PAWTUCKET, RI – Needing a win to stay in the running for a home NEHC playoff spot, the Johnson & Wales University women's ice hockey team got past Castleton University on Friday for their ninth win of the season. The Wildcats defeated the Spartans, 3-2.
Castleton: 8-13-3, 8-5-2 NEHC
Johnson & Wales: 9-12-3, 7-7-1 NEHC
CU: Rylie Wills (L, 5-7-2): 12 Saves, 3 Goals
JWU: Jasmine Mucci (W, 8-10-3), 38 Saves, 2 Goals
With the victory, the Wildcats hopped Southern Maine for fourth place in the NEHC standings. JWU can clinch the hosting spot with a win over Norwich or a NEC defeat of Southern Maine on Saturday.
The nine victories equal the school record for wins in a season.
After killing off a pair of penalties, the Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the first period. Right after the second penalty, Hannah Tracy pressured a Spartan defender, came up with the puck and got it to Kathryn Mason who scored at the 12:59 mark.
In the second period, the Wildcats took advantage of the power play to go ahead 2-0. Caitlin Sweet passed the puck to the top where Victoria Perez was waiting and her great wrist shot found the top right corner at 11:27 mark.
The Spartans got on the board on Bre Babiarz's goal with 2:45 left in the third period, but the Wildcats answered, less than 25 second later, on Mason's second goal of the game.
With a pair of Wildcats in the box, Castleton cut the lead to 3-2 with 28 seconds left, but JWU goaltender Jasmine Mucci made the final few saves to preserve the victory.
Castleton had a 40-15 shots advantage, but Mucci came up with 38 saves.
The Wildcats will return to the ice Saturday to take on No. 7 Norwich University for a 3:55 pm puck drop.