RUTLAND, Vt. – Lisa Kilroy's equalizing goal with 3:28 remaining on the game clock led the comeback effort to help the Spartans earn a 3-3 tie against the University of New England on Friday evening at Spartan Arena.
Both the Spartans and the Nor'Easters earned an important point in conference play after the tie. Castleton is now 3-3-1 overall and 2-2-1 in the New England Hockey Conference, while UNE is sports double 1-1-3 records.
Late in the third period on a power play chance, Castleton's Kilroy received the puck off passes from Felicia Bjalvegard and Courtney Gauthier. Racing down the left side, the senior forward elevated the puck over and across UNE goalie Caty Flagg and scored with help from the underside of the crossbar.
To start the scoring, Castleton notched a couple of rapid-fire goals late in the first period. With 3:50 left in the opening stanza, Hannah Rose tallied her second score of the season. The Spartan captain put back a rebound on the right side after Flagg stopped the original attempt.
Thirty seconds later, Ali Stevens put the Spartans up 2-0 with help from Aimee Briand. Following a faceoff won by Briand, she redirected the puck up the ice. Stevens would control it and fire it past Flagg on the right.
Despite the early deficit, the Nor'Easters did not fade away. Jessie Scott cut the Spartan lead in half with the first of two goals during the evening at the 17:37 mark of the first. She took the puck down the left side of the ice and slapped a ripper just inside the left post.
Following a scoreless second frame, UNE came out of the second intermission, the fresher and more aggressive team. The Nor'Easters continued to pepper Spartan goalie Rylie Wills with shots, notching 12 in the second and seven in the third.
Scott scored her second of the game to tie it at 2-2 just 41 seconds into the third. Similar to the first, the freshman took the puck herself and beat Wills in the net.
UNE was not done after leveling the score and claimed its first advantage of the night at the 10:52 mark of the final regulation period. Marykate Drinkwater corralled the puck off a pass from Katie Babineau in front of the goal and put it away.
Although only skating to a tie, Castleton thoroughly dominated the faceoff battle. Led by Briand (26-6) and Rose (10-6), the Spartans earned a 42-17 advantage in the category.
Castleton's penalty kill unit turned in a perfect outing, stopping all four UNE opportunities.
Between the pipes, Flagg made 24 saves for the Nor'Easters, while Wills stopped 26 opposing shots for the Spartans.
Castleton returns to action at 1 p.m. on Saturday against the University of Southern Maine, while UNE plays No. 1/1 Norwich at the same time.
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