Men's Hockey Topples Wentworth in Season Opener, 7-2

Men's Hockey Topples Wentworth in Season Opener, 7-2

EVERETT, Mass. – Seven different goal scorers found the back of the net as the Castleton men's hockey team opened its season firing on all cylinders in a 7-2 victory over Wentworth Saturday night in a non-conference contest at Allied Memorial Rink.

It was the most goals Castleton has scored in a season opener since 2012, when the Spartans opened with seven goals against Southern Maine. Ryan Smith dished off three assists and Caleb Fizer netted a goal and added two helpers to lead the Spartans offensively with three points each. Otis Goldman potted a goal and an assist, while Trevor Hanna handed out two assists of his own as 12 different players recorded a point in the victory.

Castleton (1-0) wasted little time getting on the board, taking advantage of its first power play opportunity just over six minutes into the game. After Wentworth's Byron Carlisle went off for cross-checking at the 5:35 mark, Hanna won the ensuing faceoff and Troy Taylor buried the first goal of the season for the Spartans off an assist from Smith. Less than three minutes later, the Spartans were back on the attack, and again the opportunity came off a faceoff in the offensive zone. Smith won the puck-drop over to Goldman, who pushed it back to Glenn Wiswell, and the freshman did the rest as Castleton doubled its lead to 2-0 at the 8:59 mark of the opening period.

After the Spartans killed off a penalty in the middle stages of the period, Ryan O'Malley gave Castleton a 3-0 lead off an assist from Dom Kuziak with just 3:51 remaining in the period, which was the lead the Spartans took into the locker room after the first 20 minutes.

Wentworth (0-2) struck first in the second period to cut the deficit to two as George Gorodetskii finished an assist from Jake McDonough just 42 seconds in to make the score, 3-1. The Spartans responded, however, blowing the game open with three unanswered goals to pull away. Kurt Johnson and Fizer found the back of the net just over two minutes apart, with the latter coming again on the man advantage and chasing Wentworth starting goalie Ryan Hubbard out of the game. The Spartans once again finished the period strong as Goldman scored on an assist from Smith with 23 seconds remaining in the frame to give Castleton a 6-1 lead heading into the third period.

Each team netted a goal in the final stanza as Mark Shroyer stretched Castleton's lead to 7-1 at the 8:46 mark before Wentworth tallied the game's final goal with 1:17 left in the contest. The Spartans won four of the final five faceoffs to control possession en route to the 7-2 victory.

Ryan Mulder finished with 31 saves to pick up his first win of the season between the pipes. Hubbard took the loss after allowing five goals in one-plus periods for Wentworth. Kenny Graham relieved Hubbard in the second period and made 18 saves over the final 31 minutes in net.

The Spartans pounded 41 shots on goal and finished 2-for-7 on the powerplay. Wentworth was 0-for-4 with the man advantage, while Castleton won the faceoff battle, 39-38.

Castleton returns to Spartan Arena to host a pair of New England Hockey Conference opponents, starting with its home opener against Babson on Friday at 7 p.m.