Cats survive rollercoaster ride

It has been a story of ups and downs for the men’s hockey team over the last few games.
After splitting a series on the road against Boston College— which included a brutal 7-1 loss the first night and a solid 3-2 victory the second— the team returned to face UMass on Nov. 24, suffering another tough loss with a final score of 6-2.
The upward momentum began to build again when the Cats traveled to Northeastern and defeated the Huskies 3-2, and returning to the Gut to beat the Yale Bulldogs, 1-0.
“We had a tough week of practice,” head coach Kevin Sneddon said after the team’s win against Northeastern. “We were pretty tough on our guys after the loss to UMass. We wanted to make sure we got our point across and they responded well.”
The Yale game was a rematch of last year’s first round NCAA tournament game in which the Catamounts were victorious.
Freshman forward David Pacan said that the two consecutive wins have done a lot to bring confidence to the team.      Pacan has done his share to bring back the momentum, scoring the game-winning goal in both of the recent wins against Northeastern and Yale.
“We’ve had sort of an up and down season so getting two wins is huge for us and I feel we’re going to build from this,” he said. “It’s more about us than about other teams right now so we’ve just got to work from within then work our way out.”
Pacan said that the team’s hard work and determination in practice is helping to achieve this goal.
“I think we’re working on details more, not overthinking the play too much,” he said. “Everyone’s working together and the work ethic’s real good at practice.”
On the defensive side, the goaltending duties for Vermont continue to be split with the return of senior goalie Mike Spillane from injury.
Sophomore goaltender Rob Madore was in the net for the majority of the games last season.
Both goalies have had good and bad nights over the past week, increasing the team’s uncertainty from game to game.
Madore was in goal for the 7-1 BC loss but also for the 3-2 win against Northeastern.
Spillane had a rough patch as well, giving up six goals to UMass, but he recorded the second shutout of his career and season in the contest against Yale last Monday.
Sneddon said that the team is improving overall, but that they need to build from here, continuing to get better.
“Our response from a bad game to the next game has been very good, we want to do it shift to shift now,” Sneddon said. “We’re not there yet but we’re making a lot of positives.”