Wednesday, October 5th
At his first weekly press conference of the season on Wednesday, UVM men's hockey head coach Kevin Sneddon confirmed a report from the SBNation college hockey blog that two players have been cut from the team.
Junior defenseman Mitch Ferguson and sophomore defenseman Jake Kearly's names have been removed from the roster. Sneddon said the decision was not disciplinary, but simply came down to numbers.
There were 33 players on Vermont's preseason roster, including eleven defensemen, and only six defenseman play in a given game, which means limited playing opportunities for some players overall.
Ferguson played in twenty games as a sophomore, scoring two goals and adding two assists, and had a goal and an assist in six games as a freshman. Kearly played in nine games as a freshman, recording one assist.
Sneddon said the school would honor the players scholarships if they decided to continue to attend UVM or help them in any way possible if they choose to transfer, adding that a decision like this is never easy.
"I think our players knew going into the season that we had a deep roster. It's not something that a coach wants do to, believe me.", said Sneddon. "But we felt it was necessary for them as individuals. That we weren't just dragging them along with not much window of opportunity to play. If playing was important to them, we felt we needed to be honest with them. I think the team knew, going into the summer and into the fall, that there was a chance for that."
"Those things, you've got to understand that people do get cut.", added captain Mario Puskarich. "It's part of the game that you don't like. You never like seeing two good guys go, but we're just focused on the group we have now and moving forward."
The Cats start the season with a two game series versus Clarkson this weekend. Friday's game is in Potsdam, N.Y. Saturday night it's the home opener at Gutterson.
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