Castleton Hockey: Men Bow, Women Win in Season Openers

UTICA, N.Y. – Castleton’s men’s hockey team trailed after just seven seconds of play and was never able to comeback, as they lost to the Utica Pioneers in the season opener 5-2 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium this evening.

Charles Bando and Will Laking provided the scoring for the Spartans, while Ryan O’Toole contributed an assist. Ryan Mulder and Brody Wagner combined to produce 28 saves, as Castleton falls to 0-1 on the season.

Alex Brissette led the Utica attack with a pair of scores, while Hayden Dawes provided one goal and one assist. Kevin Valenti added two assists and Michael Fredrick tallied 22 saves with a 0.917 save percentage to help the squad capture its first win of the year.

The Pioneers wasted little time to jump in front, as Brissette netted his first goal of the game just seven seconds into play to make it 1-0.

At the 1:59 mark in the 2nd, Bando brought the game back to level terms with his first tally of the year and 14th of his career.

The score didn’t stay level for long, however, as the hosts struck twice in a span of 1:02 to reclaim a 3-1 lead with 15:01 left in the 2nd.

The Pioneers tacked a fourth goal on early in the final frame before Laking scored with 3:37 left to play to bring the Spartans back within two. O’Toole provided the service on the play, as Laking slotted home his 20th career goal to give the visitors a late chance.

However, Easton Powers knocked home an empty netter in the waning seconds of play to bring the game to its final score of 5-2.

The Spartans were outshot in the contest 33-24 and failed to convert any of their five power play opportunities. The Pioneers, meanwhile, were successful on 1-of-6 power plays and won 38 of 57 faceoff attempts.

Castleton returns to the ice next weekend when the squad opens New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) action with contests at St. Anselm and New England College on back-to-back nights.
CORTLAND, N.Y. – The Castleton women’s ice hockey team opened their season with a win on Friday evening, taking down Cortland St. by a final score of 3-0 in a non-conference matchup.

Hannah Rose, Rachel Bombardier, and Taylor Steadman all scored for the Spartans, while Jess Cameron recorded a 27-save shutout in the victory.

Castleton is now 1-0 on the young season, while Cortland St. sits at 0-1 following the loss.

Following two scoreless periods of play, Rose got the Spartans into the goal column after finding the back of the net on assists from Anna Daniels and Ally Brandland. Bombardier struck just 32 seconds later to double the Spartan lead to 2-0 with just over 11 minutes to play in the contest on assists from Lisa Kilroy and Ashley Pelkey.

With less than 10 minutes to play, Steadman found the back of the net for the final goal in the contest after receiving assists from Sam Pion and Brianna Keats to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead.

Cameron stopped all 27 shots she faced in the contest, while Red Dragons’ goalie Deanna Meunier stopped 26 of 29 shots in the loss.

Castleton held a slim shot advantage, at 29-27, while the Red Dragons earned two power plays to Castleton’s one. Neither team was successful on the power play in the contest. Castleton held a large advantage in the faceoff circles, winning 36 out of 60 in the game. Bombardier and Aimee Briand each won 13 faceoffs for the Spartans.

Castleton is back in action tomorrow, when they head to Oswego St. to take on the Lakers. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

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