CASTLETON, Vt. – The No. 8/10 Castleton women's hockey team is back on this ice this weekend, hosting a pair of games at Spartan Arena on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday night, the Spartans take on the University of New England at 4:00 p.m. before concluding their regular-season home schedule on Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. matchup against the University of Southern Maine. Prior to Saturday's contest, a ceremony will be held for the graduating seniors on the team.
Castleton enters the weekend with a 14-5-2 record overall, and a 9-3-1 record in New England Hockey Conference play following a 1-1 record a week ago. The Spartans look to resume their winning ways, as they have posted a 4-4 record in their last eight games.
Senior Taylor Steadman has led the team in scoring this season, netting 12 goals to go along with five assists for 17 points. Steadman enters the weekend with 56 career points, which places her fourth all-time in program history. Senior captain Anna Daniels is the all-time leading scorer for Castleton women's hockey, netting 39 goals and 50 assists in her career for 89 points--including three goals and 11 assists this season for a total of 14 points. Assistant captain Rachel Bombardier has cracked double-digits in the scoring column for the third consecutive season, as the senior currently has three goals and seven assists. Bombardier has scored 15 career goals while adding 23 assists for a total of 38 points in her career. Sam Pion is another key player for the Spartans, as she ranks first in Castleton history for points scored by a defenseman. Pion has scored four times this season, while adding three assists, for a total of seven points. The senior has tallied 41 points on 15 goals and 21 assists in her career.
In goal, senior Jess Cameron has had a phenomenal season so far, as she enters the weekend with the highest save percentage and highest winning percentage in a single season in Castleton history. The assistant captain has stopped 677 shots in 20 games this season, posting a save percentage of .947 and a 1.95 goals-against average. Cameron has averaged 33.85 saves per game while recorded three shutouts and a 13-5-2 record on the season.
UNE enters the weekend with a record of 11-7-2 overall, and a conference record of 6-6-1. The Nor'easters had a seven game unbeaten streak snapped last weekend by the likes of Holy Cross and Saint Anselm, as they dropped both games over the weekend.
Gabby Crugnale is the leading scorer for UNE, netting six goals to go along with 10 assists. Mary Wirth leads the team in assists (11), while scoring three goals for a total of 14 points. Emily Corrales and Marissa Clifford-Biederman are tied for the team-lead in goals, with seven each. Corrales leads the team with three game-winning goals, while 15 different players have scored at least one goal for the Nor'easters.
In goal for UNE, Sydney Helmbrecht has made 18 starts, compiling a 10-6-2 record. The junior holds a .935 save percentage to go along with a 1.82 goals-against average and four shutouts.
These two teams squared off in the first weekend of NEHC action, with Castleton taking home a 2-1 victory. Steadman and Lisa Kilroy each netted goals in the contest, while Cameron stopped 35 shots in the win.
Southern Maine comes into the weekend with a 3-15-2 record overall and a 2-9-2 record in NEHC action. The Huskies rolled to a 6-0 win over Nichols last Saturday, snapping an 11-game winless streak.
Offensively, the Huskies average just 1.50 goals per game on 23.5 shots per game this season. Lynn Kozlowski leads the team in points (14) and assists (9) on the season, while Cassandra Sherman has scored a team-high eight goals to date. Katie Couture has provided balance for the Huskies, netting four goals while assisting on five this season. Sherman has come through in the clutch for USM, scoring all three game-winning goals this season for her squad.
Between the pipes, Britney Evangelista has seen a majority of the action while posting a 2-7-2 record. The freshman holds a .926 save percentage to go along with a 2.06 goals-against average and a pair of shutouts.
This is the second matchup of the season between the two squads, with Castleton picking up a 4-1 win on USM ice. Kilroy, Hannah Rose, Hannah Wright, and Ally Brandland each scored for Castleton, while Cameron made 24 saves to lead the Spartans to victory.