Men’s Hockey: Castleton Clinches Playoff Spot, Norwich Sets Shutout Record, Middlebury Bows to Williams

Courtesy Castleton, Norwich and Middlebury Sports Information Offices

Three Stories Below …

RUTLAND –– The Castleton University men’s hockey team clinched a spot in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Tournament with a 5-3 victory over Suffolk on Friday night.

Junior Glenn Wiswell had two goals and an assist and Calvin Moïse finished with a goal and assist to get the Spartans back to the playoffs. Freshman goalie Brandon Collett had 37 saves to earn his fourth win of the year.

Castleton will be the eighth seed in the NEHC Quarterfinals and will match up with top-ranked Norwich at Kreitzberg Arena on Saturday, Feb. 22, with the time to be determined. Castleton upset Norwich in Northfield, 2-1, back on Dec. 6. The Cadets settled the score last Saturday at Spartan Arena with a 5-0 triumph.

The Spartans scored on their first two shots on goal, separated by 31 seconds, to take an early lead, but the Rams answered with two of their own 34 seconds apart to tie it back up. All four goals were scored in a 100-second span. Wiswell out-waited the Suffolk goalie and stuffed the puck in at the 5:31 mark to open the scoring, and Alex Maunula doubled the lead after getting a feed from Matt Bloomer behind the goal line.

Joseph Mortillaro found a loose puck in the slot and shot it in at the 6:37 thanks to a steal behind the cage by Matt Bucher to cause the turnover in front. Then, Devin Lowe followed up on his own rebound to knot it up.

With 1:44 left in the busy period, Moïse finished off a tic-tac-toe play with Wiswell and Nick Gravina, who had two assists, to give the Spartans the lead on the power play.

Suffolk got the equalizer again at the 3:54 mark of the second period when Peter Nugent scored his first of the year on a nifty backhand shot on a rush.

The game stayed tied until Wiswell got his second and eventual game-winning goal at 11:16 of the third. On the power play, Moïse walked along the left-wing and handed off to Troy Taylor next to the net, who found Wiswell open in the slot and it was quickly untied after a pair of stick handles and a wrist shot under the bar.

Ladaouche provided the insurance 38 seconds later on an unassisted goal on a 2-on-1 rush and accurate low wrist shot across his body.

Anton Tarvainen, Jahwara Rennalls, and Matt Bloomer picked up the other assists for Castleton (6-16-2, 4-12-1 NEHC). For the Rams, Joe Vingi, Nick Lachaine, and Brian Brooks added helpers. Jarret Bovarnick turned aside 21 shots. Suffolk (7-15-2, 3-12-2 NEHC) was eliminated from playoff contention with tonight’s loss and closes its season on Saturday at Norwich.

Before the game, Castleton honored Bob Fredette ’77 for his 43-year career with the Rutland Herald and presented him with a custom Spartan Hockey jersey.

Castleton will honor its seniors on Saturday with 4 p.m. tilt with Johnson & Wales for the regular-season finale.

NORTHFIELD –– Senior goalie Tom Aubrun (Chamonix, France) set the new NCAA Division III record with his fifth consecutive shutout in a 5-0 win over Johnson & Wales on Friday night at Kreitzberg Arena in New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) action.

Aubrun stopped all 10 shots he faced to earn his ninth shutout of the season and the 16th of his career, while stretching his consecutive shutout minute streak to 332:40.

Senior Taeron Lewis (Winnipeg, Manitoba) had a goal and an assist, while junior Ryan Boucher (Fitchburg, Mass.) and sophomore Gabriel Chicoine (St. Dominique, France) each recorded two assists to lead the Cadets’ offense in the victory.

Senior Jordan Hall (Anchorage, Alaska) scored just 26 seconds into the game to give Norwich a lead it would never look back from. Lewis made a great play behind the net to dispossess a JWU player and then fed the puck out from to Hall who slammed it into the back of the net before JWU goalie Mike Rockwell could react.

Senior defenseman Josh Cronin (Langley, British Columbia) scored his first goal of the season and just the second of his career at the 1:49 mark of the second period to increase the lead to 2-0. Cronin sent a wrist shot from the point through traffic that beat Rockwell in the top right corner of the net. Boucher and Alex Monteleone (Montreal, Quebec) picked up the assists.

Junior Coby Downs (Montclair, Calif.) scored the first of three-straight highlight reel goals with six seconds left in the second period to increase the lead to 3-0. Downs skated through four Johnson & Wales players and then picked the corner, popping the water bottle for his ninth goal of the season.

Downs corralled Jack Griffin’s (Duxbury, Mass.) pass at the blue line while doing a 360. He then skated around the defender and then cut back to get past another near the boards. He walked out from the side boards and evaded two more defenders before ripping the twine over the shoulder of Rockwell.

Norwich increased the lead to 4-0 at the 8:30 mark with Brassard sniping a shot off the inside of the left post for his team-leading 18th goal of the season with another pretty goal. Chicoine picked up the primary assist after controlling the puck along the near half boards and then dropping it to Brassard. Brassard picked it up and spun out of a check, he then walked out from the side boards and skated past two different JWU defenders before releasing a wicked wrist shot that beat Rockwell blocker side. Boucher picked up the second assist.

Lewis capped the scoring with another terrific individual effort, fighting off three JWU defenders and then beating Rockwell with a wrist shot glove side just 22 seconds after Brassard’s goal.

Norwich (20-2-2, 15-1-1 NEHC) extended its unbeaten streak to 14 straight games with the victory. Aubrun improved to 19-2-2 on the year and picked up his 46th career win.

Norwich will play its final regular season game of the 2019-20 season on Saturday at 4 p.m. when it takes on Suffolk. Prior to the game, the Cadets will honor their nine-player senior class in a special pre-game ceremony.

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA. — Mac Carso scored 2:24 into overtime, giving #12 Williams (13-6-1, 10-4) a 3-2 victory over Middlebury on Friday night. The Panthers (9-9-3, 6-5-3) and league-leading Ephs will go at it again on Saturday at 7:00 p.m., this time in Kenyon Arena.

Middlebury came out strong, taking a 1-0 lead just 1:09 into the game on a goal from Paddy Bogart, who capitalized after a scrum in front of the Eph net.

Williams tied the contest with a power play tally at the 16:53 mark of the first period. Peter Christie fed Tyler Scott, who scored on a backhander.

Panther netminder Jake Horoho made several stellar saves in the second period, keeping it a 1-1 game. The best came at the 8:50 mark when he dove across the crease to deny Niko Karamanis.

Williams took its first lead of the game just 34 seconds into the final period with a tally from Wyatt Glover, who whacked away at a loose puck in the crease that trickled over the goal line. The advantage held until there were just 17 seconds remaining when Danny Tighe knotted the game at 2-2 as the Panthers had an extra attacker on the ice. Brendan Dawson fed a pass down low to Tighe, who finished with his fourth of the season.

In the extra session, Karamanis made a nice cross-ice pass to Carso for the game-winning tally at the 2:24 mark for the Eph victory.

Horoho finished with 38 saves for the Panthers, while Evan Ruschil made 24 stops for the hosts.