Vermont Recap

As mentioned in my preview, statistically Vermont is a horrible team.  It’s not as though those stats were accumulated over just a couple games, the Cats have played almost a third of their season already.  But in the face of those statistics, up against a more than struggling Vermont team, coming after a listless loss at Lowell on Saturday, the UMass hockey team gave the Cats their first Hockey East win of the season.

Vermont came into the game giving up 4.44 goals a game.  UMass managed only one against.  Rob Madore was last in Hockey East in goals against with 4.60.  Again, UMass managed only one against.  It was the first time that Vermont held ANY TEAM to under four goals all season.  Not only could UMass not score, but for the second straight game they generated less than 20 shots.  But wait, it gets worse.  Vermont had the worst penalty kill among all college hockey teams at 65%.  UMass’ power play went 0 for 4.

This team is absolutely lost.  There were a few bright spots in this game and Saturday’s loss at Lowell, guys like Jeff Teglia, T.J. Syner, Eddie Olczyk, and Conor Sheary.  But even those guys are having a tough time playing cohesively.  Then when word comes out that leading scorer Mike Pereira was a healthy scratch for tonight’s game, you have to wonder what’s going on between the players and the coaching staff.

UMass is in a very bad spot.  With no other Hockey East games in the next few weeks and Maine and Vermont playing a two game series in a couple weeks it assures the fact that UMass will start 2012 in 9th place or at the very best a three way tie for 8th in Hockey East.  That’s unacceptable in my eyes.  This team has the talent to at least be in the middle of the pack in the conference.  There’s no excuse not to be.  The team is still young, but so are others.  The team’s youngest position, goaltender, certainly hasn’t been the problem in the last three games that has seen them score just three goals total and go 0 for 15 on the power play.  The team now plays three ECAC teams where they absolutely have to play well to get some momentum and confidence back before winter break.  Otherwise, this entire season could slip away by mid-January.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – T.J. Syner
Syner had the lone goal for the Minutemen and had most of their decent scoring chances as well.  Syner has registered a point in all but two games this season.