The Castleton State College hockey team is off to its best start in history with a record of 10-1, and it proved that it can hang with the best of them last week despite losing to top-ranked Norwich 3-2.
The game didn’t start so well for the Spartans as they gave up three consecutive goals in the first period, but they were able to compose themselves and Colin Murray scored his seventh goal of the season just 17:17 into the contest.
In the second period, Castleton capitalized on a power play 5:28 in as Dru Douglas scored his first goal of the season on an assist from both Tyler Atkins and Nick Lazorko.
Even though the team took the loss, coach Alex Todd was happy with how his team skated.
“We played great,” Todd said. “We played hard all 60 minutes and matched up with them well. They just capitalized on their power plays.”
The Spartans looked to bounce back from the tough loss the very next day against St. Michaels and didn’t disappoint. With four different players scoring, including Josh Harris, Murray, who scored two goals, Ben Schoeneberger and Ryan Frost, the Spartans won their 10th game of the season.
“I’m happy with how we bounced back,” Todd said. “After a tough loss it’s good to win.”
Todd is very happy with his team’s play thus far despite the fact that he acknowledges there is room for improvements to be made.
“Even though we haven’t been consistent throughout the season, we have just found ways to win.”
Having lost three players to graduation from last year’s team, two of whom were big contributors, Todd had to switch some things around for this year, and it has worked.
Todd cited senior leadership as a big reason why they are playing good hockey.
“Senior leadership is good,” Todd said. “We have a senior forward, senior defenseman and senior goalie, so we have that leadership in all positions.”
He also noted that he is happy with his five freshmen players, including Frost who has had two game-winning goals and Thomas Shelley who has won both of his games in net including the Rutland invitational final.
The Spartans don’t have another game until Dec. 30 when they take on Utica at home.
Looking back at his teams play thus far, Todd is looking to start playing again.
“We have been playing savvy hockey,” Todd said. “I hope in the second half we can surprise some teams with our play.”