BABSON PARK, Mass. – The Castleton men's hockey team suffered its third straight defeat on Saturday evening, falling to No. 13/15 Babson by a final score of 4-1 in a New England Hockey Conference matchup.
The Spartans fall below .500 for the first time this season at 2-3-1, and are now 1-3-0 in NEHC action. Babson moves to 3-1-1 overall and 2-0-0 in conference action.
Babson's Rob Devaney had two goals and an assist in the game, while Ryan Gouveia and Michael Phillips each had a goal and two assists.
The Spartans got on the board first, as Labelle scored his first goal of the season midway through the opening frame. The senior finished the score on Gus Carlsson's first assist of the season to make it 1-0 in favor of the visitors. Castleton held the lead until late in the period, but a power-play goal by Babson leveled things at 1-1 going into the break. A tripping penalty on Castleton gave the Beavers a power-play chance with 1:20 to go in the frame, and they quickly converted. With just 22 seconds to go in the opening frame, Devaney got his third goal of the season on assists from Charlie Ackerman and Tommy Munichiello to send the game into the intermission tied.
The two sides went back-and-forth for the opening half of the second period as well, before Babson's Phillips buried a rebound in transition to give his team its first lead of the game, 2-1. The Spartans held their ground for the remainder of the period following the goal, going into the third frame facing just a one-goal deficit.
Babson came out in the third period and put the game away, tacking on two goals in the final 20 minutes to seal the victory on home ice. Devaney notched his second power-play goal of the game just 3:31 into the final frame, before Gouveia put the game on ice with less than seven minutes to play with a power-play goal of his own, making it 4-1.
Babson was 3-for-8 on the power play on the night, while the Spartans went 0-for-3 with a man advantage. The Beavers also held a 33-26 edge in shots, while Castleton won 42-of-83 face-offs in the game.
The Spartans return home for a pair of games next weekend, beginning on Friday night at 7 p.m. when they take on St. Michael's. Friday's game also marks the 10th annual Armed Forces Appreciation Night at Spartan Arena.