RUTLAND, Vt. – The Castleton men's hockey team dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to Johnson & Wales at home on Saturday in a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) matchup.
Connor Bechtel scored the game-winning goal with 50 seconds remaining in overtime to drop Castleton's season overtime record to 0-2-3.
Castleton scored first at the 10:02 mark of the first period when Shroyer made a move between two attacking Wildcats at Castleton's blue line before he fed it to Wiswell who scored on 2-on-1 rush. The game featured the Eighth Annual Teddy Bear Toss in which fans threw stuffed animals onto the ice following the goal. All of the stuffed animals were collected and will be donated to the Toys for Kids campaign.
The second period was scoreless as Castleton controlled the majority of play displayed by its 13-5 shot advantage during the frame. Senior captain Caleb Fizer blocked a slapshot from the point on the penalty kill with five seconds remaining in the period to help kill one of five power plays for the visitors. Each team finished 0-for-5 with the man-advantage.
The Wildcats tied the contest at one at the 4:48 mark of the third period when Matt Bernot scored through a scramble in front of the Castleton cage. Then, Johnson & Wales took the lead when Ryan Sete weaved his way through the Castleton defense and forced it past Wyatt Pickrell with 11:13 remaining in regulation. Wildcat goalie Mike Rockwell picked the assist after clearing the puck to Sete in the neutral zone.
The Spartans tied it at two at exactly three minutes later when Rider ripped a long wrist shot from the point past Rockwell. Fitzgerald recorded the assist after jumping in on the Spartan forecheck.
Connor Cassidy had the assist on the game-winner after sending a saucer pass to Bechtel on the rush. Bryan Colburn recorded the other assist for Johnson & Wales (3-5-2, 1-4-1).
Rockwell made 38 saves to secure his first win of the season, while Pickrell stopped 37 shots for Castleton.
The Spartans will go on the road next weekend for a pair of NEHC matchups against New England College and Southern Maine to conclude its 2018 schedule.