, Sabrina Hosner, and Aimee Briand each added one assist. Rylie Wills made 42 saves in net but fell to 3-4-1 on the season with the loss.
With the game still undecided after the first 40 minutes of play, Nina Danforth scored what proved to be the game-winning goal for Franklin Pierce early in the third period. Lanie Matsumoto fed a shot on net from the near circle that Wills initially turned aside, but Danforth was there for the rebound to give the Ravens a 4-3 lead just 5:28 in. The Spartans battled down the stretch, but Franklin Pierce goaltender Shannon O'Neil made key saves in the final minutes to preserve the victory for the Ravens.
Castleton (7-13-4, 6-8-2 NEHC) scored first when Rose potted the lone first-period goal midway through the frame. Chipping away in front of the net, Rose fought off defenders and pocketed her own rebound past O'Neil at the 10:44 mark. Wills was strong in the period, making 14 saves to hold the 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Franklin Pierce (17-5-1, 12-4-0 NEHC) scored three of the next four goals in the second period to take its first lead of the night, 3-2. Katie Neuberger made it 1-1 just 4:52 into the period on a slap shot from the point that slipped through a screened Wills. Forrest led a 2-on-1 break the other way and scored less than five minutes later to hand the lead back to Castleton, 2-1, before Michelle Holmes and Alex Brolsma potted goals just 15 seconds apart to make it 3-2 in favor of the home team.
The Spartans got the final touch of the period, however, when Rose buried a wrist shot right off the faceoff from the near circle with just 40 seconds left in the period to send the game into the final frame tied up, 3-3.
Franklin Pierce led in the shots department, 46-24, while finishing 0-for-4 on the power play. Castleton was held off the board in its three power play opportunities.
The Spartans will wrap up their regular season at Nichols on Saturday with puck drop slated for 1:40 p.m.