Spartans Topple Husson
Bangor, Maine - The Spartans stayed perfect in the North Atlantic Conference, downing Husson 10-6 in Bangor. Castleton forward Zach Davidson continued his dominance in conference play, scoring four goals and dishing off three assists to lead the squad to the win.
Midfielder Alex Denny finished with a goal and two assists for the Spartans, while Eric Horsfield made 11 saves in his first start of the season to earn the victory in net. Horsfield also led the team in ground balls on the day, scooping six. The junior was one of three Spartans to register a team-high two caused turnovers. Defensemen Dillon Robinson and Owen Hartman each caused two turnovers as well.
In the first quarter, the Spartans jumped out to an early lead on a great play by a pair of freshmen. Louis Alhage found Austin Titus on a quick pass to create some room, and Titus buried a shot to put the Spartans ahead 1-0 just 1:23 into the game.
Castleton added another goal later in the quarter when Davidson beat the Husson goaltender for his first of the game, putting the Spartans up 2-0 midway through the first. The Eagles slipped a goal past Horsfield with 12 secodns remaining in the quarter to cut the Spartan lead in half 21 seconds before the whistle.
Castleton extended their lead in the second quarter with a pair of back-to-back goals within a minute of each other to go up 4-1. Nikolas Rancourt drilled a shot 3:07 into the frame and Davidson found Taylor Swarter for a goal just 49 seconds later to give the Spartans a three-goal advantage.
Kevin Nolan provided an answer for the Eagles, scoring midway through the quarter to make it 4-2, but Mike Ruggiero buried a last-second goal to send Castleton into the halftime break with a 5-2 advantage.
After the break, Husson dug in on their home field, cutting into the Spartan lead. The Eagles scored a pair of goals, one from Nolan and one from Brandon Bosse, in the first five minutes of the second half to cut the lead to one.
Davidson scored a man-up goal with under five minutes remaining in the quarter, but Vinny Visconti responded with a pair of goals for Husson to tie the game at 6-6 with 1:02 remaining in the third.
The tying goal seemed to light a fire under the Spartans, and it didn't take them long to regain the lead. On the ensuing faceoff, Henry Moser earned the win, and with 40 seconds remaining in the frame Alex Denny had put the Spartans back on top.
With a one-goal lead, Castleton was not content. Luc LeBlanc won the next faceoff for the Spartans and got the ball to Alex Denny who found Will Stuhler for a quick goal, adding to the Spartan lead in just nine seconds. After their quick tallies at the end of the quarter, Castleton entered the fourth quarter with an 8-6 lead.
In the fourth, Castleton possessed the ball for the majority of the quarter, making sure to limit the Eagles' offensive chances. With 10:53 remaining in the game, Davidson tallied his third goal of the game, extending the Castleton lead to 9-6.
In the final ten minutes, Husson managed just one shot on goal as the Spartans defense stifled their efforts. In the final minute of play, Nick Neugebauer caused a Husson turnover and Alex Noonan scooped it and moved the ball up the field. With under a minute remaining, Alex Green found Davidson in transition and the forward buried the fast-break goal, his fourth, to give the Spartans a 10-6 lead, which held as the final.
Davidson registered at least seven points in conference play for the fifth time this year. The junior has tallied at least seven points in 13 of his last 15 games against conference opponents, including his last nine contests against NAC foes.
With the win, Castleton improves to 8-5 on the season, including a flawless 5-0 record within the NAC. The Spartans will be challenged again on Wednesday, April 16 when they head to Henniker, N.H. to take on New England College in a rematch of last season's NAC Championship game.