RUTLAND, Vt. – The nationally 13th-ranked Babson men's hockey team scored four second period goals and cruised to a 7-2 victory at Castleton in New England Hockey Conference action Saturday afternoon.
The Beavers improved to 13-4-2 and 8-2-2 in the NEHC, while the Spartans fell to 3-12-4 (1-9-2 NEHC).
Babson's leading scorer Nick Rosa led all players with three assists. Mike Egan and Jack Nisbet each scored twice for the Beavers, who moved to within two points of the conference lead, trailing just UMass Boston (14-5-0, 10-2-0 NEHC).
Castleton's goals were scored by senior Caleb Fizer and junior Jacob Erwin. Erwin and Matt Bloomer added the assists on Fizer's second period goal. Erwin converted on a penalty shot at 15:17 of the third period.
After a scoreless first period, Babson struck first on Matt Wiesner's 12th goal of the season at 5:05 of the middle frame. Then, five seconds after a Babson minor penalty expired, Ryan Black scored on a 2-on-1 rush with Rosa to give the Beavers a 2-0 lead at 7:31.
Egan scored his first goal on a nifty passing play on the doorstep at 10:56 of the second period. The Spartans got on the board with 2:53 remaining in the stanza after Bloomer sent a lead pass to Erwin who found Fizer in the middle before the captain snapped a shot over the glove of Beaver goalie, Matt Pompa.
Pompa made 27 saves to earn his sixth win of the campaign. Wyatt Pickrell was charged with the loss after surrendering six goals on 30 shots.
Nineteen seconds after Fizer's goal cut the deficit to two, Egan notched his second goal of the period to close the scoring in the busy 20 minutes. Babson's advantage grew to four at 2:51 of the third period on Patrick Flynn's sixth of the year.
Erwin drew a penalty shot after his breakaway attempt aided by a stretch pass from Dan Fitzgerald was squandered by a restraining foul with 4:43 remaining in regulation. With the deficit back to two and offensive zone control, the Spartans abandoned their net for an extra attacker with 2:42 remaining. Nisbet scored an empty net goal at the 18:13 mark for his first collegiate goal before converting again 17 seconds later to complete the scoring.
The Spartans will be back in action on the road for the first leg of a home-and-home series with Norwich Friday, Jan.25. Castleton will then host the Cadets on Saturday, Jan. 26. Both games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.