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Castleton Spartans

Spartans Down Vikings; Advance to WSYB/Catamount Radio Invitational Championship

Spartans Down Vikings; Advance to WSYB/Catamount Radio Invitational Championship

RUTLAND, Vt. – The Castleton women's hockey team used a pair of second-period goals to secure a 2-1 victory over Salem State in the opening round of the WSYB/Catamount Radio Invitational Saturday afternoon at Spartan Arena.

Castleton improves to 5-6-1 on the season and advances to its host tournament championship for the first time since 2015. The Spartans will take on the winner of the SUNY Canton-Manhattanville contest in the title game at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Salem State falls to 1-8-2 overall and will face the loser in the consolation at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Jocelyn Forrest and Ali Stevens netted goals for the Spartans. Courtney Gauthier and Casey Traill each handed out assists. Alexis Kalm was strong between the pipes with 24 saves on 25 shots to improve to 2-5-0 overall. Courtney Smith scored an unassisted goal for the Vikings, while Isabelle Woodward made 31 saves but fell to 1-4-1 on the season after the loss. 

Both teams enjoyed a power-play opportunity in the opening period but the game remained scoreless heading into the second. Forrest gave her team a boost just 1:42 into the second period as she finished a pass from Gauthier near the crease. Gauthier skated into the offensive zone with a 2-on-1 break, and Forrest one-timed her pass top shelf to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead early in the second.

Salem State picked up its offensive pressure and scored the equalizer with less than a minute left in the second period. Moments after Kalm made two stellar saves, Smith took advantage of a turnover near the neutral zone and snuck a wrist shot over the blocker pad of Kalm to tie the game at 1-1 with 55 seconds left in the second period.

The level game was brief, as Stevens gave the Spartans the lead back 14 seconds later. Off the ensuing faceoff, Stevens received a pass from Traill near center ice and took care of the rest with a low shot inside the right post to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead at the second intermission. The Spartans killed off a pair of penalties in the third period behind more strong goaltending by Kalm and enforced offensive pressure down the stretch to hold on for the 2-1 victory. 

Castleton held a 33-25 advantage in shots and won the faceoff battle 35-24. Both teams combined to go 0-for-7 on the power play.