Mens club hockey improve their play

After over 60 players showed up for tryouts, only 32 made the final roster for the UVM club hockey team.

These 32 men are no strangers to adversity.

They travel most weekends to games as far away as Florida and must use off-campus rinks for practice.

With a few injuries to key upper classmen players and a tough schedule, the season did not start well for the club.

After beginning the season without any wins, the team has found their stride, boasting a three-game win streak that improved their record to 3-7 overall.

“The biggest challenge this year has been for the players believing in themselves,” Head Coach Daniel Sherburne said.

“We started out 0-7, so remaining focused, positive and not giving up has been huge for us. We have had a ‘never give up attitude and we trust and respect each other,” he said.

In the weeks before winter break, the team notched two wins against the University of Maine, winning 11-3 and 5-1 respectively.

“Nov. 15 vs. Maine has been our biggest game so far. After starting the season 0-7 this game was our first win and the boys finally got a reward for all their hard work and perseverance,” Coach Sherburne said.

The pair of wins was followed up with another Dec. 6 nail-biter 1-0 victory at home in Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Despite their recent victories the team is not satisfied by the recent success.

With 12 games left, the Catamounts know that the season is far from over.

When asked about theirmost important game of the season, Sherburne explained, “The next game is always the most important game.”

The hour before a game the locker room and the faces change. Every player prepares in his own way and you can see how each player readies himself the last hour before game time.”

When asked if any one player has stood out this season, Sherburne answered, “With 32 players on the roster, I feel everyone has a unique role to make the team a success.”

With two on-ice practices each week and typically an off-ice workout, the mens club hockey team improves every week.

A long season filled with roadblocks along the way, the team remains determined to work hard and continue their winning ways further into the season while still having fun.

“The atmosphere on the team and locker room is unreal,” sophomore defenseman Luke Nestor said. “Everybody is there because we love the game of hockey, plain and simple.”

The club hockey team says they are a tight knit group.

“As soon as you are on the roster you have 30 new friends,” Woodworth said.

“What I love most is just being with the guys,” added Nestor.

Coach Sherburne explained that the biggest differences between club and varsity hockey is that varsity are scholarship players, but club hockey players have an opportunity to competitively play a game they love.

“Club Hockey in the U.S. is growing leaps and bounds,” Sherburne said. “The players get better and better. I wish that more of the UVM student population would realize this and come out and support our student athletes.”

Not only is the club a competitive hockey team, but it is also a group of friends playing for the love of the game.

“Playing with UVM on the front of my sweater has been my favorite part of my time here at school so far,” Woodworth said.