Spartans Hockey Trying to Find Groove

The Castleton men’s hockey team had a tough weekend, going without a win and bringing their season record to 1-2-1.

            The first game of the weekend came against an undefeated St. Anselm squad who came prepared to fight. Castleton had to play from behind for much of the game and squeaked out with a 3-3 tie.

            In the first period, St. Anselm went on the offensive, and earned a pair of power plays, including a period of 51 seconds where the action was 5-on-3. The Spartan defense held strong and kept the puck out of the back of the net for the entire period.

            With 5:51 elapsed in the second period, the Hawks broke through as Bryan Sullivan scored a goal on a rebound right in front of the net. Minutes later, Castleton’s Colin Murray scored the equalizer after defensemen Kevin Van Dyk ripped a shot on net.

            30 seconds later, St. Anselm took the lead back on a quick 2-on-1 break when Tucker Mullin made a beautiful wrist-shot into the far corner of the net. The rest of the second was back and forth, with great saves made by both St. A’s Robert Kang and CSC’s Thomas Shelley.

            Castleton came out hot in the third, with the penalty-killing unit scoring a shorthanded goal with just 24 seconds into the period. Nick Lazorko put a shot on net on a 2-on-1 break, and Josh Harris picked up the rebound and deposited it in the back of the cage.

            St. Anselm’s Mike Richard answered quickly again about two minutes later off a one-timer into the back of the net to take the lead 3-2.  Castleton was not discouraged, and managed to tie it up halfway through the period with a Kyle Richards goal off a pass from Justin Alonzo.

            Neither team was able to score for the remainder of the game, with both goalies playing very strong in net. The goaltending remained excellent in the extra period and the game ended in a 3-3 tie.

            “Our boys did a good job of responding after their scores, but it was disappointing not to come away with a win in front of our home crowd.” said head coach Alex Todd

            The second game was a nail-biter against New England College that was ultimately decided in the third period by a couple of tough penalties. Castleton went down 4-3 on a one-timer that squeezed past Jake Stafford late in the third.

               The theme of the game was penalties, with a combined 25 penalties, and 69 minutes spent in the box, Castleton was called for 15 of the 25 penalties, but were able to kill off 11 out of the 12 power plays in the game.

            NEC took the lead early off a goal that came just one minute into the game. Andre Stalberg’s lone goal of the period and Castleton went in to the second trailing 1-0.

            The second period started with a shorthanded score by Ross Herzog, who scored on his own rebound of a breakaway shot. Later in the period Nick Lazorko found Colin Murray on a power play, who deflected the puck into the back of the net to give the Spartans their first lead of the game, as the Spartans held onto the lead going into the third period.

            In the third, the Pilgrims earned a five-on-three power play, and scored after Cheyne Matheson beat Stafford stick side on a rebound. Later in the period with the score tied at 2-2, Castleton’s Ben Schoeneberger found Nick Lazorko for a power play goal, putting the Spartans up 3-2.
            Late in the third period, NEC’s Jon Boxill scored a short-handed goal when they intercepted an errant Castleton pass, and finished a breakaway to tie the game at 3-3. Four minutes later, the Pilgrims struck again, taking a 4-3 lead on a one-timer that squeezed past Stafford.

            The Spartans were unable to tie the game despite many shots on goal, and fell 4-3.

            “The guys all played hard, but it was just tough to overcome all the penalties, we have to play smarter in order to win.” said Sophomore Ryan Frost after the game.

            The Spartans next game is at Umass-Boston on Nov. 16 where they hope to get their season on track and come away with a victory.

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