Season ends for men’s hockey

The men’s hockey team will not be heading to Boston this year for the Hockey East Championship Tournament as they dropped their second game in a best-of-three series against New Hampshire on March 12 in the Hockey East quarterfinals.

The regular season had finished with a Vermont victory at Gutterson on March 5 against UMass-Lowell.

“I am very proud of our club,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “I think we had some tough times this year; it didn’t feel like we had a lot of luck on our side. Our kids battled until the end.”

Vermont was dealt a No. 7 seed in the tournament and if the Catamounts had defeated UNH in the series, it would have been the first time in the history of the Hockey East Tournament that a No. 7 seed defeated a No. 2 seed, but this was not to be.

Though the Wildcats rolled over the Catamounts in the first game of the playoff series 3-1, the following night’s game was much closer at 4-3.

Sophomore Sebastian Stalberg netted the only goal for the Catamounts in the first game on March 11.

Though New Hampshire senior Paul Thompson scored the first goal of the night, Stalberg’s goal temporarily evened the score.

The Wildcats fought back though and went on to take a 3-1 lead that they did not relinquish for the rest of the game.

Vermont struck first the following night when sophomore Ben Albertson received a pass from junior Drew MacKenzie at 3:49 of the second period and knocked the puck in.

New Hampshire netted the equalizer at 17:49 of the second and went on to take the lead just 42 seconds later.

Thompson built on this lead at 9:06 of the third period when he picked up a pass from senior Mike Sislo and sent the puck in from the left circle, over the blocker of junior goaltender Rob Madore.

Then it was time for the UVM first years to step in and shift the momentum.

First year Matt White began the process at 12:31 with a power-play goal. White’s wrap-around was actually tapped in by UNH junior goalie Matt Di Girolamo when the puck hit his skates.

First year Nick Bruneteau backhanded a shot into the net, tying the game at three. This was the first career goal for the defenseman.

Though the Catamounts had a promising chance to take the game at this point, the Wildcats swept back in to dash Vermont’s hopes for the game and the series.

Sislo scored just 34 seconds after the Bruneteau goal and that was it. The score remained at 4-3.

“They put a lot of emotion into it, so I thank them for their efforts and I want to congratulate [UNH head coach] Dick [Umile] and his staff, I know they have been dying to get back to the Garden,” Sneddon said.