Hockey teams still in playoff hunt despite struggles

Glenn Wiswell, top, shields the puck from a defender in a game earlier this season. Photo Credits: Devin Poslusny

The Castleton Hockey teams have been on a roll lately and a big part of it comes from the netminders. For the Women, Ryile Wills and Alexis Kalm have both been having solid years. Wills pitched her first shutout of the year last week.

“It’s nice to get the first win especially with it coming in a shutout,” Wills said.

In six starts Wills has is 2-3-1 with a stunning 1.92 GAA. Kalm had her best game of the year making 41 saves in last Tuesday’s game vs William’s College. Kalm made her 1,000th career save in the women’s 4-2 loss to Suffolk on Saturday afternoon after Wills and company were defeated Friday. She made 25 of 27 saves in the 3-1 loss to UMass Boston.

On the men’s side, Wyatt Pickrell has bounced back and picked up his first win of the season in a 6-2 triumph versus Suffolk. Pickrell made 44 of 46 saves in the win. After the game, Pickrell said he’d been waiting a while to get back in the win column. The Spartans were on the losing side of a matchup with Johnson and Wales college but Pickrell still recorded 37 saves in the contest. Pickrell was also named the NEHC Goalie of the week for his performance in both games. The men tied New England College on Saturday Dec. 8, 1-1. The Spartans were then shutout by Southern Maine on Sunday Dec. 9 to finish up the first half of their season.

The men enter the second half of their season with an overall record of 2-8-4 and a  record of 1-5-2 in conference play. They currently sit eigthth in the NEHC. Sophomore Glen Wiswell leads the team with four goals and five assists for a total of nine points in the first 14 games.

Freshman Asa Palker is my player to watch for the men’s team going into the second half. Palker got off to a hot start picking up five goals in his first three games. He has since cooled down, picking up just three points in his last 11 games.

Aimee Briand, bottom,  outskates a defender. Photo Credits: Devin Poslusny

The women end their first half with an overall record of 4-6-2, but own a 4-3-1 record in conference play. They currently sit at third place in the NEHC. Jocelyn Forrest leads the team with eight of their 21 goals this season. Forrest is second in the NEHC with goals scored.

Rylie Wills would be my player to watch in the second half. Wills has found her groove between the pipes and has looked confident and determined in her last few starts.

The women will return to the ice Jan. 2 against Trinity College.

The men will return Jan. 4 against St. Michaels.


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