It’s Senior Day this afternoon at Gutterson, as we celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s senior class.
This year’s class was something special. As it stands, they have the fourth-most wins of any senior class ever (tied with the class of 2009), and if they win tonight, they will go up to a tie for third with the class of 1989.
Let’s recognize those playing their last regular season games at Gutterson today.
#1 – Goaltender – Mike Santaguida
Career Statistics: 71 GP, 27-30-6, 2.42 GAA, .915 SV%, 5 SO
I have a love-hate relationship with Santa. On one end, he’s a good goalie on his day, and for a bit early this season he was UVM’s all time leader in save percentage. On the other, he was constantly injured the last two years, making us rely on freshmen to lead the way. But he made up for his lack of size with solid positioning, and he’s one of the better puckhandling goaltenders I’ve seen. Well, other than the gaffe at Clarkson home this year.
#5 – Defender – Rob Hamilton
Career Statistics: 114 GP, 9-28-37, 88 PIM
At the start of the season, when UVM cut Jacob Kearley and Mitch Ferguson, I saw a rumor (not sure how credible, though) that it was Hamilton who was meant to be cut instead of Ferguson, and that he was going to be cut after last season. But, according to the rumor, Hamilton asked Sneddon for a second chance, got it, and proved his worth. Brian Bowen is probably this year’s most improved player, but Rob is a very close second. 15 points from D this season, including two goals in that comeback win at BC.
#7 – Forward – Tom Forgione
Career Statistics: 68 GP, 9-11-20, 36 PIM
Ah yes. The man I refer to as Truculence Tom is one of the most beloved players on this team. He’s a Vermont native, and he provides so much energy and can come up with big goals, such as his game-winner against BU in December. His reckless style of play did lead to injuries. After playing 33 games in his first season, he then was limited to just 35 in the three years since.
#20 – Forward – Brendan Bradley (C)
Career Statistics: 142 GP, 29-51-80, 66 PIM
When talking about this year’s senior captains, we cannot deny that the hazing scandal happened. I just wanted to make it known now that I’m still not happy with that, but it’s in the past now and everyone seems to have learned from it. Back to the on-ice accomplishments, Bradley’s been one of the better two-way forwards to come out of UVM in recent years. Good for about 20 points a year and PK minutes.
#21 – Forward – Mario Puskarich (C)
Career Statistics: 133 GP, 50-60-110, 44 PIM
The first Cat to hit 50 goals since the St. Louis/Perrin days, Puskarich was Hockey East ROTY his freshman year, and scored the goal at UMass Lowell that basically put UVM in the national tournament. After that year, though, he had two struggles. One was injuries, as seen his sophomore year where he missed the stretch run and Hockey East Tournament with a wrist injury. The second was finding a linemate to work with, the way he clicked with Chris McCarthy his first year. He finally seems to have found them in Ross Colton and Brian Bowen.
#22 – Forward – Brady Shaw
Career Statistics: 137 GP, 36-37-73, 126 PIM
Shaw brought size to the Catamounts’ forward line; at 6’1 he was the biggest skater in this year’s senior class. He absolutely balled out his sophomore year, scoring 19 goals, but has struggled to recapture his form. Nevertheless, his size and physicality has made him a valuable asset to the team, even if he’s not going to be the goal scorer that he was in year two.
#24 – Defense – Chris Muscoby
Career Statistics: 74 GP, 5-12-17, 52 PIM
First of all, good to see Muscoby recover from that brutal hit from LeBlanc last night. Second off…the former Brooks Bandit has been in and out of the lineup throughout his career, but has provided steady defense when he’s in. He’s small for a defender, very small at 5’8, but has been able to compensate with his ability to read the game.
#29 – Forward – Malcolm McKinney
Career Statistics: 28 GP, 5-1-6, 17 PIM
I completely forgot this little ball of energy is still on the team. He hasn’t played at all this year, and only played 8 games last year. He was solid his sophomore year though with 5 points in 16 games (including two goals in the 11-1 annihilation at UMass) and just being a little wasp out on the ice. Think Tracer from Overwatch, but a hockey player.
#30 – Goaltender – Pat Feeley
Career Statistics: 2 GP, 0-1-0, 6.28 GAA, .917 SV%
Standing the size of an NBA small forward (6’7), Feeley barely played – his NCAA games amount to three minutes against BU last season (after Santaguida went down with an injury) and six minutes against Bentley in a blowout this year. But by all accounts, he’s been excellent in the room.
Thank you to these players for all you’ve contributed. An NCAA tournament berth and a trip to the Garden in 2015 were both awesome. Here’s to getting both this year. Finish strong.