Castleton Knocks Off Southern Maine 3-1
GORHAM, Maine -- Junior Ryan O'Toole (Ogdensburg, N.Y.) scored a pair of goals to help the visiting Castleton University Spartans defeat the University of Southern Maine Huskies 3-1 in New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) men's action Friday evening at the USM Ice Arena.
The win extends the Spartans unbeaten string to four games (2-0-2) and improved their record to 9-9-6 overall and 7-5-4 in NEHC play. The Huskies lost their second straight to fall to 9-13-2 overall and 5-11-1 in conference games.
The Spartans took the lead in the first period with two goals in a span of 91 seconds. Junior Ryan Smith (Mississauga, Ont.) scored from in close at 14:07 off a feed from classmate Kurt Johnson. Rookie Troy Taylor (Mississauga, Ont.) also earned an assist.
O'Toole scored his first goal of the game, and fourth of the season, from the right-wing circle at 15:38. Senior Brock Labelle (Memphis, Tenn.) collected the first of his two assists on the play.
After a scoreless second period, the Huskies got on the board at 8:18 of the third period when junior Alex Pantalone (Hudson, Mass.) scored an unassisted goal with a nifty backhand move.
With USM turning up the pressure looking for an equalizing goal, O'Toole put the issue out of reach with his second goal of the night, again set up by Labelle, at 13:35.
Castleton finished the game with a 23-20 edge in shots on goal. Spartan junior goalie Ryan Mulder (Ottawa, Ont.) recorded 19 saves to earn his eighth win of the season. USM rookie netminder Paul Léger (Blainville, Que.) stopped 20 shots before being lifted with 1:59 to play for the extra attacker.
Southern Maine and Castleton conclude the regular season on Saturday with NEHC games. Southern Maine will host Skidmore College, while Castleton travels to play Daniel Webster College. Both games start at 4:00.