PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – An early lead wasn't enough on Friday night, as the Castleton men's hockey team dropped the opening round contest of the W.B. Mason Winter Classic on Friday evening to No. 13/15 Neumann, 6-2.
The loss drops the Spartans to 3-7-2 overall, while Neumann improves to 9-3-1 on the season.
Troy Taylor got the Spartans on the board just 21 seconds into the game with his second goal of the season, while Trevor Hanna found the back of the net in the third period for Castleton's other goal in the contest. Bart Moran, Patrick Thornton and Simon Teodorsson all tallied assists in the contest, while Ryan Mulder stopped 18 shots in the loss.
The nation's leading scorer, Jory Mullin, collected three points on the afternoon, recording a goal and an assist in the first period, and a third-period power-play goal for the Knights to bring his season total to 27 points. Liam Board also had a three-point performance, racking up a trio of assists in the victory. Anthony Pupplo stopped 33 shots in goal in the win for Neumann.
The Spartans got on the board early, as Taylor's blast in the first period gave his team an early 1-0 lead. Castleton held that lead until 9:10 of the opening frame, when Mullin notched the first of five consecutive goals by Neumann, knotting the game at 1-1. Less than two minutes later, Neumann's Ryan Luiten tallied a power-play goal to give the Knights their first lead of the game, one they would not relinquish. With just less than eight minutes to play in the opening frame, Neumann struck again as Shane Topf scored the first of his two goals on the night to make it 3-1 Knights after one period.
Following a scoreless second period, the action picked back up in the third stanza as both teams lit the lamp again. Topf tallied his second score of the night to open the scoring in the period, extending his team's lead to 4-1 just more than six minutes into the frame. Mullin then added his second goal of the game at 9:10 of the period, notching a power-play goal to push the Knights' lead to 5-1. Hanna answered three minutes later with a goal of his own, potting his fourth goal of the season to narrow the gap back to 5-2 on an assist from Teodorsson. The Knights didn't relent, adding on a final goal with less than five minutes to play as Matt Zendejas gave the game its final score of 6-2.
The Spartans outshot Neumann 35-24 in the contest and held a 32-28 edge in face-offs. The Knights went 3-for-4 with a man advantage, while Castleton struggled on the power play, going 0-for-5.
The Spartans will face the loser of Friday night's matchup between Plattsburgh St. and Wesleyan on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the consolation round of the W.B. Mason Winter Classic.