Spartans Downed by No. 15/14 Hobart

Spartans Downed by No. 15/14 Hobart

RUTLAND, Vt. – The Castleton men's hockey team ran into a buzzsaw Friday night, as it fell to nationally-ranked Hobart, 9-1, in New England Hockey Conference action at Spartan Arena.

Castleton falls to 5-10-3 overall and 1-9-1 in league action, while No. 15/14 Hobart improves to 9-5-4 on the season and 6-3-2 in NEHC play with the win.

Shawn Rainville netted his first career goal on an assist by Dom Kuziak, but that was all the Spartans' offense could muster behind a potent forecheck on the other end. Ryan Mulder started the game in net and finished with 25 saves despite falling to 4-4-3 overall on the year. Wyatt Pickrell and Brody Wagner both saw action between the pipes. 

Tyler Wolf and Andrew Longo led Hobart with four points apiece. Wolf had two goals and two assists, while Longo picked up a goal and three assists. Nine players collected at least one point in the win for the Statesmen. Frank Oplinger made 17 saves in net to improve to 4-2-3 on the year.

Hobart scored the first goal just over five minutes in and never looked back. Zach Sternbach won a draw at the left faceoff circle and Jonas Toupal found Mike Faulkner at the left point, where his low shot drifted through traffic and past Mulder at the 5:07 mark. The Statesmen added another goal 11:56 into the period as Wolf sent a one-timer over the glove of a diving Mulder off a feed from Longo.

The same duo of Wolf and Longo paired up for two more goals in the second period before Rainville potted the Spartans' lone goal with less than a minute left. Skating in on a 2-on-1, Kuziak slid a pass over to Rainville near the left-wing circle, and he lifted a wrist shot over the shoulder of Oplinger to make it a 4-1 game at the second intermission.

Hobart took over from there, netting the game's final five goals in the third period. Three of the goals came over roughly a four-minute span, including two on the power play. The Statesmen capped the scoring with a shorthanded goal, as Sternbach went in all alone after blocking a shot in his defensive zone.

Shots finished 46-20 in favor of Hobart. The Statesmen went 4-for-7 on the power play, while the Spartans were 0-for-3.

Castleton returns to action Saturday as it hosts Skidmore at 4 p.m.