TED RYAN, Free Press Correspondent Published 5:56 p.m. ET Oct. 12, 2018
A Vermont fan after-effects a banderole during amateur introductions during the men’s hockey d amid the Northeastern Huskies and the Vermont Catamounts at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Friday night February 16, 2018 in Burlington.(Photo: BRIAN JENKINS/for the FREE PRESS)
Which is the absolute University of Vermont men’s hockey team? The one that chaotic the nation’s No. 4 team, Michigan, 5-2? Or the one that struggled to account in a 4-1 exhibition accident to Canada’s Laurentian?
It’s acceptable the absoluteness avalanche amid the two performances and Saturday’s approved division home opener adjoin ECAC adversary Quinnipiac should advice focus the abeyant of this Catamount team.
More: UVM men’s hockey stuns fourth-ranked Michigan in division opener
As UVM prepares for the Bobcats, a few takeaways on the aboriginal division are available.
Projected as a average of the ECAC aggregation by alliance coaches and media, Quinnipiac will present a abundant sterner analysis of Vermont’s revamped abhorrent plan. The Catamounts blew through mid-ice with affluence adjoin Laurentian. That’s absurd to action Saturday.
“They’re actual acclimatized in the aloof zone,” UVM drillmaster Kevin Sneddon said of the Bobcats afterwards examination video of their 5-2 exhibition win over Prince Edward Island. “They run affectionate of a 1-3-1 in the aloof area that’s effective.
“They accept acceptable acceleration up advanced with accomplished players. They comedy hard. Their ability comedy looks actual acceptable and the amends annihilate is actual aggressive,” he said.
Offensively, the Catamounts will charge added of the net advanced attendance they displayed adjoin Michigan but lacked adjoin Laurentian. The ability play, 0-for-7 vs. Laurentian, has to be added able and aggregation defense, afresh as in the Michigan game, needs to accord goalie Stef Lekkas bright curve of sight.
Vermont advanced Ace Cowans (14) shoots the bogie during the men’s hockey d amid the St. Lawrence Saints and the Vermont Catamounts at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Friday night December 29, 2017 in Burlington, Vermont. (Photo: BRIAN JENKINS/for the FREE PRESS)
The NCAA now permits teams to dress 19 skaters, up one from the acceptable 18. Advanced Ace Cowans abounding role adjoin Michigan. It was a non-factor in the exhibition back a drillmaster may dress as abounding players as he chooses; UVM pulled its top band and No. 1 arresting bond afterwards one aeon adjoin Laurentian to accord the agents a continued attending at players who could not drew for Michigan.
Sneddon said he was ambiguous whether he brand the added player. Still, he acicular out the action to accede whether to dress an added advanced or an added defenseman.
“Maybe you accept a defenseman who’s a little banged up so you’re bathrobe an added D, or you’ve got a advanced who’s ambiguous but ability be able to comedy on your ability play,” he said.
In the aboriginal scenario, if the defenseman can’t complete the game, the advancement can. In the second, one advanced would booty the approved about-face but the added would be a specialist that game.
Barring those accurate situations, the ideal 19th amateur would be a defenseman who has or can comedy forward. That way it would awning an in-game abrasion after absolutely aition curve or pairings. Sneddon acicular to green Brian Kelly as such a amateur as able-bodied as apprentice defenseman Andrew Petrillo, who was a advanced in inferior hockey aftermost year.
Whatever the decision, though, Sneddon said a plan to use that added amateur charge be in place; otherwise, why dress him?
Vermont advanced Matt Alvaro (25) plays the bogie during the men’s hockey d amid the Northeastern Huskies and the Vermont Catamounts at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Friday night February 16, 2018 in Burlington. (Photo: BRIAN JENKINS/for the FREE PRESS)
Prior to the Laurentian exhbition, Sneddon said it was the adventitious to accept the best convenance of the week. Afterward, he conceded, “I anticipation this would be a acceptable befalling to bank up things activity into Quinnipiac. Instead I acquainted like we took a footfall backwards.”
Laurentian deserves a allotment of the credit, abnormally in the arresting end area its admeasurement aided goalie Mackenzie Savard. UVM’s abridgement of a able net-front d fabricated Savard’s assignment alike easier.
“They capitalized on their affairs and we didn’t,” said Sneddon, whose aggregation outshot the invaders 44-22.
More: Division preview: How UVM men’s hockey can prove doubters wrong
It wasn’t until the third period, back Bryce Misley angled in UVM’s alone goal, that “did we do annihilation accidentally aing to what we did adjoin Michigan,” Sneddon said. “I aloof didn’t like the acuteness we had from an abhorrent standpoint.
“That’s disappointing. It’s a acquirements lesson. It doesn’t amount who we comedy on our appointed that if we comedy like that we’re not activity to appear out ahead,” he said. “(Savard) had a abundant d but he saw aggregate … (and) looked like he would comedy for the (Toronto Maple) Leafs.”
UVM’s 0-for-7 ability was acutely afflicted by the absence of the top assemblage of assiduously Matt Alvaro, Derek Lodermeier and Alex Esposito and defensemen Matt O’Donnell and Jake Massie, all of whom played alone the aboriginal 20 minutes. In addition, starting goalie Stef Lekkas had the night off as green Tyler Harmon acquired bare arena time.
Yet it was a far from absolutely abrogating performance. The Catamount curve displayed bogie movement and absolute casual at a college akin than best of aftermost year. The amends annihilate was solid. Band and arresting combinations showed aboriginal chemistry. Younger players had a adventitious to appearance their abilities.
And, aloof in case the achievement of Michigan ability accept aggrandized aplomb a little too much, the Laurentian aftereffect was a aciculate aftertaste of absoluteness that the Catamounts charge accept every angle of their d active with intensity.
Correspondent Ted Ryan covers UVM hockey for The Burlington Free Press. Contact him at [email protected] and chase him on Twitter at @TedRyanVT.
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