Cats caught looking other way

The UNH Wildcats proved to UVM on Friday night that all good things must come to an end. Following a four game streak in which UVM notched two ties and two wins against ranked foes Northeastern and Massacussetts, the Catamounts were brought back down to earth with a 5-1 loss in front of a sold out Gutterson Field?house. The game started off well for the Catamounts, with a scoreless first period. Nearly six minutes into the second period of play, however, the seventh-ranked Wildcats drew first blood with a goal by sophomore right wing Bobby Butler, assisted by freshman James vanRiemsdyk and junior Jerry Pollastrone. “We made a costly freshman mistake on the first goal and gave New Hampshire a 2-on-1 opportunity,” head coach Kevin Sneddon said. UNH widened the gap with just over a minute remaining in the period on a power-play goal from senior captain Matt Fornataro. UVM seemed to lose all of the wind in their sails in the third period, as UNH scored three more goals. The Catamounts let their frustration show after the fourth UNH goal, when sophomore defenseman Patrick Cullity delivered a blow to a UNH player after the play. The hit caused a small scrum behind the net, and Cullity was nailed with a two-minute penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct. While Sneddon was certainly not pleased with the loss, he remained optimistic. “It’s a shame, we played a great two periods, and we held a very strong offensive team to very few opportunities early,” Sneddon said. Sneddon continued his goalie rotation, which has been present over the past couple months, choosing to start sophomore Mike Spillane in favor of senior Joe Fallon, Sneddon was satisfied with his goalie’s play, and he was also quick to compliment his fourth line for their energy in the contest. “It could’ve been 8-0 with?out [sophomore Jonathan] Higgins, [senior] Reese [Wisnowski] and [freshman] Chris Atkinson,” Sneddon said. The Cats did have some good news on the day, though. In Friday afternoon’s press conference, it was announced that UVM would participate in the first ever Division-1 hockey game in Quebec City against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Oct. 11, 2008. The game is one of many events that will help Quebec celebrate its 400 anniversary. It was also announced at the press conference that former Catamount Martin St. Louis, now of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, would be the honorary UVM captain at the game. “This is an exciting opportunity for our student-athletes to participate in a unique competitive and cultural event,” Vermont Director of Athletics Dr. Robert Corran said. While the loss to UNH made the day bittersweet for the Catamounts, they remain optimistic as they look ahead to the end of the regular season and a possible postseason run. “I think this game is just a speed bump,” Sneddon said. “We can’t mope and pout about it.”