O'Toole Scores with 10.9 Seconds Left to Give Spartans 3-2 Win Over King's

O'Toole Scores with 10.9 Seconds Left to Give Spartans 3-2 Win Over King's

RUTLAND, Vt. – Ryan O'Toole lit the lamp with 10.9 seconds left in regulation to push the Castleton men's hockey team to a 3-2 victory over King's College in the opening round of the WSYB/Catamount Radio Invitational Friday night at Spartan Arena.

With the win, Castleton (3-5-0) advances to the tournament championship for the first time since 2012 and will play Brockport (5-2-1) for the title at 4 p.m. on Saturday. King's College (0-7-0) will face Tufts (0-3-1) in the consolation round at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Matt Bloomer earned a two-point night from the blue line for Castleton with a goal and an assist. Kurt Johnson and O'Toole each tallied a goal in the win for the Spartans, while six different players registered an assist. Ryan Mulder was strong between the pipes, finishing with 19 saves on 21 shots to improve to 2-2-0 on the season.

Seamus O'Kane led King's College with two assists on the night. Nicholas Gullo and Eric Menninger found the back of the net for the Monarchs, while Jamie Lukas and Luciano Bucci each picked up an assist. Jake Tugnutt fell to 0-4-0 but was solid in net with 38 saves on 41 shots for King's.

It was a back-and-forth matchup that saw no scoring in the third period until O'Toole pocketed the game-winner in the final seconds of regulation. The Spartans dominated the period, outshooting King's College, 20-4. Controlling possession after a power-play opportunity had just finished, the Spartans passed it around the offensive zone before Bloomer found an opening from the blue line. He sent a low shot on net that was redirected by Jacob Erwin, and O'Toole battled a scrum in front of the net and got just enough on the shot to sneak it past Tugnutt who was sprawled out trying to cover the puck. O'Toole's second goal of the season gave Castleton its first win on home ice this year.

King's College struck first in the game with Menninger taking advantage of a loose puck near the crease. Bucci and O'Kane both registered assists on the goal at the 6:58 mark of the opening period. The Spartans responded just over four minutes later on the power play to draw the game level. Troy Taylor received a pass from Ryan Ng deep near the goal line, before sending it across to Bloomer at the left point. Bloomer delivered a low wrist shot that skipped through traffic in front and got by a screened Tugnutt at the 10:59 mark.

Less than seven minutes later, Castleton took its first lead of the game on a goal by Johnson. Trevor Hanna sent a pass forward to Glenn Wiswell, who immediately crossed it to Johnson from point blank for the one-timer goal at 17:54. The Monarchs scored the only goal of the second period as Gullo battled a scrum in front and snuck a puck past the goal line with less than five minutes remaining in the stanza. Both teams battled with the score 2-2 before O'Toole put the game away with less than 11 seconds left.

Castleton outshot King's College, 41-21, in the contest. The Spartans finished 1-for-7 on the power play and went 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.