STORRS, Conn. – The UConn men’s hockey program is gearing up for their debut in Hockey East this fall as we take a look at the 11 other programs that make up the historic conference. Our league preview wraps up with a look at the Vermont Catamounts. Season tickets for the Huskies 11-game slate at the XL Center in downtown Hartford are on sale now at UConnTickets.com.
The Huskies and Catamounts have met just twice since UConn joined the Division I ranks in 1998-99 and haven’t taken the ice against each other since the 2003-04 season. Vermont leads the all-time series 16-1-1 dating all the way back to the 1963-64 season. The only UConn win in the series came during the 1964-65 campaign, 10-5. The last two meetings both went to overtime as UConn skated to a 2-2 tie with Vermont in 2001-02. In the last meeting on December 20, 2003, the Catamounts needed overtime to trip up the Huskies 4-3. The Huskies built a 3-0 leads after the first period thanks to goals by Beau McLaughin, Marcus Baxter, and Chris Uber. Vermont goaltender Travis Russell kept the Huskies off the scoreboard from there while the Catamounts clawed their way back capped by Oriel McHugh’s game-winner two minutes into overtime.
University of Vermont Notes:
- The University of Vermont became the league’s 10th member in the 2005-06 season. The Catamounts are still searching for their first Hockey East championship. They posted back-to-back third place finishes in 2007-08 and 2008-09. In 2007-08, Vermont advanced to the Hockey East championship game before falling to Boston College, 4-0.
- Head Coach Kevin Sneddon will begin his 12th season on the bench at Vermont in 2014-15. During his tenure, Sneddon has led the Catamounts to three NCAA Tournament appearances including a spot in the 2008-09 Frozen Four. In 2007-08, he was named the Hockey East Coach of the Year and guided his team to their first-ever appearance in the league’s title game. Sneddon, who is just the third head coach in Vermont program history, held the head coaching position at Union from 1998-2003. As a player, Sneddon was a four-year starter at Harvard where he led the Crimson to the 1989 NCAA Championship.
- The Catamounts have made six NCAA Tournament appearances since moving up to Division I in 1974-75. Vermont has twice advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four, in 1995-96 falling in the semifinal to Colorado College 4-3 in double overtime, and in 2008-09 losing to Boston University, 5-4, in the semis. The Catamounts are coming off an appearance in the 2014 NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport last season where they fell to eventual national champion Union, 5-2, in the first round.
- Vermont finished 2013-14 with a 20-15-3 overall record and a 10-10-0 mark in Hockey East, tying them with Notre Dame for seventh in the final standings. After beating UMass 2-1 in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs, the Catamounts lost a hard fought three-game series with UMass Lowell, two games to one.
- The Catamounts finished last season ranked fourteenth in both the final USCHO.com and USA Today / USA Hockey Magazine polls.
- Sophomore forward Mario Puskarich became the first Catamount to win the Hockey East Rookie of the Year award, taking home the honor last season. He was also a unanimous selection to the 2014 Pro Ambitions Hockey East All-Rookie team. Puskarich was second on the team in scoring with 36 points last season. He led the team with 19 goals and added 17 assists.
- Graduate Chris McCarthy led the team with 42 points in 2013-14, scoring 18 goals with 24 assists. McCarthy earned a spot on the Hockey East All-Star Second Team. Following the season, McCarthy signed an entry level NHL contract with the New York Rangers.
- Graduated forward Connor Brickley also signed an entry level deal, inking a two-year contract with the Florida Panthers.
- Senior defenseman Michael Paliotta was named team captain for the upcoming 2014-15 season. The Westport, Connecticut native ranked 12th nationally and third in Hockey East in scoring by a defenseman during the 2013-14 season with 27 points. He was a Hockey East All-Star honorable mention.
- Vermont’s all-time leading scorer Marin St. Louis ’97, made his second appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals this past June with the New York Rangers.
- Chris Zimmerman, a 1971 graduate and hockey alum, was recently named the President and CEO of Business Operations for the St. Louis Blues.
University of Vermont
Oct. 25th – at Vermont – Gutterson Field House
Nov. 21st – vs. Vermont – XL Center
All-Time Series – Vermont leads, 16-1-1
First Meeting – Dec. 27, 1963 at Vermont (Gutterson Field House), UVM 11 – UConn 2
Last Meeting – Dec. 20, 2003 at Vermont (Gutterson Field House), UVM 4 – UConn 3
Joined Hockey East – 2005-06 (8 seasons)
Hockey East Titles – 0
2013-14 Record/Finish – 10-10-0 / t-7th place