RUTLAND, Vt. – Despite a heavy shot advantage in the final frame, the Castleton men's hockey team could not overcome a one-goal deficit on Saturday evening, falling to New England College 1-0 in a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) matchup at Spartan Arena.
The Spartans suffer their first defeat of the season, falling to 2-1-1 overall and 1-1-0 in NEHC action. New England College moves to 2-1-0 overall and 1-1-0 in NEHC play with Saturday's victory.
Ryan Mulder stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced in the contest for the Spartans, allowing just a second-period goal that made the difference. The top line of Henning Dahlberg, Kevin Rosset and Bart Moran put 13 shots on goal for the Spartans, but the high-quality looks failed to find the net as NEC's Brett Kilar stood tall.
Kilar wrapped up the contest with a 33-save shutout, his first of the season. Patrick Bartolomucci's score in the second stanza was the only one of the contest, as it went down as the game-winning goal.
After an uneventful opening frame, the two sides came into the second period deadlocked at 0-0. That score held on until the 11:29 mark in the second period, when New England College carried the puck deep into the Castleton zone. Chris Santello and Carlos Fornaris cycled the puck back-and-forth at the point, before Santello let go a shot. Mulder slid over to line it up, but Bartolomucci redirected the shot at the last second, sending it between the legs of Mulder to put NEC up 1-0 going into the second intermission.
Castleton came out heavy in search of an equalizer in the final period, outshooting the Pilgrims 21-5 in the final period, but Kilar would not budge. With time winding down, Castleton pulled its goalie in favor of an extra attacker. The Spartans put four shots on goal in the final minutes with the extra attacker, but could not convert as the final horn sounded on the 1-0 result.
Castleton finished the game with a 33-23 edge in shots on goal, and a 34-21 edge in face-offs, while both teams failed on all of their power-play opportunities.
The Spartans return to action on Friday, Nov. 11, when they travel to No. 3 UMass-Boston for a NEHC matchup at 7 p.m.