RUTLAND, Vt. – The Castleton men's hockey team's woes continued on the penalty kill as the Spartans allowed four power-play goals in a 5-3 loss against Brockport in the consolation game of the Rutland Herald Invitational at Spartan Arena.
The Spartans dropped their third straight game to fall to 3-6-1 on the year, while Brockport improved to 3-4-1 with the victory.
Otis Goldman, Nick Kovalchik and Trevor Hanna registered the goals for Castleton in the victory, while Wyatt Pickrell made 16 saves in the loss, allowing just one goal at even strength. Kovalchik received All-Tournament Team honors for his performance over the weekend.
Aidan Verbeke netted a pair of goals to go along with an assist for a three-point night and a spot on the All-Tournament Team, while Connor Hutchins notched a goal and three assists in the win. Matt Schneider picked up his first career win in the game, stopping 21 shots in the contest.
Brockport got on the board first after a Spartan penalty early in the contest. Jake Taylor scored his second goal in as many nights on Hutchins' first assist of the game just 1:25 into the stanza. The Spartans leveled the score at 1-1 with just 4:40 to play in the first frame, when Henning Dahlberg found Goldman following a turnover to draw the game even. A late penalty by Castleton in the first proved costly once more, as Verbeke scored a goal on the power play to give his team a 2-1 lead going into the break.
The Golden Eagles continued to pour it on in the second period, netting two quick power-play goals to stay a perfect 4-for-4 on the man advantage less than five minutes into the middle frame. Verbeke connected on his second goal of the game on an assist from Hutchins to make it 3-1, then returned the favor as Verbeke found Hutchins to make it a 4-1 lead for the visitors. Castleton cut into the lead late in the period, making it 4-2 going into the second intermission. Ryan Smith worked the puck out from behind the net, finding Jimmy Burns who sent a shot towards goal. Kovalchik was waiting at the far post to knock it in, slicing the lead to two goals.
Brockport pushed its lead back to three goals once more at 5:30 of the third period, when Connar Bass ripped a slap shot over Pickrell's shoulder to make it 5-2. With 4:31 remaining, Castleton called a timeout to pull its goalie in favor of an extra attacker. Hanna then found a goal with just 31 seconds remaining, but it was too little too late as the final horn sounded on a 5-3 result.
Castleton held a 24-21 edge in shots and a 28-27 edge in face-off wins. Brockport was 4-for-5 on the power-play, while Castleton was 1-for-3 on the man advantage.
Castleton resumes play on December 10 at Plymouth St. Game time is slated for 6 p.m.