New Sensation

After the departure of standout goaltender Joe Fallon last year, the position has been in need of a fresh face to take over the role. The Catamounts may have found just that in freshman goalie Rob Madore. The Pittsburgh native who has now made seven consecutive starts for the team has given everyone in the program a glimpse at a promising future.Madore has now started 12 games for the Catamounts overall and has 384 saves with a goals-against-average of 2.23. Though it now looks as though Madore is settling into a rhythm behind the net for the Catamounts, there is still a game-to-game question of whether he or junior Mike Spillane will be the starter.”We are all ready to go when we are called on,” Madore said on sharing the responsibilities with Spillane. “We’re both very competitive but we get along really well. He played with Fallon, he’s got a lot to share.”As a team, the Catamounts have been rolling along smoothly lately, losing only two of their last nine games and are currently ranked No. 7 nationally and third in Hockey East. Last week, Vermont was able to give Hockey East leaders Northeastern their first home loss of the season. Madore expressed high hopes for the team moving forward for the rest the season.”We definitely have high expectations for ourselves,” Madore said. “We want to go as far as we can and not hold anything back.””It’s been good for us, [having Rob on the team],” junior teammate Viktor Stalberg said. “He’s stepped up a lot this year.”As a freshman, Madore has the opportunity to work with more experienced players who can help him through tough games and encourage him along the way.”I think it helps having more mature defensemen around him,” Stalberg said. “Our defense is pretty solid back there and that helps.” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon has shown trust in Madore throughout the season, giving him many chances to show what he can do for the team.”[Rob] has a lot of confidence,” Sneddon said. “He’s bailed us out a few times.”Madore said he chose the hockey program at UVM for a number of reasons. “I really liked the coaches here and the atmosphere around campus,” Madore said. “The students are awesome and we have a great group of guys.”Though Madore’s inspiration for playing hockey has come from many places, he says that his dad has been one of his biggest influences. “He’s been very helpful to me and has a lot of great advice,” Madore said. “He always made sure I was giving 110 percent, kept me honest and taught me the importance of staying humble.”With 11 games left to go in the regular season, the Catamounts are over the hurdles of playing Boston College, Boston University and Northeastern. But with the playoffs approaching, the team must stay vigilant in order to fulfill their dream of reaching the NCAA tournament. If Madore continues to keep the Cats on track by dominating the net, there’s no limit to where they can go.