Nice article from Ted Ryan on UVM’s newest commitment, Anthony De Luca.  The 16 year old from Rosemare, Quebec is described as a strong skater, with good hands, and toughness.  In his scouting profile he is compared to Mark Recchi, and make sure you note the C on his jersey.  De Luca won’t be joining the Cats until 2013 or 2014 as he is slated to play another year of Midgets in Canada before spending a year in the USHL.

One interesting disparity between the two articles that are linked. Ryan has De Luca at 5’9″, however he is listed at 5’7″ in his scouting profile, two inches of fairly rapid growth? or mis reporting? Either way, the kid weighs in at a stout 190 lbs…we’ll take it.

Check his stats on the Incoming Catamounts page.

Sneddon postgame

BU was dominant last night in Agganis arena.  You could make that argument that Madore played as well as, if not better than BU’s stud goalie Kieran Millan, but there’s no point (even though Madore’s first break away save  bordered on inhuman).  Other than UVM’s late goal, Millan stuffed all three Vermont scoring chance. The Terrier’s defense took care of the rest.  BU’s offense was swarming in UVM’s end, and they got some help from the UVM defenders.  It was fun to watch Madore stuff break away after break away in the first, but the turnovers foreshadowed the loss.  Vermont wasn’t helped by losing Brickley in the second period and Downing in the third to checking from behind penalties.  I’m not sure if it would have made a difference in either case, but the call on Downing was bogus.  BU’s player practically vaulted himself into the boards after he felt Downing behind him.  In many respects it was an ugly game for UVM, and BU was phenomenal.

Although UVM didn’t have a chance last night, they came out of another critical road weekend against a tough team with a point.  The last 4 pts that UVM has earned in Hockey East play (2 at Maine, 1 vs. UNH, and 1 at BU) have proved to be critical going into their final home series against the not so walkover UMass-Lowell Riverhawks who owned Providence last night.  Due to UMass completely unraveling since their 6-0 crushing of UVM at Gutterson(0-8-2 in their last 10), and Providence’s terrible play in Hockey East (0-9-3 in their last 14), UVM only needs one point next weekend to clinch a playoff spot, and in all likely hood will place 7th.  Additionally, for UVM to miss the playoffs they would have to be swept at home by UMass Lowell, Providence would have to sweep Merrimack (hahah), and UMass would have to at least tie one game with Maine.  I’m glad that UVM is in control of their playoff destiny going into the final weekend.  The more time that they can play in pressure packed situations leading up to playoffs the better.

Here is an updated look at the Hockey East playoff picture. A lot of different scenarios are set for the final weekend.

Sneddon postgame

UVM took sole possession of 7th place in Hockey East with one point last night, UMass lost to BC and Providence tied UMass-Lowell.  It was a great tie for the Catamounts, who were down 3-0 against a seemingly impenetrable goalie with less than 15 minutes left in the game.  In the first period UVM was able to get the puck in deep on a number of occasions and to went hard on the forecheck, they played an aggressive style that yielded a couple of good scoring chances, and helped them kill of several penalties including a 5-3.  The second period was all BU.  I don’t know what it is about BU, but when they turn it on they make Vermont look terrible, especially on the defensive end.  There were several instances last night, in the 2nd and 3rd periods where Chiasson, Pereira,and Rosen slashed through 2 or 3 UVM players to get to the slot for a clean look.  Madore was able to come up with the saves, but UVM needs to correct their interior defense.  The 3rd period looked a lot like the 2nd for the first ten minutes, but the Cats came on strong in the final ten; coming back to tie the game with 3 goals and almost win in overtime.  UVM is finishing games well, something that they couldn’t do at all during the first 2/3rds of the season.

UVM’s ability to finish strong is the result of a few factors.  1st and foremost the credit goes to Sneddon, who has stuck with his team throughout a rocky season. 2nd is the pressure of not making the playoffs combined with the momentum UVM has built up the past 3 weekends. Last, but not least is the play of the freshmen…who towards the end of a season filled with adversity and disappointment, aren’t freshmen anymore.  The first year players have been around the block, they know what to expect and they are playing with more maturity than earlier in the season.  They are dependable on the ice. Now, I know that Lenz blew an open net in overtime that should have been the game winner, but just the fact that he was in that position to score in overtime, on the road, at BU, on a 2-1 with fellow freshman Connor Brickley is an indicator of their progression.

The Cats have the momentum going into tonights game, I want to see a win.

NEW RECRUIT: Kyle Reynolds

Kyle Reynolds of the Okotoks Oilers (Alberta Junior Hockey League) has committed to the Catamounts.  It’s nice to see UVM nab a kid who has had interest from North Dakota and other top teams, and a SCORER!  Reynolds won the AJHL’s Ernie Love Trophy this year for leading the league in scoring. I’m liking how the class of 2015 is shaping up, and apparently UVM isn’t done yet as they are expected to add another forward or defensemen before the start of next season.

Here is the link to Ted Ryan’s article about the signing.

To check Reynolds’ impressive stats, go to the Incoming Catamounts page.

2/25-2/26 @ BU: Preview

Press conference:

I would like to write a more in depth preview for UVM’s trip to BU, but time doesn’t allow.  Make sure to check out the game notes, there are some nice pieces of information that have me thinking that UVM will be coming out of this weekend with at least a point or two.  BU, who started unbeaten in their first ten games, has played about .500 hockey since.  They have played in many close games, in which they have won a fair amount, but they have been inconsistent.  Chiasson is their leading point getter, and only a sophomore.  I’m not sure if you remember, but he was the guy who made UVM’s defense look like beer league players back in January.

UVM doesn’t need to do anything special this weekend, they have shown their ability over their past few series’.  Steady, aggressive, and smart play should do the trick.  These will be UVM’s last two road games before playoffs start up, I don’t think they will be their last.

Prediction: UVM sweeps…maybe.

Quick notes:

Both games this weekend are on NESN

J. Vazzano and Lenz are on twitter

UVM @ BU Game Notes

Highlights from the first meeting:

Wednesday Link Drop

Here are this week’s articles of interest –

BFP article on the 2-2 tie against UNH on Saturday

77 hockey players per 10,000 people in Vermont…that’s good enough for 3rd in the nation

UNH’s Kevin Goumas gets rookie of the week for his play at The Gut this past weekend

Future Catamount Zemgus Girgensons makes USHL All-Star team – Girgensons was the youngest player selected at 17.

Kid can light the lamp and hit …actually, I’m not so sure how clean of a play this is.

Here are the highlights from the alumni game this past weekend.  Just a group of guys having good clean fun.  It was nice to see the crew of former Cats between periods on Saturday.  They may have even inspired UVM’s dominant third period…if so,they should travel with the team.

Here is the updated Hockey East playoff picture, it’s fairly self explanatory.  I’m having a hard time foreseeing a situation where UVM doesn’t make the playoffs with UMass playing BC and ME, and Providence with MC in their final weekend.  Providence will probably pick up points this weekend against UMass-Lowell, but that should be negated by UVM’s final home stand with the Riverhawks.

If you don’t know already…both UVM games at BU are on NESN this weekend.  Friday – 7:30 pm  Saturday – 6:30 pm

Weekend Recap: UNH

I had predicted a two point weekend for the Catamounts, and they came out with one.   Given the situation in the Hockey East standings and UNH’s national ranking, one point was more than acceptable.  One point gave the Cats a three point cushion over Providence and pushed them into a tie for 7th in HE with Massachusetts.  The Friars and Minutemen did their part this weekend, both were swept.  Next weekend, Providence has a home an away with UMass-Lowell, and UMass with BC.  Vermont is at BU for two.  We could see some shuffling in the lower part of the standings over the next two weekends, but Vermont should be in control of their playoff destiny coming into the final home weekend against UMass-Lowell.  If they play anything like they did last night, making the playoffs shouldn’t be a problem.

Friday – The Cats scored in the first 40 seconds of the game when Jack Downing threw the puck on net from between the top of the circle and the blue line.  The puck squeezed by Matt DiGirolamo to give UVM the 1-0 lead.  UVM chased that goal with 10 minutes of great hockey. They were hitting, and the defense was doing a good job containing UNH’s lethal first line.  Then at 10:37 in the first period UNH scored when a ref got in the way of an outlet pass that allowed Paul Thompson to jump on the puck and move it down low to Sislo, who then found DeSimone alone in front of the net.  Although showing pockets of aggressive play, Vermont seemed a bit complacent after UNH’s first goal.  Instead of playing “their” game, Vermont fell into the trap of trying to contain UNH, which didn’t work.  As Aaron Miller said on postgame radio, “UNH isn’t a team you can manufacture goals against.”   The 6-1 final score however, wasn’t indicative of the game.  It was fairly close until UNH went up 4-1 with less than 10 minutes left in the game.  If UVM had played with the same intensity on Friday as they did Saturday, I’d imagine that we would have seen a similar result.

DiGirolamo divergence… In my mind the jury is still out on DiGirolamo, despite his great numbers.   He doesn’t close the five hole well and seems to be prone to big emotional swings that impact his play. After giving up the softy on Friday, he played nervous between the pipes until UNH went up 4-1 in the third.  Many of his saves were shaky and he didn’t handle to puck well on simple plays.  Last night he was great, but was overly emotional in the other direction.  His outbursts are visible in the highlights if you watch closely.  Late in the thrid “DiGi” made a great save on a UVM 2 on 1.  After covering the puck with his glove, he stood up and threw it back at McCarthy.  His second flare up came after the game when he took his water bottle and smashed it on the ice as if to congratulate himself on a great performance.  I’m not trying to say that it is was bad sportsmanship for DiGi to celebrate or get emotional on the ice after a big play, it was a great performance, and goalies are entitled to an occasional “cele” too.  However, if UNH wants to win Hockey East and a National title, DiGi is going to need to curb his mood swings.  Goalies that win titles are held to a high standard of focus and consistency that I’m not sure DiGiralmo has. Either way, on to Saturday.

Saturday- Last night the Cats returned to the brand of hockey that has helped them move up the HE standings the past few weeks.  They came out with energy, ready to pressure the puck on the defensive end and to create offense through the forecheck.  It was an entire team effort last night.  UVM was able to keep UNH’s swift transition offensive at  bay by playing more aggressive on the forecheck, and giving the defenders more freedom to hold the blue line in the offensive end.  Additionally, UVM was able to effectively disrupt play in the neutral zone, allowing them to spend more time on the attack.  Feeding off of the momentum of their aggressive play, the they were able to create plenty of offense and scoring chances, especially in the third period and overtime.  It’s a shame that UVM couldn’t finish on one more, they deserved to win.

Player of the Weekend: Tobias Nilsson-Roos

Other than scoring shorthanded last night, he was tough in the corners and played aggressive all weekend.  This weekend was  was the first time that I have noticed Roos’ hitting. Both Friday and Saturday  he had a bead on UNH’s captain Sislo, smoking him both nights deep in the UNH end on the forecheck.

Quick Notes:

-All seven freshman skaters played, but not like freshman.  Griem has really found his stride since filling in for Miller, and even Brooks Herrington is beginning to look comfortable.  The White, Brickley, and Lenz line was tough as usual and managed to put together as season of hard work to score the game tying goal in the third.  In the wake of injuries, players who get kicked off the team, and seniors that quit, this year’s  freshmen class has been getting a lot of ice time, and they are putting it to good use.  These minutes will pay dividends in the future.

-UNH’s Paul Thompson and Matt Campanale were unimpressive this weekend. Don’t like to get hit much?

-Madore’s a stud



Tough one for UVM tonight. UNH’s potent offense was too much for their depleted lineup.  I’ll post a weekend analysis sometime tomorrow night or Sunday. See you at The Gut!