Big Start Propels Castleton State Past Southern Maine

GORHAM, Maine -- Castleton State scored the first seven goals of the game, then held off Southern Maine for an 8-5 victory Tuesday afternoon in a non-conference game at Hannaford Field.

The win lifts the Spartans' record up to 7-4 overall. The Huskies dropped their second straight to slip to 2-8 overall.

Junior Alex Denny (Adams Center, N.Y./South Jefferson) and rookies Louis Alhage (New Milford, Conn.) and Nikolas Rancourt (Brattleboro, Vt.) led the Spartan attack with two goals apiece. Junior Zach Davidson (South Burlington, Vt./Berkshire) led all scorers with four points on a goal and three assists. Junior goalie Sam Polas (Hartford, Vt.) played a strong game in the cage making 16 saves. Freshmen Luc LeBlanc (Essex, Vt.) and Henry Moser (Brooklyn, N.Y./Poly Prep) combined to win 9 of 14 faceoffs.

For the Huskies, freshman Seth Wing (West Gardiner, Maine/Gardiner Area) scored a pair of goals. Classmate Keegan Smith (West Gardiner, Maine/Gardiner Area) added a goal and had one assist. Senior Dylan Kenney (Portland, Maine) and rookie Ryan Poag (Brunswick, Maine) had the other Husky goals. Keeney also had a game-high five ground balls and caused seven Spartan turnovers. Sophomore goalie Ryan Jurgelevich (Portland, Maine) stopped 11 shots.

Denny scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead in the opening 6:12. Freshman Austin Titus (Gloucester, Mass.) and Alhage scored before the end of the quarter to make it 4-0.

Rancourt scored 36 seconds into the second quarter as the Spartan onslaught continued. Alhage scored four minutes later to push the lead to six. Davidson's team-leading 29th goal of the season coming with 5:57 remaining until halftime made it 7-0.

Southern Maine got on the board with just under three minutes to go as Wing converted a feed from Smith.

Rancourt netted his second marker off a feed from Davidson 49 seconds into the third quarter, but that would be the last Spartan goal.

The Huskies slowly cut into the seven-goal deficit getting goals from Wing and Smith before the end of the third quarter to pull within five.

Castleton was able to kill off two man-down situations in the fourth quarter to keep USM at bay. Poag (finally broke through putting a shot past Polas with 4:01 to play. Keeney tallied his goal with 1:10 left on the clock, but the Huskies could get no closer.

On the stat sheet, Castleton held a slim 35-33 edge in shots and a 22-19 margin in ground balls. The Spartans converted on 2 of 6 man-up situations while the Huskies were only able to convert on 1 of 9 man-up opportunities.

Southern Maine hits the road this weekend traveling to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for a Little East Conference game on Saturday (1:00 p.m.). Castleton State will be at home on Thursday (4:00 p.m.) hosting Plymouth State University in a non-conference match.


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