Wednesday, Octobert 12th
The UVM men's hockey team is coming off a weekend split of a home and home series with Clarkson. The first two of five games they will play at the start of the season without their captains and two of their assistant captains as part of the sanctions handed down by the University late last week over a hazing incident.
Despite missing captains Mario Puskarich and Brendan Bradley and assistant captains Chris Muscoby and Anthony Petruzelli, the Cats answered the challenge on Friday night, scoring four times in the third period to pull away for a 5-2 win in their season opener at Clarkson, then 24 hours later, Vermont battled a determined Golden Knights squad for another sixty minutes in the home opener at Gutterson before falling 3-2.
The Cats have a bye week this week before returning to action next Friday and Saturday at Nebraska-Omaha. The team say all the events that have transpired over the past week have been a learning experience, including Puskarich, who met with the media Wednesday for the first time since the suspensions were announced last Thursday.
"I think we, as leaders, we want to hold each other accountable.", said Puskarich. "It was unfortunate. We made a mistake. We look at each other as leaders and it was easy to step up and say 'this shouldn't happen'. It's not anything you really want, but I think it had to be done and we take full responsibility for it."
"We've got some healing to do.", added head coach Kevin Sneddon. "We need to work as a team this week, using the time that we have effectively, to not only work on the hockey skills, but also learn and grow from what happened last week. I think we're making progress towards that. It will not necessarily happen overnight, but we're optimistic that we'll come out of this as a stronger unit than even before."
"We knew that the captains had taken a fall for the team.", said senior goaltender Mike Santaguida. "We're all a team, we're all a family and we wanted to show them that. I know there's nothing more that our captains want then to go to a national championship and these first five games are going to be extremely important. It was something myself and some of the upperclassmen kind of put out there. We really played for them this weekend and going forward we'll play for them."
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