PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The No. 10 Castleton women's hockey team dropped its first game of the year in a non-conference matchup on Tuesday evening to No. 1 Plattsburgh St. by a final score of 4-0 at Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena.
The powerful offense of the top-ranked Cardinals was too much for the Spartans to overcome, as Castleton moves to 7-1-1 on the season. Plattsburgh St. remains unbeaten at 7-0-0 with the victory. Jess Cameron made a career-high 60 saves in the defeat for the Spartans.
The first period was a defensive battle, as Cameron and the Spartans became the first team to keep the Cardinals off the board in the opening period all season. Cameron made 21 stops in the first frame, while the Spartans killed off their only penalty of the period.
After the scoreless first period, both teams were looking to break into the goal column in the second. Castleton looked destined to be the first team on the board, when Ashley Pelkey put a backhand shot on goal right in front of the net. Cardinal goalie Camille Leonard couldn't handle the attempt cleanly, leading to a scrum in front and the puck being punched over the line. After a brief conference, the officials signaled no goal, ruling the goalie had covered the puck prior to it crossing the line.
After a Spartan penalty at 12:23 of the second period sent Castleton to the penalty kill for the second time in the contest, Plattsburgh St. looked to open the scoring. Midway through the Cardinals' power-play, junior Erin Brand would take passes from Bridget Balisy and Jordan Lipson at the blue line and drive a shot on net, just over the shoulder of Cameron, to give the home team a 1-0 lead with 6:20 to play in the second stanza.
Coming into the third period trailing by one score, the Spartans would look to even things up with a power play opportunity early in the final frame. Plattsburgh St. had other ideas, as Courtney Moriarty got the puck and made a nifty move around a Spartan defender before scoring a shorthanded goal just beyond the outstretched pad of Cameron to make it 2-0 and open the floodgates for the Plattsburgh St. offense. The Cardinals would extend their lead to 3-0 with 6:43 to play in the game, when Megan Delay scored from the right circle on assists from Balisy and Lipson. The Cardinals would tack on one final goal late in the period, when Kayla Meneghin found the back of the net on a rebound from a Melissa Sheeran shot.
Brianna Keats led the Spartans in shots in the game, putting four shots on goal while Pelkey, Hannah Wright, Rachel Bombardier, Anna Daniels, Lisa Kilroy, Hannah Rose, and Ally Brandland all had two shots on goal in the contest.
Cameron was outstanding in the contest, turning away multiple breakaways and odd-numbered rushes, however she was saddled with her first loss of the year in a 60-save performance. Leonard recorded a 21-save shutout to earn her sixth victory of the season in goal for the Cardinals.
Castleton could not get the power play going in the contest, going 0-3 with the man-advantage. Plattsburgh St. converted one of their two power-play opportunities into a goal, while also tallying a shorthanded goal in the third period.
The Spartans are back in action on Sunday, when they play host to Williams. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.