NASHUA, N.H. – The Castleton men's hockey team scored a season-high 10 goals en route to a 10-1 victory on Saturday evening, defeating Daniel Webster on the road in a New England Hockey Conference matchup to end the regular season.
Castleton finishes its first regular season under Head Coach Bill Silengo with a 10-9-6 record overall, and a 9-5-4 record in NEHC play to earn the No. 4 seed in the upcoming NEHC tournament. Daniel Webster concludes its first and only season as a NCAA varsity sport with a record of 1-23-1, as the school will shut down in May.
Castleton blew a school record out of the water in the victory, registering 71 shots on goal—eclipsing the previous school record by more than 10 shots. The Spartan power play unit was unstoppable in the game, going 5-for-7, tying a season-high for power-play goals in a game. The 10 goals ties for the third-highest total in single-game history for the Spartans, while the 29 points as a team is the fourth-highest total in a single game in program history.
Nick Kovalchik and Brock Labelle each had two goals and an assist for the Spartans, as five players in total had three or more points. Troy Taylor had a career-high four points, scoring a goal and adding three helpers in the victory. Ryan O'Toole continued his stellar weekend, notching a goal and two assists, while Ryan O'Malley registered his first three points of the season in the victory. Ryan Mulder stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced, improving his record to 9-5-5 after allowing a lone third-period goal.
Ryan Murray had the only goal of the game for Daniel Webster, with Chris Timm and Steven Smoltz assisting on the play. Anthony D'Urso got the start, stopping 55 shots in 55-plus minutes of play before being relieved by Ben Gagnon. Gagnon stopped six shots on seven chances in four-plus minutes of action.
The game opened up as a scoreless affair until the 13th minute, when O'Toole got the Spartans on the board on assists from Kovalchik and Jimmy Burns. It looked as if Castleton was going to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, but Labelle buried a goal with just three seconds to play in the first period to double Castleton's lead to 2-0 after one frame.
Kovalchik got his first goal of the game just 1:13 after the intermission, scoring on assists from Bart Moran and O'Toole. He then scored the next Spartan goal, making it 4-0 just 4:10 into the middle period. Corbin Marcotte and O'Malley earned assists on the play. The Spartans tacked on two more goals--both on the power play--in the second period, as Burns and Caleb Fizer scored at 9:53 and 12:58, respectively, to make it 6-0 after two periods.
Daniel Webster opened the final frame with a quick strike, as Murray buried a goal just 31 seconds into the period. It went down as the only blemish on Mulder's stat sheet, as Castleton scored four more goals in the third period to put the game on ice. Labelle got his second of the game to make it 7-1, before Otis Goldman and Taylor added goals to make it 9-1 with less than five minutes to play. O'Malley capped the scoring with his first score of the season, notching the goal with just 1:12 to play in the contest.
Daniel Webster registered just 22 shots on goal in the game, while going 0-for-2 on the power play. The Spartans dominated the face-off circle in addition to the rest of the game, winning 46 of 74 draws in the contest.
The Spartans advance to the quarterfinal round of the NEHC tournament next, with the pairings to be announced at a later time.