February 18, 2012

Women's Hockey Ties Castleton State on Senior Day

BOSTON, Mass. – With a slap shot from the blue line senior Brittany Usmail (New Hartford, N.Y.) capped off her senior day with one of the most impressive goals of the season to tie the game at 1-1 with just one second remaining in the second period.  That goal would hold-up as women's hockey tied Castleton State College by the final of 1-1 Saturday afternoon in the Clark Athletic Center Ice Arena.

Usmail's goal which she took from right inside the Spartans blue line hit the inside right post and fired into the back of the goal just as time was expiring to tie the game at 1-1.  Setting-up the game-tying score was Katie Loiselle (Glocester, R.I.) and Dylan Caron (Burrillville, R.I.).

Castleton State got on the scoreboard early in the first period after Meagan Hulbert's shot took a wicked bounce off of Leah Hallett's (Rocky Hill, Conn.) glove.  The puck hit the ice and bounced into the back of the Beacons goal giving the Spartans the early advantage. 

In that period, Castleton State held a 9-5 lead in shots over the host Beacons.  In the second, UMass Boston dominated from start to finish as their offense led by Usmail and sophomore Tori Pizzuto (Waterbury, Conn.) rifled off a combined 16 shots, while the defense also led by the two players held Castleton to just nine shots.

After the Usmail goal tied it at 1-1 the third period was a back and forth battle with both teams shooting the puck whenever they saw the open window.  Castleton managed an 11-9 advantage in shots in that period, but with neither team finding the back of the net the game went into overtime.

Just like the third the two teams continued to fire off shots from all over the ice, but neither team was able to break the tie as the final horn sounded bringing an end to the 2011-12 regular season for both squads.

In goal, Hallett who along with Usmail were recognized by their teammates, coaches, friends, and family prior to the start of the contest made a combined 30 saves in the draw.  Castleton State's Paul Stephens posted 32 saves, with her busiest period coming in the second when she made 15 stops.

Both teams were scoreless on the power-plays as they each went 0-for-2 respectively.

UMass Boston will now look to this year's conference tournament with all roads pointing to Rye, New York where they will face Manhattanville College.  The official tournament bracket will be announced later this weekend.