In the middle of all the gaudy offensive numbers put up by the Castleton men’s ice hockey team lately – ranked second overall in Division III men’s ice hockey for goals per game (4.68), fourth in power play percentage (31.00%) and having three players ranked in the top-25 in scoring in the country – have been goaltenders’ Erick Cinotti and Seth McNary.Both goaltenders have been responsible for letting the offense fluctuate at a blistering pace and, most importantly, both netminders have been key to the Spartans’ 13-game winning streak and tying a program best for wins in a season at 17-2-0 overall.
“[Erick and Seth] let us play hard and we know that are mistakes will not necessarily cost us,” said junior co-captain Lindsey Gullett about both goaltenders allowing Castleton to play worry free on the ice.
Cinotti, only a freshman, has compiled some impressive numbers himself this season. Cinotti ranks first in Division III men’s ice hockey for goaltenders in goals against average (1.3625), second in save percentage (.941) – only one percent behind the countries leader – and tied for fourth in shutouts with two.
McNary, Cinotti’s counterpart in net, has contributed on and off the ice helping the Spartans, along with their defensemen and freshman netminder, to a fifth-place ranking in Division III hockey in team defense only allowing two goals per game.
On the season, McNary is 9-1-0 overall with an .897 save percentage and 2.42 goals against average but McNary also brings plenty of leadership to the locker room that is extremely invaluable not only to Cinotti, but also the rest of his teammates as well.
“Seth, being an older guy, is a leader in the dressing room and a leader on this team,” said Gullett. “The guys on this team respect him.”
Having two different goaltenders, which play two extremely contrasting styles, also makes it harder for other teams to prepare for Castleton from game-to-game.
“Well look at them, one is six-three [McNary] and one is five-six [Cinotti], one is a big guy and lets pucks hit him while the other guy is quick and agile and makes saves and slides and moves really well,” said head coach Alex Todd. “It’s a great one-two combination, teams don’t really know what to expect and when they see it they can’t really prepare for the combo that we have because at any given night we can play either one and they both play great.”
And they’ve played great all season too.