RUTLAND, Vt. – The Castleton men's hockey team battled back from a three-goal deficit to defeat The College at Brockport, 4-3, in the WSYB/Catamount Radio Invitational Championship matchup Saturday afternoon at Spartan Arena.
With the win, Castleton improves its record to 4-5-0 overall. Brockport, which was recently receiving votes in the USCHO national poll, falls to 5-3-1 after the loss.
Matt Bloomer tallied two points from the blue line for the second consecutive night with a goal and an assist, while Otis Goldman and Jacob Erwin each finished with two assists. Ryan Mulder was strong between the pipes with 21 saves to improve to 3-2 on the season.
Tim Kielich recorded two goals and Chris Pollini contributed two assists to lead Brockport offensively. Matt Schneider stopped 22 shots but fell to 4-2 on the year after the loss for Brockport.
Trailing 3-2 at the start of the third period, Castleton cashed in on a power-play opportunity early to draw the game even. Bloomer ripped a wrist shot from the point that made its way through defenders and found the back of the net over Schneider's glove just under six minutes into the period.
After a stalemate through the middle stages of the period that featured multiple penalties on both ends, Trevor Hanna provided the heroics for Castleton down the stretch. Battling in front, Hanna tipped in a shot off the stick of Chris Butryn to give Castleton its first lead of the game, 4-3, which proved to be the game-winning goal to give the Spartans their first host tournament title since 2012.
Brockport opened the scoring with three quick goals inside the first nine minutes of the first period. Kielich notched back-to-back goals six minutes apart and Aidan Verbeke netted a power-play goal at the nine-minute mark to give the Golden Eagles a comfortable 3-0 lead.
It was all Castleton from there, as the Spartans showed their resiliency to fight from behind. Ryan Ng got the Spartans on the board with his first career goal early in the second period, before Ryan O'Toole scored for the second consecutive night less than three minutes later to bring Castleton back within striking distance in the final period.
Castleton held a slight advantage in shots, 26-24. The Spartans went 1-for-7 against the third-best penalty-kill unit in the nation, as Brockport has killed off 32 of 34 penalties on the season. The Golden Eagles finished 2-for-6 with the man advantage.
Bloomer was named WSYB/Catamount Radio Invitational Tournament MVP, and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by teammates Hanna and Taylor. Kielich and Schneider were named to the All-Tournament Team for Brockport.
The Spartans return to action Friday, Dec. 1, when it takes on defending national champion and No. 7/6 Norwich at 7 p.m. at Spartan Arena.
2017 WSYB Catamount Radio Invitational All-Tournament Team
|8||Matt Bloomer (MVP)||Castleton|
|27||Nicholas Gullo||King's College|