Men’s hockey turns it on down the stretch

Following an up and down weekend against two nationally ranked foes, the UVM men’s hockey team travelled to Providence for a two-game series against the #11 ranked Friars this past weekend.On Feb. 1, the Catamounts put up a good fight against #7 New Hampshire for two periods, but in the third, the Wildcats took over and ran away with a 5-1 victory.UVM didn’t stay down for long, though.On Feb. 3, the Cats came out firing and beat #16 UMass-Lowell 3-2, proving head coach Kevin Sneddon’s classification of the UNH game as a “speed bump” to be true.The upset was nationally broadcast on ESPNU.UVM carried the momentum of the win into Schneider Arena in Providence and ended the Friars’ season-high four game unbeaten streak.The Catamounts avenged a 4-0 December loss to Providence inside Gutterson Fieldhouse with a 2-1 victory against the country’s #5 power play team.While the Cats do not have any four game unbeaten streaks of their own to brag about this season, they are heating up at just the right time and look to be a true threat as the season winds down.The Cats split Providence and, prior to the UNH loss, tied and defeated Northeast?ern on consecutive nights.Vermont followed the win over the Huskies with a win and an overtime tie the next weekend against Massachusetts. The most impressive part of these weekend series for the Catamounts is that Northeastern was ranked #9 nationally at the time and UMass was #14 in the nation.UVM only has three weekend series remaining before the tournament begins, and each one will be crucial.However, after a tough start to the season, the Catamounts are proving that it’s how you finish off your season that truly matters.