Vermont falls in Frozen Fenway rematch

UVM fell to UMass Amherst 4-3 on Jan. 20 on the road. This was a prime chance for the team to gain back some momentum after the heartbreaking loss to UMass in the final seconds of overtime at Frozen Fenway in Boston.

This game was also a chance for the Catamounts to make a final push for the Hockey East playoffs. Now, the team’s chances of making the playoffs are dwindling quickly as the season nears its end.

Vermont currently occupies last place, according to the Hockey East standings, with 11 games remaining in the regular season.

Of the 10 teams in Hockey East, the top eight go on to the conference playoffs.

UVM is currently behind ninth-place Northeastern University and eighth-place New Hampshire for the eighth and final playoff spot.

“I think we’re in a situation where every game is a playoff game,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said.

UMass’ Danny Hobbs scored a hat trick, the first of his career, against Vermont at the Mullins Center on Jan. 20.

It was UMass’ Connor Allen who snapped a 3-3 tie with just minutes left in the third period, dealing the final blow to edge out Vermont in another close contest against the Minutemen.

UMass scored the opening goal of the night at 8:39 of the first period. This was the start of Hobbs’ three goals of the evening. UMass carried the lead into the second period, but it did not take long in the second for UVM to tie the game.

Senior captain Brett Leonard scored his first goal of the year at 1:54 with a wrist shot.

Later in the second at 13:01, first-year Michael Paliotta scored with a slap shot, giving the Catamounts the lead.

Danny Hobbs completed his hat trick next, scoring two consecutive goals in the third period.

Vermont followed up the hat trick with a goal from sophomore Matt White at 12:21 of the third. White notched a goal from the slot with a wrister.

Though White’s goal tied the game for the Catamounts, Allen scored at 16:16 to lift the Minutemen over the Catamounts for the final time.

“Effort-wise, I couldn’t be any more proud of how we played tonight,” Sneddon said.

Aside from Brett Leonard’s goal, the other two Catamount go

als were scored by underclassmen.

“I think our younger players continue to get better; they’re playing a ton of key minutes right now on a team that’s pretty depleted with injuries,” Sneddon said.

“It hurts sometimes in the short run, but I think they’re getting better and better as time goes on,” he said.

The next games for the Catamounts will be played at Gutterson Fieldhouse, as Northeastern comes to Burlington on Jan. 27 and 28 for a two-game series.

Due to Northeastern’s current placement in the Hockey East playoff push, this will be a key series for UVM if the team hopes to make the playoffs.