Men’s Hockey opens season with a win

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Men’s Hockey opens season with a win

 Junior defensemen Cory Thomas (Left) and Owen Grant (Right) fight for possession of the puck during the men’s hockey game, the first of the season, Oct. 5. The Cats won the game 6-1, with Thomas scoring UVM’s fourth goal.

Junior defensemen Cory Thomas (Left) and Owen Grant (Right) fight for possession of the puck during the men’s hockey game, the first of the season, Oct. 5. The Cats won the game 6-1, with Thomas scoring UVM’s fourth goal.

MADDY DEGELSMITH/Vermont Cynic

Junior defensemen Cory Thomas (Left) and Owen Grant (Right) fight for possession of the puck during the men’s hockey game, the first of the season, Oct. 5. The Cats won the game 6-1, with Thomas scoring UVM’s fourth goal.

MADDY DEGELSMITH/Vermont Cynic

MADDY DEGELSMITH/Vermont Cynic

Junior defensemen Cory Thomas (Left) and Owen Grant (Right) fight for possession of the puck during the men’s hockey game, the first of the season, Oct. 5. The Cats won the game 6-1, with Thomas scoring UVM’s fourth goal.

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The men’s hockey team opened their 2019-20 season with a win against the University of Guelph Oct. 5.

The Catamounts came back from an early 1-0 deficit to win 6-1.

“I certainly want to tip my hat to the fans, you know for an exhibition game, there’s not many across the country that gets a crowd like that,” head coach Kevin Sneddon said.

There were 3,656 people in attendance for the game, according to the box score.

Fifteen penalties were awarded throughout the game, including one misconduct penalty for sophomore defenseman Ryan Da Silva of Guelph, according to the box score.

“They played us physically and we’ve only hit ourselves for the last month and a half so it was nice to have our guys experience that,” Sneddon said.

Senior goaltender Stefanos Lekkas made 21 saves, junior goaltender Tyler Harmon made nine saves and junior goaltender Matt Beck made two saves, according to UVM athletics.

The team cheered for both Harmon and Beck from the bench when both players made their first appearances in goal during the third period.

Along with the 32 saves from the goaltenders, the rest of the team took 43 shots, 10 more than Guelph, according to the box score.

“It’s certainly nice to see a few of those nice goals, obviously some excellent shots by our guys,” Sneddon said.

The team had six different players score and had not tallied six goals in a game last season, according to UVM athletics.

Goals were scored by first-year forward Jacques Bouquot, sophomore forward Joey Cipollone, junior forwards Alex Esposito and Bryce Misley, junior defenseman Cory Thomas and senior forward Matt Alvaro, according to UVM athletics.

“It’s nice for confidence levels for the guys for sure,” Alvaro said. “I think we’ll be just fine with a lot of guys who put the puck in the back of the net with a couple of first-years coming in.”

There are five first-years on the 2019-20 season roster, according to UVM athletics.

“I think Jacques Bouquot obviously showed what he can do tonight,” Sneddon said. “Andrew Lucas, I can see he’s got some game, I think he was a little nervous tonight.”

The first-years took 12 of the team’s 43 shots on goal, according to the box score.

“I remember my first game, it was against Concordia [University] I think, and coming in halfway through the game and the crowd’s full, it’s unbelievable,” Alvaro said. “There’s no better place to play for college hockey and I think they got a taste of it tonight.”

The Catamounts are traveling away from Gutterson Fieldhouse for their next two games before returning home Oct. 25, according to UVM athletics.

“The first game video is always a good teaching tool, and there’s plenty of time to get ready for our next game,” Sneddon said.