Spartans Hit Road for Key NEHC Contests

Spartans Hit Road for Key NEHC Contests

CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton men's hockey team has hit the heart of its 2017-18 schedule and will stay within the New England Hockey Conference for the rest of the regular season, starting with a pair of important road matchups this weekend at New England College and Southern Maine.

Castleton will take on the Pilgrims on Friday night at 7 p.m., before traveling to Southern Maine for a rematch with the Huskies on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Castleton (5-8-2, 1-7-0 NEHC) is coming off its second straight tie Tuesday night against Potsdam. The Spartans trailed twice in the game, but Ryan O'Toole's power-play goal with 29 seconds left sealed the 2-2 draw. Ryan Mulder made a season-high 36 saves and is now 4-2-2 on the year. Jimmy Burns registered two assists behind goals from O'Toole and Jacob Erwin.

Caleb Fizer continues to pace the Spartan offense with 10 points, while Trevor Hanna and Matt Bloomer join Fizer with a team-leading four goals. Mulder has been playing stellar of late, stopping 78 of 82 shots over the last three games for a .951 save percentage average and 1.31 goals-against average.

New England College enters the weekend 8-5-1 overall and 3-4-1 in the NEHC after a 6-3 victory over Morrisville State Tuesday night. The Pilgrims defeated Castleton, 6-3, the first time around back on Nov. 18.

Adam Zollner has anchored the offense thus far with 16 points on four goals and a team-high 12 assists. Bryce Nielsen and Joe Asaka have combined for 29 points and both lead the squad with eight goals on the season. The Pilgrims rank 30th in the country in scoring, averaging 3.36 goals per game offensively.  

Kyle Shapiro has been the main backstop for the Pilgrims with 11 starts on the season. The senior goaltender has posted a 5-5-1 record with a .923 save percentage and 2.44 goals-against average. Shapiro got the start against Castleton earlier this season and finished with 26 saves on 29 shots.

Southern Maine (2-8-3, 2-4-2 NEHC) is coming off an impressive 1-0 victory over New England College last Saturday. Tyler Mathieu scored the game's only goal and Anthony D'Aloisio made 33 saves in the shutout victory to improve to 2-5-3 on the season. The Huskies will face No. 13/14 Norwich Friday night.

Parker Anderson leads the Huskies' offense with nine points on a team-high five goals and four assists. Michael Taormina has recorded eight points from three goals and five assists, while Brendan Murphy sits atop the team in assists with six. Collectively, Southern Maine ranks 84th in the country in scoring, averaging just 1.54 goals per game.

D'Aloisio has been the top net minder for the Huskies this season, starting 10 of the team's 13 games and playing his way to a 2-5-3 record with a .912 save percentage and a 2.67 goals-against average. D'Aloisio stopped 20 shots against Castleton in November.

Following this weekend's contests, Castleton returns home to face nationally-ranked Hobart and Skidmore Jan. 19-20 at Spartan Arena.