Men’s hockey falls to No. 1 Hobart to end season

Romeo Torain celebrates the Spartans lone goal Saturday.

In a season that saw its fair share of ups and downs, the Castleton men’s hockey team concluded its campaign on Feb. 18, with an 8-1 defeat against number one seed, Hobart College. After a four-hour haul to Hobart, the Spartans ultimately fell short in the quarterfinals.

Head coach Kyle Richards, reflecting on the season, acknowledged the challenges they faced but also highlighted some positive aspects.

“This season has been different than our previous two,” Richards remarked before the game. “We had a fairly strong start but have not played our best hockey in the last half of the season. Whereas last year was kind of the opposite, slow start, strong finish.”

The team struggled to find consistency throughout the season, experiencing both highs and lows. Despite the challenging journey, there were notable moments that showcased the team’s potential.

Balint Mesterhazy skates up the ice with the puck looking to create some offense.

Richards pointed out, “We were still able to accomplish sweeping a home conference weekend for the first time since 2017, I think. I did like the way we played last weekend against Hobart and Elmira, despite not getting the results we wanted.”

When asked before the game on Saturday what Richards thought about this upcoming weekend, he expressed confidence and optimism 

“We feel confident heading into Saturday. Despite the way the season has finished, we pushed them to the brink last weekend and are going into this game playing with house money. No pressure on us, it’s all on them, and if we play to our potential, I like our chances against anyone.”

Unfortunately, the game did not unfold as Castleton had hoped, with an 8-1 defeat marking the end of their season. 

Romeo Torain’s goal, assisted by Zach Trempner, provided a momentary spark, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Hobart’s performance.

With Dominic Rodrigeu in goal, he turned away 43 shots, which resulted in his third-highest save mark of the year. Castleton had totaled six blocked shots on defense, which was led by Andrew Stefura with two.

Coach Richards’ pre-game statements hinted at the team’s struggles in maintaining a consistent level of play. 

Jackson Kobelka lines up at the dot to faceoff against a Statesmen player.

“When we have been successful this season, we have kept things simple and played together. Seems cliche, but when this group is going as a connected unit and plays to our strengths, they have shown they can compete with anyone in the country,” he said

The season’s final record of 7-19 may not reflect the team’s potential, but Richards remains optimistic about the future.

Despite the challenges faced and the season’s outcome, the Castleton men’s hockey team can take pride in moments of triumph and learn from the setbacks. As they regroup and set their sights on the future, the team will use these experiences to fuel their determination for a stronger performance in the seasons to come.

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