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“Losing is not acceptable anymore”

UVM men’s hockey program says turnaround begins now
Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 11:50 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Back in April of 2020, Todd Woodcroft was hired to lead the UVM men’s hockey program, with the goal of driving the Cats back to Hockey East relevance and NCAA Tournament contention.

In spite of all the challenges heaped upon the Cats last season, with a first year coaching staff, the delays, the starts and stops due to COVID, Vermont was able to make it to the finish line. It was a building year, for sure, but the final record was one win, ten losses, and two ties.

Now, with an influx of talent and that built in familiarity with the system, the Cats expect better results this Winter. And that drive to improve every day has been huge for Vermont since the very start of the offseason.

“At the end of the season last year, the bus pulled up right there after our game against UMass-Lowell,” said head coach Todd Woodcroft, motioning to the entrance to Gutterson Fieldhouse. “I kept the players on the bus and I told them how proud I was of them...but then I also told them it couldn’t happen again. That we couldn’t have excuses for losing. We do have to win, that’s the next step that we have to take is to win. So from day one, that message is just rinse, repeat. It doesn’t matter how mundane things are, you have to do the small things perfectly all the time.”

“Quiet bus ride home, the season’s over and then he got up and gave that speech, and it just kind of set the tone for this year and let us know that losing is not acceptable anymore,” added senior defenseman Carter Long. “Last year there was a ton of challenges with COVID and stuff like that but it’s time to start winning here. The last three years I’ve been here, haven’t done a whole lot of that. So I think the leadership group and I, that’s the main focus and getting these young guys up to speed. We want to win now and we want to win a lot.”

UVM opens its season with an exhibition Saturday against Mercyhurst at the Gut.

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