Spartans Picked Fourth in ECAC East Preseason Poll

Castleton, Vt. - After finishing fourth in the ECAC East in the 2012-2013 season, the Spartans were picked to finish in the same spot this season. Castleton lost its top three scorers from last season and has a new head coach, but are poised to make a mark in the conference again this year. 

The squad graduated top scorer Josh Harris, as well as 100-point scorers Justin Alonzo and Dan Bell, but will look to remain in the mix in the ECAC East with 18 returners from last year's roster. Anchoring the squad in goal again this season will be senior Erick Cinotti. "Cino" managed a 13-6-0 record in net last season, allowing just 44 goals in 20 appearances. The goaltender recorded nearly 400 saves on the season.

On the forward lines, Castleton returns their fourth-leading scorer Ryan Frost. The winger scored seven goals and dished out 13 assists, making him the leading returner in goals, assists, and points. Frost will be joined by forwards Ross Herzog and Kyle Pichler. Each scored 12 points last year, Herzog with five goals, two short-handed, and seven assists, and Pichler with four goals and eight assists.

On defense, the Spartans will be led by seniors Ryan Delorme and Reid Lesswing. Delorme led the team last season in power play goals with five on the year. He was the highest scoring defender on the roster last year with six goals and 12 assists. Lesswing appeared in all 27 games for the Spartans, dishing out three assists on the year. The captain was second on the team with 42 penalty minutes last year.

The Spartans finished with a 15-10-2 overall record last season, and went 9-8-1 in the ECAC East on their way to a fourth place finish. The squad hosted New England College in the conference quarterfinals last year, squashing the Pilgrims 6-1. Castleton fell to top-seeded Norwich in the semifinals in their final game of the year.

The Spartans finished fourth behind Norwich, UMass-Boston, and Babson, in that order. Norwich is seeking their 16th consecutive ECAC East regular season title, while Babson will look to defend their conference crown. Both Norwich and Babson reached the NCAA Division III Frozen Four last year where the Cadets downed the Beavers.

Skidmore finished just behind Castleton, taking fifth in the preseason poll, while New England College, who finished fifth in the regular season last year, was picked ninth in the league. Castleton will open with Southern Maine, picked eighth overall, on Nov. 9 at 7:00pm at Spartan Arena.

Team

Points (Out of Possible 100)

1. Norwich University

93

2. University of Massachusetts-Boston

88

3. Babson College

86

4. Castleton State College

67

5. Skidmore College

57

6. St. Anselm College

50

7. New England College

38

8. University of Southern Maine

26

9. University of New England

25

10. St. Michael's College

21