The Spartans pulled off one of the biggest upsets in program history on Friday when they defeated then number two nationally ranked Norwich University 2-1 in Northfield, Vermont.
Castleton’s win marks their first ever at Kreitzberg Arena and their second victory overall against the Cadets.
Senior forward Jake Irwin was finally able to beat the Cadets before leaving Castleton.
“It was a huge relief beating Norwich. As a senior we have always played Norwich really well but never gotten over the hump. There’s something special about those games, and to finally come out on top was a great feeling,” he said.
Freshman goalie Brandon Collett was a machine protecting the net for Castleton, recording a whopping 54 saves in only his sixth career start. Collett’s performance landed him in the record books as he is now tied at sixth for most saves in a single game.
On the offensive side for Castleton, freshman Calvin Moïse and junior Nick Gravina each recorded second period goals off of assists from junior Glenn Wiswell.
Gravina says that the Spartans were motivated and driven to win this game like any other, but definitely had a boost of energy for the contest against their in-state rivals.
“After the first goal we knew it was going to be a battle to keep the lead and we just had to stick to the game plan,” said Gravina, a native of Bloomingdale, Illinois. “The second goal was a good cushion to have knowing that they were going to come at us with everything they had. As the game clock ticked down to the later part of the third period, every line knew they had to go out and win their shifts.”
The “do your job” mentality paid off for Castleton, securing their second straight win after their 3-2 overtime win at home in the Castleton invitational against Curry College.
Saturday was a different outcome for the Spartans, losing 7-0 at St. Michael’s College in South Burlington, Vermont.
Castleton is now 3-7-1 overall and 2-4-1 in NEHC play.
Going forward, Gravina feels the team needs to play like the best while also respecting their opponents in order to maintain positive momentum.
“We need to always respect our opponents and never take a game too lightly,” Gravina said. “In college hockey, any team can win any game.”
The Spartans will hit the ice again on Friday Dec. 13 at 4 p.m. to host the Lions of Bryn Athyn College at the Spartan Arena.