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Checking in with Jim Plumer

A chat with the UVM women’s head coach as part of Hockey Night in Vermont
Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 12:36 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The UVM women’s hockey team is hosting UConn in weekend set that could end up playing a huge role in getting the Cats where they want to be at the end of the season. Earlier this week, we checked in with Vermont head coach Jim Plumer to get a read on the season so far and what needs to go right over the second half.

Jack: “Jim, you’ve been with this program for a long time, and obviously there’s been some, some peaks and valleys, but it certainly seems like this program is heading back towards one of those peaks. Uh, had a lot of success over the last couple years and got another really good team this year. What’s been kind of the key for that. Why have you guys been able to have as much success as you have in the first half of the season?”

Jim Plumer: “Yeah, you’re right. It’s been building. I think we were on track to have this kind of season last year. We didn’t really get to play enough games to let the team develop and let some of the chemistry develop. So I think that that was the hardest part about last year was we played six games. We were playing pretty well. We liked the way it was going and then we didn’t play for month. And so I guess I was certainly optimistic about being able to continue that this year. But it really goes back to the character that we have in our locker room, the culture that we’ve built. We have a fantastic group of leaders. It it’s been a lot of fun. It’s a phenomenal group of kids and they’re bought in and nothing happens without that.”

Jack: “One of the things that maybe it’s been a little bit easier to notice from a macro level is that your roster has shifted and changed a lot over the course of the season. How have you guys been able to deal with that?”

Plumer: “I think that’s one of the most satisfying things isthat it’s not just about a couple of kids. It’s about building a style of play. We knew about the Olympic qualifiers, that that was gonna be a challenge. We had that in the back of our mind as we were making lines, as we were anticipating how we were gonna develop over the course of the year. But losing Teresa Schafzahl early, losing Jessie McPherson early, gave us an even bigger challenge. And then the qualifiers. And then now that we’re back to this, COVID, who’s in, who’s out? I think this past weekend was a great example of really having confidence in a variety of people to step up.”

Jack: “What do you hope to come out of this series with as you approach the second half of the season?”

Plumer: “Well, I mean obviously we want to win all the games. These guys are ahead of us in the standings. We played a very competitive game that we thought we could have won, maybe should have won down there. So we’re looking to win, we’re looking to win games. There’s nobody that we’re afraid of. I have a lot of respect for UConn and their coaching staff, their style of play, the culture. So it’s not gonna be easy. And we realize and sort of accept that most games are close games now and that we are learning how to close out games where we have the lead. We’re doing a better job with that. And we’ve been scoring more on average over the last eight, ten games than we have at probably any time in my career. So I’m gonna trust the team to play the way they know how and we’ll see how it ends up.

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