I know it’s very crude, but this game is the definition of something I call blue-ball hockey. LOTS AND LOTS of effort and chances…but no finish.
I’m not sure how much of tonight was shoddy UVM finishing and how much was Philippe Cadorette standing on his head, but you can’t get 44 shots on goal and still take the L.
But hey, it’s preseason, that’s what it’s there for – low-risk situations where you see what you need to work on.
Coach Sneddon told me earlier in the week he wanted to work on puck possession, and as shown by the shot total and eye test, the Cats definitely did that well tonight.
I actually missed the first Concordia goal live, but looking at the replay on CatamounTV (thank you to the folk there for your hard work, btw, it does not go unnoticed), that’s one Mike Santaguida wants back. Started with an offensive zone turnover by Max Daigle. But Daigle’s a freshman, he will learn. Hopefully.
First Catamount goal is textbook goal-poaching. Matt O’Donnell, who I thought looked real good, with a shot, Cadorette saved, and Mario Puskarich jumped on the rebound for the power play goal. But just two minutes later the Stingers were ahead again off a tip close to Santaguida. They had to review it, but it counted.
It stayed that way until the third, thanks in part to the UVM powerplay being pretty bad (1/9 on the night isn’t going to cut it) and some really nice saves by Cadorette. That’s when the Cats went two-on-one, with Brendan Bradley centering it beautifully for Ross Colton, and the Tampa Bay pick wasn’t missing from there. 2-2, and the student section (which felt in regular season form tonight, shoutout to the guys in row R who got *really* hoarse) went wild.
…And then Concordia scored right after. Julien Avon centered it to Raphaël Lafontaine (no relation to Pat) and he buried it past Stefanos Lekkas, who not too long prior made a great play to come out of his crease and stop a Concordia scoring chance. And that was game.
Mixed bag tonight. I thought some of the freshmen looked good, Colton and O’Donnell specifically. Colton and Bradley had some great chemistry and I’d like to see them stick together next week against Clarkson. Dunno if you slap Puskarich or Shaw (their two most frequent partners based on the eye test) or someone else on that wing, just keep them together. The power play needs to be improved big time, and it goes without saying that if you’re shooting 4.5% as the Cats did tonight, you’re not going to be grabbing very many Ws.
As for the goaltending situation, I’m not sure we got any clarity tonight as none faced much of a workload. I don’t even think that, assuming Santa is the regular starter, we know who the #2 is.
Anywho, that’s it, onto Clarkson for the men next weekend. They’ll be tough.
Women’s preview vs Union will likely come out Monday night or Tuesday.
The Vermont Hockey Blog Three Stars of the Game
- Philippe Cadorette (Concordia) – 44 saves including some “HOW DID HE DO THAT” saves. Sometimes you just gotta tip your cap.
- Ross Colton (Vermont) – Game tying goalscorer and looked active all night. He’s got a bright future.
- Matt O’Donnell (Vermont) – Of the freshmen defenders that played he was, in my opinion, the best one out there.