Cats extend winning streak to five

University of Vermont men’s hockey coach Kevin Sneddon and the rest of the Catamount faithful had a lot to be thankful for over the holiday break. Not only did the Cats sweep a grueling set of four Hockey East matchups in eight days, but they also catapulted themselves to second in the conference, trailing Northeastern by just two points in the standings. Vermont is now 7-1-1 in their last nine games and stand at 9-3-2 (6-3-1 HEA) on the season. “It’d be nice to win by two once in a while or maybe sink an empty netter,” Sneddon said. “Welcome to Hockey East. That’s a real, real testament to our student-athletes that they were able to sustain excellence through that stretch of games and I’m very proud of them for that,” Sneddon said. Vermont kicked off the holiday break by traveling to Agganis Are?na for a weekend set against then No. 2 Boston University. On Nov. 21, freshman goaltender Rob Madore made a career-high 38 saves to lead the Cats to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory. Senior assistant captain Peter Lenes led the offense with one goal and two assists, while junior Brayden Irwin scored the game winning goal with just 5:59 left in the contest. The Cats made it a clean sweep on Saturday night, Nov. 22, becoming the first visiting team in 16 years to accomplish the feat at BU. Junior goaltender Mike Spillane made 13 saves in the final period and finished with 32 stops overall, as Vermont upended BU once again by a score of 4-3. Senior assistant captain Corey Carlson scored the game winner at 8:07 of the final period. Continuing their dominance on the road, Vermont traveled to UMass on Nov. 25 and rallied to defeat the then No. 16 Minutemen 4-3 in OT. Junior Viktor Stalberg scored the game-tying goal with just 56 seconds left in regulation to send ithe game into sudden death. Lenes completed the comeback when he tallied the game-winner with just 23 seconds remaining in the extra frame. Madore made 23 stops to pace Vermont. Returning home for a post- Thanksgiving matchup with Maine on Nov. 29, the Cats had a come-from-behind 3-2 victory in front of a sellout Gutterson Fieldhouse crowd over the Black Bears. Spillane made 21 saves and sophomore Josh Burrows led the third period rally, by assisting on the game-tying goal by sophomore Wahs Stacey, and then scoring the winner himself with 10:28 remaining in regulation. “It seems like one of our strengths right now is being able to regroup and finish games in the third period,” junior Brian Roloff said.The Cats hit the ice again on Friday, Dec. 5 at 8pm when they host the USA U-18 team.