Men’s hockey finally finding its groove

After getting a rough start to their season, the Spartans have finally found their strides in the last few games, according to senior captain Brett Zeggil.
The Spartans have started their season at 5-4 after returning home from Europe, which wasn’t exactly the start they were looking for.
“We kind of had a bad start to the year,” Zeggil said. “It wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but we’ve really started turning the corner and playing to our potential.”
On December 1, the Spartans hosted the conference-rival Cadets of Norwich.
“We were really excited going into that game,” Kevin Van Dyk said.
The Spartans however, suffered a 2-1 loss that could only be described as heartbreaking when the Cadets scored to break the tie with 15 seconds left in the game.
After the Cadets killed off a power play with just minutes remaining, the Cadets offense made a breakaway and Dean Niezgoda passed off the puck to Colin Mulvey who fired a wrist shot over Spartans goaltender Erick Cinotti.
The Spartans scored first against the Cadets in the first period when junior Nick Lazorko blasted a shot to give Castleton the early lead.
Travis Janke scored for the Cadets late in the second period to tie it up.
The game then continued with several Castleton power plays, however the Spartans were outshot 19-11, including the second period when they were outshot 11-1. The Spartans defense remained strong until the end of the contest when they broke down to allow the Norwich victory.
Norwich improved to 9-0 in the season while goaltender Chris Czarnota made 10 saves. Castleton’s Cinotti made 17.
More recently, the Spartans faced off against Skidmore College at Spartan Arena where they had a better outcome, defeating the thoroughbreds 5-2.
The scoring started 10 minutes into the game when freshman Charlie Bando scored. However, less than a minute later, Skidmore tied it up when Chris Powers was found by teammate Brad Schuler.
In the second period, senior captain Dan Bell scored on a power play after receiving the puck from Ryan Delorme.
Just over a minute later, Kyle Pichler fired a shot after receiving a pass from Justin Alonzo, but the puck bounced off the post and Alonzo picked up the rebound to score the goal. This goal was Alonzo’s 100th point as a Spartan.
“It was cool to get my 100th at home in front of my friends and family,” Alonzo said. “It’s a special moment to reach that goal because not many people have, and it was great having it be a game-winning goal.”
In the end of the second period, Skidmore added its final goal on a power play when Brendan Cottam picked up a rebound in front of Cinotti and slid it into the net.
In the third period, freshman Tyler Gaudry fired a shot glove side of Skidmore’s Spender Sodokoff to make it 4-2. Bell later scored on an empty net, finalizing the score at 5-2.
Cinotti made 20 saves, while Sodokoff made 30.
“We’re making steps in the right direction,” Bell said. “We are feeling confident going into our break.”
The Spartans improve to 6-4-1.
“We’ve finally started playing our game and just having fun,” Alonzo said.
The Spartans will return to the ice on Dec. 30 in the Oswego Hockey Classic at SUNY Oswego, where they will face off against Lawrence.

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