RUTLAND, Vt. – Taylor Steadman scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in the second period, to power Castleton's women's hockey team to a 3-0 victory over Plymouth St. on Saturday evening at Spartan Arena in the New England Hockey Conference quarterfinals.
The 17-7-2 Spartans advance to the NEHC semifinals with the win. Castleton's 17th win of the season sets a new program record, surpassing the 16-win mark set in 2013-14. The semifinals will take place on Friday, March 4, with the highest remaining seed hosting both the semifinals and finals.
Steadman's goals were numbers 14 and 15 on the season for the senior, who was recently named NEHC First Team All-Conference. Aimee Briand recorded a pair of assists in the game for the Spartans, while Jess Cameron posted her fourth shutout of the season en route to her 15th victory.
Emily Lindqvist stopped 37 shots in net for Plymouth St., which moves to 10-16-0 with the defeat.
After a scoreless first period in which Castleton dominated in both possession and shots, the Spartans came out looking to break into the goal column in the second stanza. Steadman was the first to strike, skating the puck up the right wing before firing a wrist shot at the top of the right circle. The shot found the five-hole of Lindqvist to give Castleton a 1-0 lead with just less than 12 minutes to play in the middle frame.
With 7:38 elapsed in the final frame, Brianna Keats took a pass from Sam Pion from behind the net and punched it home to make it 2-0 in favor of the home team. Keats received the pass in the crease and collected herself amongst traffic in front before sliding it under the pads of Lindqvist for the insurance goal.
With time winding down, the Panthers pulled their goalie in favor of an extra attacker. The advantage was anything but, as Castleton continually kept the puck in its offensive zone before Steadman found the empty net for her second goal of the contest to put the game at its final score of 3-0.
Cameron was phenomenal once more for the Spartans, as the NEHC Goaltender of the Year stopped all 14 shots that she faced in the contest, while helping to kill off all three Castleton penalties.