The Spartans brought their brooms for the Rutland Herald Invitational. The Castleton men’s hockey team rolled past Becker College easily in the first game, with a 7-1 victory. In the championship game on Sunday, Nov. 27, history was made. The Spartans went into Sunday’s contest having lost all three previous championship games. Castleton took home the trophy for the first time by beating Brockport State 5-1. Josh Harris, Stuart Stefan, Tyler Atkins and Jonathan Lafrance were named to the all-tournament team. Senior Captain Stefan was excited about the win.
“It’s a nice mix we got right now, everyone is trying to lead by example and score goals,” said Stefan. “It’s working out well right now; we are 4-0.”
The Spartans came into this past weekend, ranked 14th in the nation in a uscho.com poll. However a different team came to play Friday night at Spartan Arena. Castleton jumped out to a 3-1 lead but the wheels just seemed to come off, as they were out played and out skated by a better Colby College. Colby broke the hearts of CSC fans as they came back to win 5-3.
Castleton came into Saturday’s game hosting the fourth-ranked Bowdoin Polar Bears. The Polar bears, dressed ironically in all black, took the lead just a mere 20 seconds into the game putting the puck past Castleton net-minder Seth McNary. Bowdoin scored again at the 10:48 mark with a beautiful slapshot over McNary’s glove hand into the top right corner. After two goals on four shots, McNary was pulled out of the game and threw his helmet while yelling at his team. Back-up goaltender Erick Cinotti got to see his second action of the year and held the Spartans in the game.
Bowdoin then scored on a one-timer from the point to go up 3-0. Fed up with being run out of their own building two nights in a row, Castleton tallied a goal from Harris just 35 seconds later. Assists were given to Drew Douglas and Stefan. With an angry Polar Bear getting kicked out of the game, the Spartans went on a power play for five minutes on a hitting from behind penalty. In a net-front scramble with eight seconds left in the second period senior captain Lindsey Gullett found the back of the net as the puck slowly trickled past the sprawled out goalie for Bowdoin. Douglas and Braden Kinnebrew got credit for the assists.
The Spartans appeared to have the game tied at 3-3 on a Harris shot, but the referees waved off the goal saying that the net was dislodged.
“I talked to one of the referees and they said that the other referees saw the net come off the pegs but didn’t blow his whistle to stop the play,” said Graduate Assistant coach Kurt Colling.
Not only were the players mad but the fans made their voices heard loud and clear. The refs were being heckled so much that one Castleton player made a remark to one of the refs and was thrown out of the game with a 10-minute penalty. The Spartans made a remarkable comeback but the Polar Bear goalie, Richard Nerland stood on his head stopping 36 shots.