Southern Maine Edges Castleton State 2-1

Senior Bridget O'Brien scored both goals as USM beat Castleton State 2-1 on Saturday.
Senior Bridget O'Brien scored both goals as USM beat Castleton State 2-1 on Saturday.

            GORHAM, Maine -- Senior Bridget O'Brien (Boston, Mass.) scored her first two goals of the season to lift the University of Southern Maine women's ice hockey team past Castleton State College, 2-1, in an ECAC Women's East game Saturday afternoon at the USM Ice Arena.

            The win extended the Huskies' record to 4-0-0 overall and 3-0-0 in ECAC play.  The Huskies are off to their best start in the 16-year history of the program.  The Spartans slipped to 3-3-0 overall and 1-1-0 in league play.

            O'Brien had the only goal of the opening period when her shot from the right wing circle somehow eluded Castleton State junior goalie Paula Stephens (Seattle, Wash.).  Freshman Lynn Kozlowski (Stoneham, Mass.) picked up the only assist.

            Castleton scored a tying goal in the middle period when sophomore Nicole Jensen (Hallerup, Denmark) put a 20-foot shot over the shoulder of USM junior netminder Liz Bergstrom (Chanhassen, Minn.).  Sophomore Anna Daniels (Falun, Sweden) had the lone assist.

            Early in the third period, O'Brien found herself in an opportunistic spot to the left of the goal to collect the rebound of sophomore Cassandra Sherman's (North Smithfield, R.I.) shot that clanked off the right post, and buried her shot into the open side.

            Bergstrom preserved the lead over the final 17 minutes as the Spartans pressed the attack looking for another equalizer.  Bergstrom made 14 of her 30 saves in the final period.

            Stephens recorded 18 saves before being lifted with 40 seconds to play in favor of the extra attacker.  Castleton State finished the game with a 31-20 edge in shots on goal, including a 14-3 advantage in the third period.

            Southern Maine hits the road next weekend for games at Nichols College on Friday (6:40 p.m.) and Manhattanville College on Saturday (4:00 p.m.).  Castleton State will be at home against nationally-ranked Norwich University on Friday (4:00 p.m.) and Saint Michael's College on Saturday (1:00 p.m.).