Second Half Scoring Propels Spartans in Opener
Castleton, Vt. - The Spartans outscored the Huskies 10-4 in the second half to complete their comeback win, downing Southern Maine 12-10 in the team's season opener on Saturday at Spartan Stadium.
Castleton trailed 6-2 at the end of the first half, but used a 6-0 run in the third and fourth quarters to tie the game and outscored the Huskies 3-1 over the final four minutes to seal the victory in their season opener.
In the first quarter, the Spartans jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Alex Green scored consecutive goals, rifling lasers past Southern Maine goalie Ryan Hatch within the first five minutes of the game. The Huskies answered with two goals of their own. Kyle Baker scored off a pass from Ryan Foley with 6:39 remaining, and then Foley scored a goal of his own with 1:09 left in the first. At the end of the period, the score was tied, 2-2.
In the second period, the Huskies used a 4-0 run to take a 6-2 lead into the halftime break. Baker and Foley each notched their second goal of the game, and Mark White and Steve Ribero added tallies to give the Huskies a four-goal cushion at the break.
Zach Davidson opened the third period scoring with his first goal of the season at the 4:27 mark. The Huskies responded with two goals of their own, within 28 seconds of each other. Kyle Baker scored his thirdgoal of the game with 7:23 remaining, and moments later Mike Orlando buried a goal to put Southern Maine up 8-3.
Trailing by five goals, the Spartans were on the brink of a blowout before they rattled off three unanswered goals to end the period. Alex Denny ripped a heater past Hatch with 6:08 to play in the third, off a Nohea King pass. Will Stuhler and Sam Bailey each followed suit, scoring consecutive goals with 2:50 and 2:16 remaining, respectively. At the end of the third, the Spartans had cut the lead to 8-6.
Just 46 seconds into the final frame, the Spartans found the net again. Zach Davidson connected with a cutting Sam Bailey right in front of the Huskies goal, and Bailey put it away to cut the USM lead to one. Alex Denny scored his second goal of the game with 11:07 remaining to tie the game at 8-8. With 9:36 on the clock, senior Spencer Hunt gave the Spartans their first lead since the first period, scoring on a pass from Bailey. Hunt's goal capped a 6-0 run that put Castleton up 9-8.
Trailing by a goal, the Huskies turned to their top scorer, Kyle Baker. The senior scored his fourth goal of the game with 7:50 remaining to tie the tilt at 9-9.
The Spartans responded with three unanswered scores. Zach Davidson, Alex Green, and Alex Denny notched tallies over a 1:17 span that extended the Spartan lead to 12-9 in the final minutes. The Huskies' Mark White put in his second goal of the game with 1:51 remaining, but it wasn't enough as the Spartans held on to win 12-10.
Ryan Hatch finished with nine saves, and took the loss in net for the Huskies. The Spartans split time between goalkeepers Eric Horsfield and Peter LaTulippe. Horsfield finished with eight saves, while LaTulippe stopped six shots and earned the win in his Spartans debut.
Green and Denny finished with hat tricks for the Spartans, while Davidson and Bailey notched two goals apiece. Spencer Hunt scored once and dished off three assists. Baker led Southern Maine with four goals, while Mark White and Ryan Foley each scored twice.
Castleton begins their season 1-0 and will return to action on Tuesday, Mar. 5 when they host RPI at Spartan Stadium at 4 p.m.