Early Lead Doesn't Stand as Men's Hockey Falls to Babson, 3-1

Early Lead Doesn't Stand as Men's Hockey Falls to Babson, 3-1

BABSON PARK, Mass. – Brody Wagner was strong in net with 19 saves and Jimmy Burns scored for the second consecutive game, but Babson rallied to score three unanswered goals and defeat the Spartans, 3-1, Saturday afternoon in New England Hockey Conference action at the Babson Skating Center.

Following the loss, Castleton falls to 6-12-3 overall and 2-11-1 in NEHC play. Babson improves to 11-8-2 on the season and 9-4-1 in the conference with the win.

After a scoreless opening frame, Burns' second power-play goal in as many nights staked the Spartans to a 1-0 lead early in the second period. Trevor Hanna skated behind the Babson net and found Burns gliding in from the right point, where he smashed a one-timer inside the left post at the 8:23 mark.

The lead did not last, however, as Babson checked off a pair of goals late in the period to take the lead. Charlie Ackerman tied the game on an assist by Ryan Gouveia with less than nine minutes left, before Nick Rosa gave the Beavers their first lead of the game with five seconds left in the period. With time winding down, Bobby Hall pounded a quick shot toward the net and Wagner made the initial save, but Rosa buried the rebound from the right post at 19:55 as Babson skated to a 2-1 lead at the second intermission.

The Spartans were given a pair of power-play opportunities in the final period, but their best chance to tie the game came shorthanded as Hanna forced a turnover and took an uncontested shot on net from point blank. Babson goaltender Matt Pompa made a strong save -- one of his 22 saves in the game -- to preserve the one-goal lead.

Wagner raced to the bench in favor of an extra attacker in the final minute, but Matt McMorrow laced a shot nearly from his own goal line to the back of the Spartans' empty net to seal the 3-1 victory for the Beavers.

Castleton held a slight advantage in shots, 23-22. The Spartans finished 1-for-5 on the power play and held Babson off the board in its three man-advantage opportunities. The Beavers won the faceoff battle, 31-29. Hanna (10-for-18) and Ryan O'Toole (9-for-14) led the Spartans in the circle.

Castleton returns to action Friday, Feb. 2, for a conference contest at New England College. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. from Henniker, N.H.