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Castleton outlasts PSU Men’s Ice Hockey

Freitag scores two goals for Panthers

            RUTLAND, Vt. – Castleton State College scored a season-high seven goals Saturday evening on the way to a 7-5 victory over Plymouth State University. The Spartans earned their sixth victory of the year in a game that included 12 goals, three lead changes, four ties, and 55 penalty minutes.

            Bart Moran and Derek Gingera each notched a pair of goals to lift the Spartan offense to the victory. Erick Cinotti made 19 saves to keep the Panthers at bay and earned the win in net.

            Junior Mike Freitag (Westmont, Ill.) scored twice to lead the Panthers, and junior goalie Zac Enstrom (South Windsor, Conn.) made 28 saves in the losing effort.

            PSU jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the contest when sophomore Colt Smelstor (Fairfax, Vt.) put the Panthers on the board just 3:22 into the game. Castleton answered four minutes later when Brian Greene found Moran to tie the game at 1-1. Before the first intermission, junior Zach Sarig (Reading, Pa.) put the Panthers ahead 2-1 with a power play blast from the right point that squirted past Cinotti for the goal.

            Castleton rattled off three consecutive goals in the second period,  to go ahead 4-2. Gingera scored his first of the day on a rebound just 24 seconds into the frame. Ben Roberts followed with his first goal of his career. The Castleton senior cut down into the slot and received a pass from Ross Herzog. Roberts one-timed the puck over the glove of Enstrom to put Castleton ahead, 3-2.

            Midway through the second frame, Corbin Marcotte buried a breakaway to give the Spartans a two-goal lead. Before the end of the period, Plymouth St. answered with a pair of goals to tie the game. Freitag and freshman Mike Economos (Crystal Lake, Ill.) each netted goals to draw the Panthers even at the second intermission.

            Castleton jumped out to a 5-4 lead in the final frame when Derek Gingera buried a rebound with 17:14 to play. Eight minutes later, Freitag answered for the Panthers with his second tally of the game to even the score at 5-5. 

            With the game locked at 5-5, Castleton sophomore defender Brian Wadsworth uncorked a rocket from the left point. The shot flew past Enstrom to put the Spartans ahead 6-5. The eventual game-winner was the first goal of the year for Wadsworth. Just 41 seconds later, Moran added an insurance goal to put Castleton up 7-5. Castleton would hold on to their two goal lead for the remaining six minutes of play to earn the win.

            Both teams will now break for final exams and the holidays.  PSU, 4-6, returns to action on Friday, Jan. 3, facing Amherst College in the first round of the Norwich Tournament.  The Spartans, 6-4-1, are back on the ice on Jan. 3 when they host Salve Regina. 

(Courtesy of Castleton Sports Information) 

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