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Castleton Spartans

Men's Hockey Opens Road Swing at UMass-Boston, Babson

Men's Hockey Opens Road Swing at UMass-Boston, Babson

CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton men's hockey team is back in New England Hockey Conference action this weekend for a pair of rematches on the road against nationally-ranked UMass-Boston on Friday at 7 p.m. and Babson on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Castleton (6-10-3, 2-9-1 NEHC) currently sits in seventh in the NEHC standings, four points behind Southern Maine for sixth. The Spartans will carry some momentum into their four-game road swing after picking up a 6-3 victory over Skidmore last Saturday. Glenn Wiswell led the way with three points on two goals and an assist, while Dom Kuziak and Shawn Rainville combined for a goal and three assists in the win. Kurt Johnson, Dan Fitzgerald, and Ryan O'Toole each netted a goal in the win. Ryan Mulder earned his fifth win of the season in net with 22 saves, including 17 stops on 18 shots over the last two periods. 

The Spartans are averaging 2.42 goals per game offensively, ranked sixth in the conference. Caleb Fizer continues to lead the way with 11 points on four goals and seven assists. Trevor Hanna and Wiswell have collected 10 points each, while Troy Taylor has added a goal and a team-high eight assists from the point.

Mulder has been the top goaltender in recent weeks with seven straight starts. The senior is 5-4-3 on the season with 301 saves and a 3.12 goals-against average. Wyatt Pickrell has posted an .889 save percentage and 3.87 goals-against average in six starts. 

No. 10/12 UMass-Boston (13-6-0, 8-4-0 NEHC) comes in tied for third in the conference standings and boasts one of the most potent offenses in the country, ranking tied for third in the nation with an average of 4.53 goals per game. The Beacons are coming off back-to-back losses, however, for the first time this season with a 3-2 loss to Southern Maine and a 6-3 loss to New England College last weekend.

Colin Larkin has been a force to be reckoned with as he leads the team with 32 points and is tied for third in the nation averaging 1.68 points per game. Nolan Redler has found the back of the net a team-high 17 times and is tied for first in the country averaging 0.89 goals per game. Redler netted a pair of tallies against Castleton in the first meeting on Nov. 4. Freshmen Zack Bross and Nick Albano have combined for 53 points and sit first and second in the country in freshman scoring as they both average over 1.3 points per contest. 

Bailey MacBurnie has been the Beacons' top goaltender with 16 starts on the season. MacBurnie is 12-4-0 with a .913 save percentage and 2.34 goals-against mark.

Babson, which is receiving votes in the national poll, sits in second in the NEHC and enters the weekend 10-7-2 overall and 8-3-1 in NEHC play after falling to Amherst, 3-1, in a non-conference contest on Tuesday. The Beavers split last weekend with a 5-3 loss to NEC before a 2-0 win against Southern Maine and will take on Norwich on Friday night.

Babson is averaging 3.0 goals per game with seven players in double-digit point totals for the year. Ryan Gouveia and Matt McMorrow lead the way with 15 points apiece, while Rob Devaney sits third on the team with 14 points from six goals and eight assists. Bobby Hall registered a three-point night against Castleton earlier this season and has 12 points overall behind eight goals and four assists. Charlie Ackerman and Nick Rosa have each posted 11 points on six goals and five assists.

Matt Pompa has been a mainstay between the pipes for Babson, posting 16 starts in 19 total games on the season. Pompa holds an impressive .927 save percentage and 2.17 goals-against average on his way to a 7-7-2 record. Bryan Botcher is 3-0-0 in reserve, with one of his wins coming against Castleton.