UVM Roundup

As if there wasn’t enough already going on Burlington and its outlying areas were blessed with several inches of fresh powder over Friday night, complicating an already full weekend of sports. The much-needed “pow” was heaven for skiers and snowboarders, but hell for lacrosse players and DOT workers. Meanwhile, men’s hockey and women’s basketball closed out their regular seasons, and the men’s basketball team faced the daunting task of winning their fourth straight America East tournament, this time as the #6 seed. Things are heating up on campus as we inch ever closer to April showers and May flowers.SKIING The UVM Ski team had their final weekend to prepare for this week’s NCAA Championships in Steamboat, Colorado. After sweeping their regular season (they won each of the six carnivals in which they competed), they have to be considered a contender for the 2006 national championship. The NCAA Championships were last held at Steamboat in 1993 when the Catamounts took second place.MEN’S HOCKEY #17 UVM ended a grueling regular season with a two game series at UMass-Lowell. After tying #3 Boston University twice the previous weekend they were looking to finish strong and head into the postseason tournament with some desperately needed momentum. Unfortunately for the Cats, the River Hawks of Lowell came out of the weekend with all of the spoils, sweeping the series. Friday night’s game was a hard-fought, regionally televised contest (NESN) in which the Cats fell 3-2, after getting goals from freshmen Dean Strong and Peter Lenes. Saturday night was even worse for Vermont, as they suffered their worst defeat of the season, losing 5-2. All hope is not lost however. UVM still managed to make the Hockey East tournament as the #6 seed. They will face the third seed, Boston College, in a three game series starting Thursday night. The Cats played the Eagles very tough this season, but lost the season series 0-2-1. With little to no possibility of receiving an at-large NCAA tournament bid it is do or die time for Vermont. At this point, the only sure way to make the NCAAs is running the tables and winning the Hockey East tournament.MEN’S BASKETBALL Many said they were too young and too inexperienced to make it to the Big Dance, let alone the conference finals. However, after winning two games in Binghamton for the second year in a row the Cats find themselves in the America East conference final for the fourth straight year, one win away from the NCAA tournament. Saturday Vermont defeated the #3 seed Boston University 64-61 for their first win against the Terriers this season. A balanced attack helped the Cats advance to the semifinals with Josh Duell and Mike Trimboli scoring 12 points, Kyle Cieplicki scoring 10, and Colin McIntosh adding 9. In Sunday’s semifinal game against the host Binghamton University the Cats found themselves down by 15 points at one point during the first half. Too young, too inexperienced? This youthful, hard-nosed Vermont team battled back and defeated the #2 seed 66-59 to advance to the conference finals. The America East final will be held this Saturday, March 11, at the highest remaining seed, either the University of New Hampshire (#5) or Albany University(#1), at 12pm on ESPN2 with the winner moving on to the NCAA tournament.WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Women’s basketball finished their regular season as well this past week, winning at home against UNH on Wednesday, but losing in the regular season finale on Saturday to Binghamton. They will enter the conference tournament as the #7 seed, facing #2 Stony Brook on Friday at the University of Hartford. If the Lady Cats win, the will play in the semifinals on Saturday. The potential final will be Sunday, also at the University of Hartford.SPRING SPORTS The spring sports schedule got off to a busy start this past weekend. Women’s lacrosse opened their season Friday afternoon beating Niagara, but the men’s season opener was delayed until Tuesday, as their scheduled home game for Saturday was postponed due to the snowstorm. The softball team also began Friday, losing both games of a double header, but made up for it on Saturday with two wins and a loss in an exhausting triple header. Baseball began Saturday with a double header at Delaware. The first game was decided in the 10th inning