CASTLETON, Vt. – After a two-week break from action, the Castleton men's hockey team returns to the ice on Saturday evening when it travels to Plymouth St. for a non-conference matchup at Hanaway Rink.
The Spartans enter the weekend with an overall mark of 3-6-1 after dropping three consecutive contests, most recently falling to Western New England and Brockport in the Rutland Herald Invitational. The Spartans' special teams have struggled of late, with the power play converting on just one of its 12 opportunities over the three-game span, and the penalty-kill unit allowing seven goals on 15 chances in the same stretch.
Brock Labelle leads the Spartans with six points on two goals and four assists this season, while five others have registered five points. Bart Moran has two goals and three assists, while Ryan Smith and Nick Kovalchik have two goals and three assists each. Troy Taylor and Patrick Thornton round out the five-point scorers, each tallying a goal and four assists from the blue line this season. Trevor Hanna and Henning Dahlberg have each collected four points this season, with Hanna scoring two goals and two assists while Dahlberg has one goal and three assists.
Wyatt Pickrell has gotten the nod of late, starting each of the last two games in goal for the Spartans. The sophomore has allowed just one even-strength goal this season, but was touched up for five power-play goals against during the Rutland Herald Invitational. Overall this season, Pickrell has stopped 60 shots for a .909 save percentage and 2.07 goals-against average and one shutout. Ryan Mulder has started six times on the year, playing to a 2-3-1 record with a .908 save percentage and 2.51 goals-against average.
Plymouth St. enters the contest at 6-4-0 overall, most recently falling to the U. of New England on Thursday, 3-2. The Panthers have been in a handful of tight contests this year, as three of their four losses are by just one goal.
Ryan Stevens has been stellar this season for Plymouth St., averaging 1.5 points per game, ranking him just outside the nation's top 20. The sophomore has scored nine goals to date while adding six assists. Matt Volonnino is just off his pace, notching five goals and nine assists for 14 points through 10 games. Michael Economos has 12 points on the year, while Chris Zuccaro and Ian McGilvrey have each racked up nine points. Tommy Dowell and Erik Strom are the top-scoring defensemen, as the seniors have each collected eight points on the year.
Thierry Messervier has started six times in goal, playing his way to a 4-2 record this season. The freshman has stopped 101 shots for a save percentage of .878 and a goals-against average of 2.49. Evan Morelli has started the other four contests with a 2-2 record and a 4.22 goals-against average.
The Spartans are 9-2 all time against Plymouth St., winning nine straight matchups from 2005-06 to 2014-15 before falling to the Panthers last season, 4-1. Simon Teodorsson scored the lone Spartan goal last season, while Thornton notched an assist. Plymouth's Volonnino, Strom, McGilvrey and Dan Dupell all scored goals in the Plymouth win.