Providence Friars prove too much, unbeaten run ended

Perhaps it was the gaudy, jet-black sweaters or the deafening Thunderstix that yet another sellout crowd – bringing the consecutive total to 64 – beat wildly, but for whatever reason, the UVM men’s hockey team was blanked by visiting Providence University Saturday night, 4-0. Outshot 33-20, the loss snaps a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) for the Cats and drops their overall season re?cord to 3-6-2 (3-3-2 Hockey East). “Aside from some shifts here and there, we just didn’t seem to have great execution on our passes, we weren’t shooting the puck well,” head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “Pretty much we just didn’t play well tonight.”With less than six minutes left in the first period, Providence took a 1-0 lead when Greg Collins eluded UVM goalie Joe Fallon with a weak wrister from the left point. Just over six minutes into the second period, the Friars made it 2-0 when Kevin Laughlin took the puck to the net from down low and scored off a deflection from Fallon’s stick. Immediately following the Friars’ second goal, Sneddon pulled Fallon in favor of sophomore goalie Mike Spillane. “When a key position lets up two soft goals like that, it really takes away from your entire team,” Sneddon said. “You have two soft goals go in on a guy who’s your go-to guy, you can imagine what the energy is like on the bench.” Although he surrendered two more goals, Spillane (14 saves) filled in admirably for Fallon in the eyes of his head coach. “He made the first save and he controlled the rebounds,” Sneddon said. “It’s a tough situation to come into when you’re following a guy who gets pulled pretty early and you’re not really expecting it. I thought he did a great job for us.” UVM returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 8 when they host Harvard in the second game of a five-game homestand. According to Sneddon, they will do so with Spillane as the starter. “I feel like [Spillane’s] kind of been sitting there waiting and we’ve tried to give Joe as much confidence as possible, but the bottom line is he has to start giving his team confidence.”Until he does that, we have to go with the guy who’s playing better and right now [Spillane] is.”