Women’s Preview: Yale @ Vermont

What’s better than a hockey doubleheader on Friday? Hockey doubleheaders on Friday AND Saturday.

Before the men take the ice against Bentley, the women will look to keep their good form going when they host the Yale Bulldogs at Gutterson. The Cats have only lost one of their last 8 games dating back to mid-November, and enter a team that is very much headed in the other direction.

Yale enters this game with a record of 4-7-2 and with a standing of 7th in the ECAC, 6 points behind sixth-placed Providence. They actually started the season fairly well, sitting at 4-1-1 in early November. But then, the roof fell in and the team has lost six of seven, with the exception being a 1-1 draw with UConn. They’ve played 5 teams that have also played UVM, defeating Union, drawing against UConn, and taking L’s to St. Lawrence, Clarkson, and New Hampshire.

In goal the Cats will likely be up against freshman Tera Hofmann, who sports a .912 save percentage on the season after stealing the starting gig from senior Hanna Mandl, who sports a .892 and has hovered around there her whole career.

Defensively, Yale has been a little suspect, especially during their recent slump. In their seven game winless drought, the Bulldogs have given up four or more goals in all but one game (the draw against UConn). They’re contributing offensively, though, as Taylor Marchin has produced a point per game, and Mallory Souliotis has chipped in 8 points as well. But they’re leaking goals, which could be useful for a UVM team that has, at times, struggled to score this year.

Then comes the attack, led by the trio of Krista Yip-Chuck, Phoebe Staenz, and Eden Murray. All have 15 points or more…then only one other player has more than 5. Yale’s offense hasn’t been the issue during this slump – they’ve scored as many goals per game as Northeastern this year – but when you’ve got one dominant line and not a lot of contribution from everyone else, you become a bit predictable.

Games are Friday at noon and Saturday at 2pm at Gutterson, and can also be viewed on CatamounTV. Go out and support some great players and take in back-to-back doubleheaders.

Go Cats.

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Men’s Preview: Bentley @ #13 UVM

After two awful losses to Union to close out the first half, a couple easier matches are just what the doctor ordered for the Catamounts.

Coming to the Gutt for the last two games of 2016 are the Bentley Falcons. You’d be forgiven for not knowing who Bentley is or where they are. Bentley is a small private school with an enrollment of around 4000 located in Boston’s Back Bay. They’re Division II in every other sport other than men’s hockey. Their rink is a glorified pee wee rink with a capacity of 1,250 that I’ve been told is the coldest rink in Division I ice hockey.

Speaking of the hockey team itself, Bentley has been very Not Good this year, coming to Gutterson with a 4-8-4 record and sitting in a tie with Holy Cross for 8th in Atlantic Hockey. They’ve got one mutual opponent with the Cats – Northeastern – and earned a loss (7-3) and a draw (1-1) at Matthews back in October.

The starter for Bentley will most likely be junior Jayson Argue. One could argue (*dodges a tomato*) that he’s been decidedly average this year, sporting a .914 save percentage and 2.89 GAA. His backup, freshman Aidan Palino, has played less than two full games worth of minutes, so his .939 save percentage means nothing.

Against the ranked opposition they’ve played this year (Northeastern and Harvard), the defense has proven to be a huge problem. In those three games, the Falcons gave up 35 or more shots in all three. I do believe this is the first men’s team that I can be excited about as a fan of the Russian hockey, since Bentley has a Russian on the blueline! His name’s Alexey Solovyov (sah-LAV-yov), and he’s got 6 points in 10 games, just one point behind the team leader in points among defenders (fellow sophomore Tanner Jago, with 7).

The offense has the team’s lone real star and difference maker. Team captain Max French has been the real MVP for my fantasy teams over the last couple of years and he’s doing it once again with 18 points in 16. His sidekick, Kyle Schmidt, has 12 points in 16 games. Nobody else has 10. Goals have been hard to come by outside of the French/Schmidt duo as Bentley averages 2.5 goals per game (49th in the country), so if the Cats can shut them down, this is a cakewalk.

Games are Friday at 7 and Saturday at 4, and can be seen on CatamounTV.

Two wins or bust.

Go Cats.

Catamounts in the Pros: Update

In the spirit of yesterday’s look at the future of UVM hockey, let’s take a look at the past. Many Catamounts are currently playing professionally and let’s see how they’re doing. (This does not include Catamounts playing in amateur leagues such as the Chinook Hockey League, nor does it include players currently playing at USports schools, such as Mike Stenerson.)

Goaltenders

Joe Fallon (2004-08) – Dundee Stars (EIHL) – EIHL Numbers: 7-11, 3.26 GAA, .903 SV%, 2 SO – EIHL Cup: 2.54 GAA, .916 SV% 

Defenders

Jaime Sifers (2002-06) – Cleveland Monsters (AHL) – 25 GP, 2-6-8, -2, 26 PIM

Michael Paliotta (2011-15) – Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL) – 25 GP, 1-4-5, Even, 10 PIM

Patrick Cullity (2006-10) – Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) – 17 GP, 0-2-2, -2, 16 PIM

Anders Franzon (2009-13) – Sheffield Steelers (EIHL) – EIHL Numbers: 18 GP, 1-3-4, 7 PIM – EIHL Cup: 8 GP, 2-1-3, 4 PIM – Champions Hockey League: 4 GP, 0-1-1, Even, 0 PIM

Nick Bruneteau (2010-14) – Lausitzer Füchse (DEL2) – 7 GP, 1-3-4, +4, 12 PIM – Champions Hockey League w/ Eisbären Berlin – 4 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM

Drew MacKenzie (2008-12) – Kassel Huskies (DEL2) – 18 GP, 2-11-13, +3, 38 PIM

Nick Luukko (2011-15) – Reading Royals (ECHL) – 25 GP, 6-5-11, +9, 10 PIM

Alexx Privitera (2014-16) – Manchester Monarchs (ECHL) – 15 GP, 3-7-10, +3, 8 PIM

Evan Stoflet (2003-07) – Utah Grizzlies (ECHL) – 25 GP, 1-7-8, -11, 30 PIM

Kevan Miller (2007-11) – Boston Bruins (NHL) – 12 GP, 0-0-0, -5, 4 PIM

Ryan Gunderson (2003-07) – Brynäs IF (SHL) – 26 GP, 2-11-13, +5, 6 PIM

Forwards

Connor Brickley (2010-14) – Charlotte Checkers (AHL) – 19 GP, 1-3-4, Even, 32 PIM

Colin Markison (2011-15) – Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) – 8 GP, 2-0-2, Even, 2 PIM

Peter Lenes (2005-09) – EC Kitzbühel (Alps Hockey League) – 9 GP, 4-8-12, +2, 4 PIM

Sebastian Stålberg (2009-12) – Frölunda HC (SHL) – SHL Numbers: 26 GP, 7-4-11, Even, 4 PIM – Champions Hockey League: 9 GP, 1-3-4, +3, 2 PIM

Éric Perrin (1993-97) – TPS (Liiga) – Liiga Numbers: 23 GP, 7-8-15, +4, 8 PIM – Champions Hockey League: 5 GP, 0-3-3, +1, 2 PIM

Colin Vock (2006-10) – Frederikshavn White Hawks (Metal Ligaen) – Metal Ligaen Numbers: 16 GP, 7-9-16, -2, 14 PIM – Danish Cup: 2 GP, 2-1-3, 2 PIM

Jack Downing (2007-11) – Kassel Huskies (DEL2) – 25 GP, 12-12-24, +10, 0 PIM

Brian Roloff (2006-10) – Ravensburg Towerstars (DEL2) – 25 GP, 5-10-15, -6, 10 PIM

Jonathan Turk (2012-16) – Columbus Cottonmouths (SPHL) – 15 GP, 3-1-4, -4, 16 PIM

Patrick Sharp (2000-02) – Dallas Stars (NHL) – 11 GP, 1-1-2, -7, 12 PIM

Viktor Stålberg (2006-09) – Carolina Hurricanes (NHL) – 28 GP, 7-2-9, -4, 23 PIM

Torrey Mitchell (2004-07) – Canadiens de Montréal (NHL) – 29 GP, 7-4-11, +9, 14 PIM

Matt White (2010-14) – Dundee Stars (EIHL) – EIHL Numbers: 21 GP, 4-6-10, 28 PIM – EIHL Cup: 9 GP, 1-1-2, 12 PIM

Chris McCarthy (2010-14) – Reading Royals (ECHL) – 22 GP, 11-13-24, +4, 2 PIM

Recruit Progress Report

It’s December, and as we hit the halfway mark of the college season, let’s take a look at how UVM recruits are currently doing in their junior leagues. Year in parenthesis is birth year (00 is 2000, 99 is 1999, etc)

GOALKEEPERS

Matthew Beck (’96) – Philadelphia Flyers Elite (USPHL) – 2-11-0, .902 SV%, 4.47 GAA

Tyler Harmon (’97) – Jersey Hitmen (USPHL) – 16-2-1, .934 SV%, 1.78 GAA, 2 SO

DEFENDERS

Owen Grant (’98) – Carleton Place Canadiens (CCHL) – 32 GP, 3-8-11, 14 PIM

Andrew Petrillo (’98) – Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) – 9 GP, 1-0-1, +3, 0 PIM

Carter Long (’98) – Lincoln Stars (USHL) – 23 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 10 PIM

Andrew Lucas (’99) – Loomis Chaffee School (USHS-CT) – Statistics unavailable

Conner Hutchison (’00) – Selects Hockey Academy U18 (USPHL U18) – 3 GP, 2-3-5, 6 PIM

FORWARDS

Alex Esposito (’96) – Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) – 25 GP, 9-12-21, 42 PIM, +7

Jacob Kamps (’97) – Penticton Vees (BCHL)/Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – Combined: 25 GP, 4-3-7, 14 PIM

Kale Kane (’96) – Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) – 24 GP, 7-11-18, Even, 21 PIM

Max Kaufman (’96) – Langley Rivermen (BCHL) – 24 GP, 13-15-28, Even, 14 PIM

Max Sauve (’98) – South Shore Kings (USPHL) – 30 GP, 8-16-24, 10 PIM

Christian Thomas (’99) – Corpus Christi IceRays/Northeast Generals (NAHL) – Combined: 21 GP, 3-6-9, -15, 10 PIM

Nick Abruzzese (’99) – North Jersey Avalanche U18 (T1EHL/AYHL)/New Jersey Jr. Titans (NAHL) – Combined: 32 GP, 18-27-45, 8 PIM

Simon Boyko (’99) – Jersey Hitmen (USPHL) – 28 GP, 9-25-34, 12 PIM

Joseph Cipollone (’99) – Loomis Chaffee School (USHS-CT) – Statistics unavailable

Bryce Misley (’99) – Oakville Blades (OJHL) – 28 GP, 16-22-38, 10 PIM

Ocean Wiesblatt (’99) – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 9 GP, 2-2-4, 16 PIM

Orca Wiesblatt (’00) – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 10 GP, 0-2-2, 14 PIM

Mickey Burns (’00) – Jersey Hitmen U16 (USPHL U16) – 13 GP, 12-21-33, 20 PIM

Anthony Cipollone (’02) – Westchester Express Bantam Major (Bantam) – Statistics unavailable (I mean, come on, the kid’s 14)

 

Men’s Preview: #13 Union @ #11 UVM (2x)

In 2014, a Union College Dutchmen side led by Shayne Gostisbehere pummeled the Catamounts 5-2 in the first round of the NCAA tournament en route to the national title.

The players that were freshmen for UVM then – Bradley, Puskarich, Shaw, Hamilton, and Santaguida, among others – are seniors now, and they’ll remember what Union did that day quite well: dominate.

Yes, the Cats have played the Dutchmen in the interim, losing 3-2 in overtime in Schenectady last season. But still…in your last season, you’ve got a demon to vanquish, you may as well vanquish it, especially after the stress of finals week.

The Dutchmen have gotten out to a fantastic start, sitting at 12-3-2 and first in the ECAC. They have four games against mutual opponents, going 2-2 (defeating Michigan and Quinnipiac while losing to the Wolverines and Clarkson). However, a skeptic could point to their schedule – among those Ws have been Brown, Niagara, and RPI, all bottom ten teams in the Pairwise.

In goal Union rolls with senior Alex Sakellaropoulos (and I’m going to copy paste that from now on because that name is, like, Vadim Krasnoslobodtsev length). He’s been okay, but nothing special, posting a .916 save percentage in 13 games. He has lost only one game, though, so it’s good enough I guess. Backup sophomore Jake Kupsky has been woeful, with a .875 SV%.

Defensively, Union is a middle-of-the-pack team, but Jeff Taylor has been dynamic offensively with 16 points. However, no other defender has more than 10 points, with Nick DeSimone second with 8. So the defense is fairly unremarkable – don’t produce a whole lot past Taylor, and concede about an average amount of goals.

It’s the offense where the Dutchmen really shine, ranking fourth in the nation in goals per game. Mike Vecchione leads the country with an eye-popping 35 points, and Spencer Foo isn’t far behind with 30. Sebastian Vidmar also cracks the top 20 nationally with 21 points. It’s proven this year that stopping this trio is nearly impossible, but you CAN limit their effectiveness, something Clarkson were able to do a month ago when they handed Union their last L this season (the trio were limited to a Foo assist on the night in a 3-1 loss). This offense against the UVM defense and goaltending will be an interesting watch.

Games will be Saturday and Sunday on CatamounTV, yet another showdown at the Gutt of two ranked teams.

Go Cats Go.

Recap: #12 UVM (M) 4, #5 BU 2

Okay this one’s a bit rushed – I don’t have a working computer so I’m using a kiosk at the Davis Center & I wanted to get this out before the game tonight.

Unreal game last night. The Den was a moshpit, Lekkas was a baller per usual, and the chant battles were funny. Oh yeah, and the Cats won.

BU struck first on a power play. Lekkas was down and that gave Bobo Carpenter essentially a tap-in to put the Terriers in front.

Cats then level it, Petruzzelli on a scramble in front. Scrappy play by the hosts would be the theme tonight, and proved big on the winning goal.

But let’s stick with order, and now up is FREE FRIES. Kieffer Bellows hauls down Colton (good penalty to take if you’re Bellows, knowing how good Colton is at breakaways). Cats then pull ahead in the last minute of the first as Matt O’Donnell blasts one through a screen for his first NCAA goal.

BU got one back in the second, another power play goal. Similar to the first one, Lekkas was down and out and that gave BU a tap-in, this time through Patrick Harper.

But the Cats would pull ahead in the third through Truculence Tom Forgione. Mad scramble in front, somehow Lodermeier got the puck to him and he’s not missing from there.

Colton adds an empty netter for the final.

Rematch tonight.

Women’s Preview: Dartmouth @ UVM

One of the great sports journalists in BTV, Ted Ryan, posed a question after UVM swept Northeastern at Matthews last weekend: Was this the best weekend in UVM women’s DI/Hockey East history? I’d have to agree, but I think the best has yet to come. Plumer’s recruiting has been great in recent years (Gorecki, Valkama, Picard et al.), and now it’s translating into Ws.

It’s important to keep that momentum going, and right here is a winnable game. The Big Green are 2-8. One of their wins, interestingly, was an upset of then-#10 Princeton.

The list of good things about Dartmouth begins and ends with their goaltending. Robyn Chemago has been sensational, posting a .936 save percentage (10th in the country) so far to at least keep her team in games.

Dartmouth’s leading scorer is actually a defender, senior Eleni Tobano. The D is still very leaky, allowing around 33 shots per game, but it’s at least been average at not allowing goals (mostly because of Chemago).

Offensively, this team is…uh…not good. Only four teams average fewer goals per game than Dartmouth, and their leading scorer forward has five points. That’s not good.

This is a winnable game. If the Cats want to continue to open eyes around the world of women’s hockey, you’ve gotta win this one and you’ve gotta win it decisively and keep the momentum going headed into the winter holiday.

 

Men’s Preview: #5 BU @ #12 UVM (2x)

With the exception of #1 Duluth battling #2 Denver this week, this is the biggest matchup in college hockey this week, and certainly the biggest in the East.

The Boston University Terriers are, well, good. Damn good. Their freshman class is without a doubt the best in the country, and they’ve got some solid vets as well. BU has played 5 games against teams UVM has played so far (two each against Michigan and Northeastern and one against Quinnipiac), and went 3-1-1 in those games (Catamounts went 3-0). Seven BU players were recently named to Team USA for the upcoming World Juniors.

In goal, BU has the best goalie prospect in the upcoming NHL draft. Jake Oettinger is elite, to put it lightly. At 17, he’s 9th in the country in save percentage and 7th in goals against. The duel between Oettinger and Lekkas this weekend will no doubt be incredible to watch for any fan of goaltending.

Defensively, BU is deep and is elite as one of the top five defensive teams in the country, allowing just over 2 goals per game. 2016 NHL first round picks Charlie McAvoy (Boston) and Dante Fabbro (St. Louis) headline the squad, but EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of this top 6 was drafted. Like McAvoy, Chad Krys was also named to the US WJC team, and was drafted this summer. He only has two points, but his defensive play has been solid. This defense is talented, deep, and will prove a huge test for UVM and its offense averaging around 3.5 goals per game.

Offensively, the Cats do dodge a bullet, as Clayton Keller is still injured. Keller was arguably the best recruit in college this year, and started with 9 points in 7 games. BU is still talented, though, despite Kieffer Bellows’s slow start (5 points). The young trio of Jordan Greenway (13 points), Patrick Harper (17), and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (15) leads the way for the Terriers; all are either sophomore or freshman. The offense hasn’t been great so far – it’s been average – but the talent is there.

Friday’s student tickets sold out in LESS THAN TWO HOURS. The hype is real. Also that night will see us learn the student section’s name. (If it isn’t The Den, we riot. Actually wait Naked Bike Ride is that night so we riot regardless.)

Go Cats.