Men’s hockey breaks through to semifinals

The men’s hockey team defeated the New Hampshire Wildcats 1-0 on the road in overtime on March 14.

With the win, the team advances to the semifinals of the Hockey East playoffs.

The Wildcats were regular season champions in Hockey East and were a No. 1 seed. The Catamounts were the final team to make the playoffs and were thus a No. 8 seed.

This was only the fourth time in Hockey East history that a No. 8 seed has defeated a No. 1 seed in the quarterfinals.

This means that the Wildcats have been knocked out of the Hockey East playoffs, despite having the regular season title.

Sophomore goalie Rob Madore recorded 34 saves for his second shutout in a row, and senior Jay Anctil notched the game-winning goal in overtime.

“I really felt like we played a solid series,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “There wasn’t a lot of room out there the last couple of nights. I was pretty hard on our goaltender to try and spark him. He certainly rose to the occasion. I thought he was the difference, especially in overtime.”

The Wildcats had defeated the Catamounts 7-4 on March 12, but the Cats fought their way back on March 13 to beat UNH 1-0 and force the third game in the series.

Freshman David Pacan scored the only goal in the third period of the second game, lifting the Cats past the UNH.

Madore gave up six goals the first night of the series but didn’t give up a single one in the flowing two games.

“It’s very nice to be able to come back and have two more solid performances after kind of costing the team the first night,” Madore said. “That was as much of an offensive shutout as I’ve seen. Forwards were blocking shots and we just outmuscled them in their defensive zone and they couldn’t handle us down low.”

The team’s next opponent will be Boston College at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 19.

If the Catamounts can win that game, they will go on to the Hockey East championship game where they could secure a spot in the national tournament,. This would give them a chance at a repeat trip to the Frozen Four.