Spartans Host Babson, UMass-Boston in Key NEHC Weekend

Spartans Host Babson, UMass-Boston in Key NEHC Weekend

CASTLETON, Vt. – Coming off an impressive 7-2 victory over Wentworth in its season opener last Saturday, the Castleton men's hockey team returns to Spartan Arena this weekend for a pair of New England Hockey Conference matchups against Babson and UMass-Boston.

The Spartans host Babson at 7 p.m. on Friday night, before taking on the Beacons Saturday at 4 p.m.

Castleton (1-0) exploded out of the gates with seven different goal scorers in its highest scoring season opener since 2012. Caleb Fizer netted a power-play goal and added two assists, while Ryan Smith dished off three assists to lead the offense with three points apiece. Ryan Mulder finished with 31 saves in goal to pick up his first win of the season.

Troy Taylor staked Castleton to an early lead with a power-play goal early in the first period, and Glenn Wiswell notched his first career goal before Ryan O'Malley extended the Spartans' lead to 3-0 in the first period. After Wentworth got on the board early in the second period, Castleton rattled off four unanswered goals by Kurt Johnson, Fizer, Otis Goldman, and Mark Shroyer to pull away late in the contest.

Babson (0-1) fell to Salem State, 3-2, in its season opener last Saturday after surrendering a pair of third-period goals just 32 seconds apart. The Beavers outshot the Vikings, 51-19, in the loss. Charlie Ackerman and Tommy Munichiello netted the two goals for Babson, while Ackerman, Ryan Gouveia, and Joe DePietto added assists. Matt Pompa made 16 saves but allowed three goals to fall to 0-1 on the season in net. 

The Spartans are 6-13-3 all-time against Babson, with their most recent win coming on home ice in the 2014-15 season. Castleton battled Babson to a 2-2, overtime draw in the last meeting in January at Spartan Arena. 

UMass-Boston (2-0), which is receiving votes in the latest USCHO national poll, got off to a hot start with convincing wins over Wentworth and Curry last weekend. The Beacons blew past the Leopards, 9-2, before cruising to a 6-1 win over Curry. Colin Larkin finished the weekend with four goals and three assists, including one game-winning goal, after registering a hat trick in the win over Curry. Nick Albano and Zack Bross each contributed five assists and Nolan Redler potted four goals for the Beacons. 

Anthony D'Urso and Bailey MacBurnie got the nods between the pipes last weekend and combined for 42 saves in two wins. D'Urso started the season opener and made 25 saves while allowing two goals, before MacBurnie faced 18 shots and made 17 stops against Curry. The Beacons will face No. 5/6 Norwich on Friday night before making the trip to Rutland. 

Castleton is 7-10-2 against UMass-Boston all-time, with its most recent win coming on the road in 2012. The two teams skated to a 2-2, overtime draw in January at Spartan Arena.