Thursday, October 2nd
BURLINGTON, VT -- The UVM men's hockey team returns its top ten scorers.
That sentence alone is enough to raise the anticipation level for the coming season, which begins this Sunday when the Cats host McGill University in an exhibition at 4pm at Gutterson. However, experience doesn't always equal production.
Those ten scorers led an offense that was tied for eighth in the ten team Hockey East last season, and the Cats special teams were the worst rated in the league. Coach Kevin Sneddon knows knows there is plenty of room for improvement.
"We scored 22 more goals 5-on-5 last year, which was great, but the power play scored 20 less goals so it was kind of a wash.", said Sneddon. "If our power play can produce more there's no question we can be in the top half of the league in goal production. I think that's a good goal for us, to move into the upper echelon, not only in the standings, to do that again, but also to improve our offense so we're playing a little bit more exciting brand of hockey."
Sneddon singled out the junior class of forwards Brayden Irwin, Brian Roloff, Viktor Stalberg and Colin Vock as players whose output he expects to increase this year. That quartet and the senior trio of Dean Strong, Corey Carlson and Peter Lenes will be the core of a squad looking to make a return trip to the Hockey East finals.
"We're older, stronger, more experienced, maybe more confident." said assistant captain Lenes. "We can carry the team and carry the load as a group."
--- Mike McCune