Spartans Battle Plymouth St. to 3-3 Draw

Spartans Battle Plymouth St. to 3-3 Draw

PLYMOUTH, N.H. – A back-and-forth battle ended in a 3-3 tie on Saturday night as the Castleton men's hockey team and Plymouth St. played to an overtime draw in a non-conference tilt at Hanaway Rink.

Jimmy Burns had three assists on the night for the 3-6-2 Spartans, while Bart Moran, Kurt Johnson and Trevor Hanna scored goals. Wyatt Pickrell stopped a career-high 36 shots in the tie to move his record to 1-2-1 this season.

Plymouth St.'s Chris Zuccaro scored the game-tying goal in the third period, while Dan Dupell and Ryan Stevens added goals for the Panthers. Evan Morelli moved to 2-2-1 on the season with a 21-save effort in the draw.

The game opened as a back-and-forth affair, with the teams trading five shots on goal each through the opening half of the period. With less than nine minutes to go in the frame, however, Plymouth St.'s Dupell got a breakaway after a nice stretch pass out of the Panthers' zone and turned it into a first-period lead for the home team. The senior skated all the way in on goal, beating Pickrell low for the score on assists from Quinn Carroll and Ryan Callahan. Plymouth St. had more looks on a late power play in the first frame, but Pickrell came up big by making two high-pressure stops in the final 90 seconds of the period.

Castleton opened the second period with a power-play chance of its own, but then went on back-to-back penalty kills after coming up empty handed on the man advantage. After killing off both penalties, the Spartans went back to the power play near the midway point of the middle stanza, this time cashing in. Burns sent the puck down low to Moran, who lifted a backhanded shot over the shoulder of Morelli to level the score at 1-1 with 8:23 to play in the period.

The Spartans weren't done in the second period, as they took their first lead of the game with less than five minutes to go in the middle frame. After Corbin Marcotte's shot was blocked by a Panthers' defender, Burns sent the puck towards the net; it careened off a player to the stick of Kurt Johnson in the slot, who then buried his first goal of the year to make it 2-1 in favor of the visiting Spartans after two periods.

Plymouth St. continued battling, tallying an equalizer of its own early in the third period. After a Spartan penalty, the Panthers controlled the puck in their own zone; Michael Economos sent a pass across the slot from left-to-right that was deflected by Ludvig Steenberg to the stick of Ryan Stevens. Stevens let go a wrist shot that beat Pickrell up high, leveling things at 2-2.

Castleton came right back with a power-play goal of its own, as Trevor Hanna ripped a slap shot from the high slot off the crossbar and in to make it 3-2 in favor of the Spartans. Hanna worked the puck up the boards before dropping a pass to Burns at the point. Burns sent it right back to Hanna in the high slot, who pulled the trigger for the go-ahead score.

Plymouth St. once again battled back, as the teams skated 4-on-4 for the third Panther goal. With 12:47 to play in the period, Drake Longacker found Chris Zuccaro on the back post for an easy goal, tying the score at 3-3. The two sides played scoreless for the rest of regulation, with Castleton killing of a key penalty for too many men on the ice with just more than two minutes to play, sending the game to overtime.

Neither side could find a goal in the overtime period, though Plymouth St. peppered Pickrell to the tune of four shots—one of which came on a power-play chance for the Panthers.

Castleton is off until December 30, when it travels to Plattsburgh St. for the W.B. Mason Winter Classic.