Spartans open strong

For the first time in Castleton State College history, the men’s ice hockey team opened up its season with a four point weekend. The Spartans came away with a 2-0-0 record and 2-0-0 in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference East Division. Castleton went into Friday’s game against Saint Anselm College never haven beaten the Hawks. Since the program started in 2003-2004 the closest the Spartans came to beating them was tying twice in 05-06 season and in 06-07 season. The Spartans struck first with 3:48 left in the first period when Stuart Stefan put home his first goal of the season on a pass from Ben Schoeneberger. Stefan, who led the team in goals last season with 16, scored on a two-man advantage power-play goal top shelf on the net.

In the second period at the 15:00 mark the Spartans capitalized on a Hawk turnover in the Saint Anselm zone. The puck somehow found the back of the net as the netminder Kevin Fairweather missplayed a shot and the puck barely squeaked in. Lindsey Gullett was credited with his first goal of the season and Schoeneberger got his second assist of the game. The Gullett goal turned out to be the game-winner. Catleton goalie Seth McNary did not see a lot of rubber this weekend, but got the job done stopping 21 out of 22 shots from the Hawks.

First year players got their first colligate goals in the Spartans’ second game Saturday against hated rival New England College. Castleton also has never beaten the Pilgrims either, coming into the contest 0-7-2 lifetime.

Kyle Richards netted his first goal of the season and in his Spartan career with 20 seconds left in the first period when his pass was deflected in the goal by a Pilgrim defensemen. Just 54 seconds into the second period the Spartans lit the goal lamp again making it 2-0 on Colin Murray’s first goal of the season and first goal as a Spartan. Assists were given to Dan Bell and Schoeneberger.

Head coach Alex Todd spoke about his teams youth.

“Both colin and kyle got to watch last night,” said Todd after Saturday’s win. “They came into tonight fresh and think they learned a lot.”

NEC gave CSC a scare as they tied it up with five mintues left in the third period. But the Spartans came back three mintues later to put them up 3-2, on a goal by Dan Bell. Castleton’s Mike Cifelli put the dagger in the hearts of the Pilgrims with an empty net goal with 30 seconds left on an assist from Josh Harris to seal the 4-2 win.

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