Sports

Moffat moves men’s ice hockey program forward

The 2013 season featured a new face on the bench for the Castleton men’s ice hockey team. The team underwent a coaching change in the offseason, which brought in Steve Moffat. In comparison to former head coach, Alex Todd, Moffat has changed the atmosphere inside and outside the Spartans’ locker room.
A few of players weighed in on the new atmosphere.
“Much more positive and more approachable,” said defensemen Brian Greene, comparing Moffat to Todd.
“Students can relate to him,” said senior Tyler Gaudry.
Moffat has also been a more socially active coach than Todd was. Moffat has been getting more involved with the student body by going around and conversing with a variety of students and faculty upon arrival, according to Greene.
Goalkeeper Thomas Shelley commented saying Moffat has done better at, “attracting students.”
The Spartans have had a slow start to the season, but are looking to climb the conference ladder and improve their spot in the standings.
The Spartans were on the road this weekend against conference foes, the St. Michael’s College Purple Knights and the Norwich University Cadets.
They opened up Friday night against St. Michael’s. The Spartans had their work cut out for them as the Purple Knights were in search of their first win of the season.
The Spartans came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. They struck first blood within the first two minutes with a goal by Ryan Frost. They were leading the whole game, though the play went back and forth.
In the third, the Spartans looked as if the game was pretty much in hand until St. Michaels cashed in on a power play goal halfway through the third, evening the score at three a piece and tying the game for the first time since the first period.
The remainder of the third consisted of more back and forth play between both teams, looking for that game sealing goal. Neither team was able to end it in regulation, moving the game into overtime.
Will Laking scored the game winning goal, weaving through a couple Purple Knights and pin pointing the puck past St. Michaels’ goaltender.
Moffat was pleased with his team’s performance with the exception of a few errors.
“Two mental lapses in the ‘D’ zone coverage,” said Moffat, explaining two of the three Purple Knight goals.
Despite the errors, the Spartans got the win.
“Smartest game this year,” said Moffat
Saturday night was a more difficult challenge for the Spartans, taking on Norwich in ECAC play.
Moffat talked briefly on Norwich after the win over St. Michaels Friday night. He said the speed was going to be much higher and faster than it’s been. As for keys to the game, Moffat said they needed to limit Norwich defensively and not give them a chance with the puck.
The first period was a tug of war match, while both teams were moving the puck end to end. However, Norwich would answer first. The Cadets would take their one goal lead into the first intermission.
Castleton wouldn’t be shut out as Colin Murray found the net at 4:02 of the second period, assisted by Bart Moran and Tyler Gaudry.
The game was tied at 1-1 and was looking good for underdog Castleton, but that soon changed.
A pair Norwich goals eight minutes apart was all that was needed for Norwich to pull away.They ended up sealing the game with a 6-2 win.
In talking to coach Moffat after the game, he felt his team didn’t handle the diversity well.
“Got a little rattled,” said Moffat, in reference to Norwich’s two go ahead goals in the second.He talked about his team needing to mentally get over the rival aspect of these games.
Looking forward to the rest of the season, Moffat kept it very simple.
“[We] have to continue to get better, that’s the goal,” he said.