The Spartans beat the University of Southern Maine to finish their weekend sweep. Castleton also found its way into a tie for third place with Babson in the newly updated Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s East standings. The weekend was capped off with a 2-0 victory over Southern Maine, a game where Spartan goaltender, Jeff Swanson, stood on his head saving all 19 shots he faced. Castleton’s forwards seized their opportunities as Brandon Heck was credited for both of Castleton’s points, assisting on a goal and scoring one goal of his own. Heck lifted the Spartans to a 1-0 lead when he grabbed his own rebound and beat the goalie on his second shot.
Heck ended the game with 2 points, leading all scorers. Steve Culbertson and Tyler Atkins were both credited with assists. The Spartan’s recent surge seems like a push by its consistent defensive play which started the night before.
The Spartans fell behind early in their game against Salem State, trailing 1-0. Castleton started its rally when Stephen Miles scored his first career collegiate goal. Heck scored the eventual game winner a minute and a half after Miles’ goal. Jay Seals stopped 31 shots for the Spartans, 13 of which came in the third period. Seals’ play acted as the foundation of the defense, and everything else fell into place.
The Spartans’ defensive play has started a confident campaign for the men’s hockey team as it enters the final four games of the regular season.
Castleton has now jumped out to an 11-8-2 overall record, and 7-6-2 in the ECAC East. The Spartans will host St. Michael’s College on Feb. 13 and top-ranked Norwich University the following day. The men’s hockey team ends the season the following weekend traveling to Wesleyan and Trinity.