MANCHESTER, N.H. – Junior Bryan Sullivan (Burlington, Mass.) and senior Sean Jenkins (Boston, Mass.) scored the game's first two tallies, but the visiting Spartans from Castleton College roared back with five unanswered goals to upset the Saint Anselm men's hockey team Saturday afternoon at Sullivan Arena, 5-2.
The loss drops Saint Anselm to 5-11-2 overall and 4-7-2 in the ECAC East, while Castleton picked up an important win to keep its postseason hopes alive and improved to 6-12 overall and 4-7 in the league.
The first period scoresheet was as clean as could be with neither team scoring a goal or accumulating any penalties. Finally, the Hawks made good on their very first power play opportunity as Sullivan played the puck along the left flank to junior Mark Meads (Middleton, Mass.), who zipped it right back to Sullivan for the one-timer over Castleton goaltender Ryan Mulder's left shoulder to lead the Hawks to a 1-0 advantage into the second intermission.
Just one minute into the third period, Brendon Kerrigan (Boston, Mass.) carried the puck over the Castleton blue line and left it for Jenkins, who made it 2-0 with a glove-side rocket near the right circle. Senior Kody Grondin (Hampton, N.H.) was granted the secondary assist on the play, his fifth of the season.
That's about where the positives ended for the Hawks, as the Spartans' Will Laking single-handedly locked the game at 2-2 at the 7:57 mark with a pair of goals less than a minute apart. With all the momentum on their side, the Spartans took their first lead on a Kurt Johnson goal three minutes later, and added two insurance tallies—including an empty-netter—to seal the upset bid on road ice.
The Hawks' sophomore goaltender Brad Rocheville (Saugus, Mass.) took the loss in his first start since the season-opener against Babson, picking up 19 saves on the evening. Mulder would tally a game-high 24 and improve to 3-7 in net for the Spartans.
Saint Anselm, which played without a pair of prolific seniors Johnny Daniels (Andover, Mass.) and Matt Buckley (Canton, Mass.) who were out of uniform due to injury Saturday, will look to heal up this week before a road trip to Saint Michael's Friday and Norwich Saturday.
Additionally, Saint Anselm wore its pink uniforms as a part of its annual "Pink in the Rink" weekend to raise and support breast cancer awareness. Both the men's and women's teams sold t-shirts, paper ribbons and hosted other in-game activities throughout the weekend, with all proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Wing at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, N.H.