RUTLAND, Vt. – The Castleton men's hockey team scored three first-period goals and never looked back, recording five power-play scores in a 7-0 victory over New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) opponent Saint Michael's on Friday night at Spartan Arena.
The big win moves Castleton back to .500 at 3-3-1 overall, and improves to team to 2-3-0 in NEHC action. Saint Michael's falls to 2-5 overall and 1-4 in the NEHC with the loss.
Seven different Spartans had multi-point games, led by Brock Labelle with four points on one goal and three assists. Trevor Hanna chipped in with a goal and two assists of his own for three total points, while Patrick Thornton collected three assists in the win. Wyatt Pickrell stopped all 17 shots he faced en route to the shutout in his first start of the year.
Castleton's special teams had a large impact on the contest, as the team went 5-for-9 on the power play and killed off all three of its short-handed opportunities.
Chris Johnson made 30 saves in the contest for Saint Michael's, shouldering the loss along the way. Eric Salzillo had five shots for the Purple Knights, while Colin Biebel and Patrick Doherty had two shots apiece.
The Spartans opened the scoring midway through the first period, as Otis Goldman netted his first career goal at 10:32 of the opening frame on assists from Thornton and Caleb Fizer. Troy Taylor quickly doubled that lead to 2-0, as he too scored his first career goal on the power play just less than 90 seconds later. Jimmy Burns capped the opening stanza outburst at 13:39 of the period as his first goal of the season, a power-play score assisted by Labelle and Nick Kovalchik, made it 3-0 in favor of the home side.
In the second period, Castleton again cashed in on a man advantage, as Ryan Smith finished in front of the net on assists from Labelle and Hanna to make it 4-0. The Spartans mustered just one goal on 13 shots in the middle frame, but came out searching for more after the second intermission.
Just 6:01 into the final period, Hanna got his first goal of the season when he deflected a shot by Taylor beyond Johnson to make it a five-goal lead for the Spartans. Subsequent power-play goals by Labelle and Burns at 10:19 and 14:02, respectively, gave the game its final score of 7-0.
Castleton had a 37-17 shot advantage in the victory, and won 40 of the 68 face-offs in the contest.
The Spartans host Norwich on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Spartan Arena. Fans are encouraged to wear white to the contest, and the first 250 fans in the door will receive a free white towel.