Spartan men to host first-ever playoff game, women on the road

The Spartan men’s ice hockey team started the momentum against Amherst in January and carried it for nine more games all the way to the third seed in the ECAC East. After defeating rival Norwich 4-3, Castleton faced tough competition from Wesleyan and Trinity. Coach Alex Todd’s squad took a 2-0 after the first period and kept rolling to a 6-0 win over Wesleyan. Brandon Heck tallied three goals while Eric Curtis, Marlin Froese and Ross Carmichael each contributed one. Jeff Swanson made 25 saves in his second shutout of the season. The win secured a first-ever home ice playoff game for the Spartans.

Saturday, Castleton locked up third place in the ECAC with a 3-1 win over Trinity. Despite a slow start for the Spartans, Castleton gained a 2-1 lead going into the final period off of goals by Kirk Bolduc and Travis Martell. Heck scored the lone goal of the final period to secure the win.

The Spartans will host an opponent still to be determined on Saturday in quarterfinal action. Todd’s team heads into the game 11-6-2 in conference play and 13-10-2 overall.

Women’s ice hockey

The Spartan women dropped their final two regular season games finishing in 10th seed in the ECAC East.

Coach Gregory Stone’s squad fell behind 4-0 after the first two periods of a match-up with Norwich. Nicole Adams and Stephanie Purinton both scored goals for the Spartans but it wasn’t enough as Castleton fell 4-2.

Castleton faced off against Saint Michael’s the following day and dropped the game 3-1. The Spartans held the Purple Knights to a scoreless first period but Saint Michael’s started the scoring halfway into the second. Saint Michael’s increased its lead in the third but the Stone’s team kept with in range with a goal from Kate Gray. However, the Purple Knights secured the win on an empty-net goal.

The Spartans fell to 4-11-4 in the conference and 5-15-4 overall and will be on the road in quarterfinal play at an opponent to be determined.

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