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Thread: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

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    UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Seemed like it was time to re-invigorate things by starting the offseason thread:

    Will the Cats get moving in the right direction next season?

    Are the new recruits a step up in talent, particularly on offense?

    Will Sneddon return the team to the past success he's lead them to, or is he headed for unemployment when his contract is up?

    When will we get a new facility?

    Where will we finish in Hockey East this year?

    Will we ever have a decent power play again? Ever?

    Go Cats go!!

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    To answer the questions 1. I'm pessimistic, but I hope so
    2. I'll guess one or two, but neither probably score more than 20 points because the way the team plays
    3. I simply don't think so at this point, and more of the same would lead to him being gone
    4. Not anytime soon I'm okay with that
    5. 7th
    6. Probably not.

    I'd like to see the roster for the new season. Like I said earlier some players must be leaving, or will after the first semester if they get dropped from the lineup. Can't keep everyone happy. Will be interesting to see how they handle having 4 goalies on the roster too. Maybe sit one or two out a year to keep them an extra year.

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Catamount93 View Post
    Seemed like it was time to re-invigorate things by starting the offseason thread:

    Will the Cats get moving in the right direction next season?
    There's really only one way to move...up. I suppose there is a bit of room to fall further into the basement, but I think the Cats take another step forward, maybe a small one, but forward nonetheless.

    Are the new recruits a step up in talent, particularly on offense?
    Lost this year : G: J. Vazzano ,(6.11GAA .625%) F: B. Bruneateau(0.39ppg), Albertson (0.21ppg), Roos (0.15ppg) D: Franzon (0.14ppg)
    Replacements : G: Santaguida (2.27GAA .932 %) F: Bradley 1.73 ppg EJHL), Puskarich (1.64ppg BCHL), Shaw (1.06ppg BCHL), D Muscoby (0.73 ppg AJHL).

    Obviously, there are other recruits and all of their stats are inflated compared to what we will see in the upcoming season, but I think it's pretty obvious that this years recruiting class is an upgrade compared to the one that left.

    Will Sneddon return the team to the past success he's lead them to, or is he headed for unemployment when his contract is up?
    This is largely up to Sneddon. IMHO several things have to change... A.) work ethic: the team needs to block shots, clear pucks, and make the other team work and PAY for each opportunity B.) consistency : Consistent efforts, consistent lines, etc... seems to me there was too much tinkering of whose playing with who. Understandable at the beginning of the season, but then let players gel. Not to say you can sub here an there but by and large find lines that work and stick with them. C.) Goaltending : Hoffman can be stellar or just OK. Last year, the Cats had success when he was on his game and that was about it. The unfortunate part is there was apparently no one who could back him up. Sneddon needs to give both Hoffman and Santaguida a shot in net and ride the hot goalie. But at least give someone other then Hoffman a shot when they are struggling to stop the puck. D.) Injuries which are in large part out of Sneddon's control, but will certainly influence the team's success. I believe that is the reason for the insanely large recruiting class, to hedge against the injury bug, and if that's the case it was a smart move by KS.

    When will we get a new facility?
    Odd there is no news on this, proposals were requested using private funds, 3 were submitted if my memory serves but I don't remember them being released or acted upon... No updates period. UVM will get a new arena eventually... my guess is within the next 10 years but not within the next 5-6 years. Just my guess.

    Where will we finish in Hockey East this year?
    6th

    Will we ever have a decent power play again? Ever?
    Did we ever have a decent power play? Certainly not in the Sneddon Era and likely not until someone new takes over.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcarter7669 View Post
    ...you know on the road where UML is winless against conference opponents in the top 16 of the PWR...
    Your reading comprehension skills are whats getting in the way.
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottK View Post
    Apparently, I'm not the one with the reading comprehension problem. Lowell won at Michigan

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Catamount93 View Post
    Seemed like it was time to re-invigorate things by starting the offseason thread:

    Will the Cats get moving in the right direction next season?

    Are the new recruits a step up in talent, particularly on offense?

    Will Sneddon return the team to the past success he's lead them to, or is he headed for unemployment when his contract is up?

    When will we get a new facility?

    Where will we finish in Hockey East this year?

    Will we ever have a decent power play again? Ever?

    Go Cats go!!
    Comparing BCHL Stats with those of kids that played in Hockey East is dangerous and you are setting yourself up for a let down. I think you will be a little diss appointed in what we have coming in when you actually see them play. The USHL is a way better league for development and until we start getting some kids early from that league I think we will end up with more of the same. These kids were mostly late commit BCHL kids. If you were a 92 birth year last season were not committed going into the year, alot of schools had seen you play and taken a pass so lets not get to excited yet. I am still very skeptical until proven otherwise. As a gauge, Connor Brickley scored 43 points in 52 games in the USHL (one of the toughest junior leagues to score in) and may not score that many points in his entire career at UVM, so those are dangerous comparisons.

    As far as power play goes, it is a DIRECT reflection on coaching. Sneddon sold us on Wallack being the savior for that? Probably too much to ask of a guy (and a goalie) that never really played himself. In fact the success rate dropped from 15.6% the prior year to 11.1% last year in Hockey East. That is beyond pathetic. At some point you can't keep blaming things on the players and think that recruiting is the only way to get you back on track. A defense only style will get you no where in this league, good coaching (UMASS Lowell) can turn things around real quick.

    Hockey East will be a little down this year so I think UVM could actually finish in the top 6.

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Clearly it is hard to predict how kids will do in college no matter what league they are coming from. We've had kids in the past who really came out of nowhere to be stars, and others who were highly touted that did nothing. That said, I'd always rather have the top performers from juniors, and it does seem that the pedigree is a little higher than what we've seen the last few years. I'm cautiously optimistic.

    Regarding the power play, I think we had a good power play when we had good offensive talent. Sadly, that has not been true in a good long time.

    In Sneddon's first few years I was one of his biggest supporters. I had never been a huge Gilligan guy, and it seemed like Sneddon was really pushing the program forward. Now I'm really unsure. Like many others have said, this is a big year. If we make clear progress towards again being a factor for Hockey East titles and returning to the NCAA tournament, then I'm still on the Sneddon bandwagon. If not, then I think the administration really needs to think about what success needs to be for the hockey program at UVM. It is our marquee (spectator) sport. We have to be putting the full weight of the university behind it. Given that basketball is #2, that's why I think a multi-use facility makes a ton of sense to boost those two sports to the levels (I think) they should be at.

    I also agree on the points regarding the "defense only" style. Style matters. You become a factor nationally by having a high powered offense. Those kids down't want to come and play defensive style hockey. Sure, defense needs to be a focus for every team, but to recruit those kids you need to offer a little more freedom.

    I'm optimistic overall on the upcoming year, and I think we'll finish around 6th.

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    http://uvmathletics.com/news/2013/7/...710131745.aspx

    List of Cats attending summer development camps. I find it surprising that we have a recruit in Brady Shaw headed to a camp.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcarter7669 View Post
    ...you know on the road where UML is winless against conference opponents in the top 16 of the PWR...
    Your reading comprehension skills are whats getting in the way.
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottK View Post
    Apparently, I'm not the one with the reading comprehension problem. Lowell won at Michigan

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Catamount93 View Post
    In Sneddon's first few years I was one of his biggest supporters. I had never been a huge Gilligan guy, and it seemed like Sneddon was really pushing the program forward. Now I'm really unsure.
    I would echo this statement. I was a big Sneddon supporter, lets face it he came in and took a team that was struggling in the ECAC and made it a mid-pack HE team right away. That followed with back to back NCAA tourney berths. That was huge. I took a peek back at the overall records /scoring/ players to see what if anything stood out :

    2005-2006 18-14-6 Overall - 97GF 82GA - HE Quarter Finals (Key Players : Mitchell, Fallon, Strong, Lenes, Liesenring)
    2006-2007 18-16-5 Overall - 87GF 78GA - HE Quarter Finals (Key Players : Mitchell, Fallon, Strong, Lenes, Stalberg Vock)
    2007-2008 17-15-7 Overall - 88GF 106 GA - HE Finals (Key Players :Fallon, Strong, Lenes, Stalberg Vock, Stacey, Roloff)
    2008-2009 22-12-5 Overall - 121GF 102GA - Frozen Four (Key Players : Vock, Strong, Lenes, Stacey, Stalberg, Milo, Madore)
    2009-2010 17-15-7 Overall - 113GF-112GA - NCAA Tourney (Key Players : Madore, Vock, Stalberg, Stacey, Roloff, McCarthy)
    2010-2011 8-20-8 Overall - 82 GF - 116 GA - HE Quarter Finals (Key Players : Madore, Stalberg, McCarthy, Brickely,White, Lenz)
    2011-2012 6-27-1 Overall - 73 GF -140GA - Basement (Key Players : Madore, Stalberg, Brickley, Reynolds, White, Bruneteau, Lenz)
    2011-2013 11-19-6 Overall - 82 GF -110GA - HE Quarter Finals (Key Players : Hoffman, Brickley, Reynolds, White, Bruneteau, Fallon)

    The program was pretty consistent in the beginning of it's HE tenure, peaking one season when everything came together. After that there was a huge drop off in many regards. First, Goaltending... Fallon was consistently awesome for the most part, winning games with little goal support. Offensively the numbers of late are not far off from where they were during that era, yet the GA are hideous. The defense and goaltending took a significant step down. Madore had a tremendous freshman season and never really got it going again after that. ANd where Strong set an example for playing good defensive hockey, blocking shots etc, I don't know that we have had a line that can be offensively productive AND shut down an opponents line like Dean Strong and his line mates did. That has hurt, IMO. The team has also been missing that Lenes type spark plug who can change the tempo of the game with a single shift, although I think Polesello may fill this role well.

    Last year was an improvement and I think this year will be too. All in all Sneddon hasn't done so bad, he has had a slight dip after the Frozen Four appearance. Leaves me to wonder if the team and staff didn't have a little bit too much ego and forgot how to work at the game, tried to get to fancy and focus too much on offense... Madore's last two season were clearly rough for the team and their records and you can't win many games giving up over 4 gpg.


    I think Hoffman/Santiguida are an improvement over Madore/Spillane and really would like to see Santiguida get a legit shot at the #1 spot. The BCHL guys have crazy offensive numbers, yet he has managed very good stats as a goalie in an offensive league.

    Offensively, I think they are in good shape with McCarthy, Fallon, Reynolds, Polesello. White, Brickley, Markinson all need to step up offensively, and a few of the freshman need to produce. It appears that at least 2-3 of them can be goal scorers. Reynolds came in and scored 23pts as a freshman coming out of the same league with similar numbers.

    Defensively, the team just needs to be better all around. They need to block shots, clear pucks, and do not let people skate in on Hoffman, especially from angles, because he just doesn't move well.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcarter7669 View Post
    ...you know on the road where UML is winless against conference opponents in the top 16 of the PWR...
    Your reading comprehension skills are whats getting in the way.
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottK View Post
    Apparently, I'm not the one with the reading comprehension problem. Lowell won at Michigan

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    They will certainly be deeper across the board this coming season. They have legit talent in McCarthy and Fallon.

    They lost very little to graduation. They surely will be deeper offensively. The real question to me is whether Puskarich, Bradley, Shaw and Stenerson can bring some offense. If two of them are legit and there is any breakout among Lenz, reynolds, markinson, white, polesello,Turk then they should be considerably better

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Looking at jcarter's stats above is sobering. We have averaged more than 3 goals per game exactly one time in that stretch, the Frozen Four squad. That HAS to be a goal for this team, which will require a much more efficient power play to go along with more offensively successful recruits in 5X5 situations. I really don't beleive we will ever have the kind of success we need to have until we are scoring 3+ goals per game.

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterWallack View Post
    I always thought the power play was in direct correlation to the talent level of the players, not the ability of the coaches to teach it.
    Definitely not a "direct correlation." There are two aspects, one having the guys that can score on the power play and two having coaches who can teach them how to run an effective power play and "coach" them on the changes necessary to have an effective power play. Takes both parts, and one doesn't matter with out the other. There is also a an indirect correlation, in that coaches are recruiting these kids. If the assertion is that the players simply aren't talented enough to have an effective power play... well that's a coaching fault as well.

    At UVM, there are a few finishers and there are enough talented players to have at least one good power play line. Yet we don't see that. What we have is a group of players that pass it around the perimeter until they either lose the puck or get pressed into a low quality shot. The coaches either need to help those guys to figure out how to get the defense moving (instead of allowing to stand in place and block the lanes) or change up the power play setup from say an overload to an umbrella style or some other variation. The power play for the Cats hasn't changed in a decade. It is ineffective and always has been. That's mainly a coaching issue. It's time to make it effective OR change styles.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcarter7669 View Post
    ...you know on the road where UML is winless against conference opponents in the top 16 of the PWR...
    Your reading comprehension skills are whats getting in the way.
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottK View Post
    Apparently, I'm not the one with the reading comprehension problem. Lowell won at Michigan

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by jcarter7669 View Post
    Definitely not a "direct correlation." There are two aspects, one having the guys that can score on the power play and two having coaches who can teach them how to run an effective power play and "coach" them on the changes necessary to have an effective power play. Takes both parts, and one doesn't matter with out the other. There is also a an indirect correlation, in that coaches are recruiting these kids. If the assertion is that the players simply aren't talented enough to have an effective power play... well that's a coaching fault as well.

    At UVM, there are a few finishers and there are enough talented players to have at least one good power play line. Yet we don't see that. What we have is a group of players that pass it around the perimeter until they either lose the puck or get pressed into a low quality shot. The coaches either need to help those guys to figure out how to get the defense moving (instead of allowing to stand in place and block the lanes) or change up the power play setup from say an overload to an umbrella style or some other variation. The power play for the Cats hasn't changed in a decade. It is ineffective and always has been. That's mainly a coaching issue. It's time to make it effective OR change styles.

    Yes and we always have our slowest and least dynamic and dangerous players on the point. That is coaching too.

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandoo View Post
    Yes and we always have our slowest and least dynamic and dangerous players on the point. That is coaching too.
    That is a good point (no pun intended).. haven't had a good QB for the PP in a while. Is possible that Ryan and Muscoby can help with that, as they appear to have more offensive skills. Bruneteau should be able to fill that role too. Basically, you have to have really good puckhandlers on your PP and good coaching that puts the players in right positions/combos to use their skills. The freshmen should give the coaches more options on combos and maybe even a decent 2nd unit. Puskarich and Bradley are good puckhandlers and Shaw is a sniper. Will be interesting to see if the new AC's bring any new ideas to the PP and how they integrate the freshmen.

    Have to say that I watched Sneddon's PP when he was at Union (I live in the area) and it hasn't progressed much at UVM. Granted Union didn't have the talent back then, but has been a BIG difference since Leaman/Bennett took over there. Color me skeptical that things will change much..

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterWallack View Post
    I always thought the power play was in direct correlation to the talent level of the players, not the ability of the coaches to teach it.
    Are you related to Kyle Wallack? If so I can understand why you want to come on here and defend him. And if so, I have one other question. What exactly happened in Indiana? Very bizarre to get fired the week before playoffs. There has to be some dirt and since you like the forums lets air it out on here

    I am assuming that means you like Pollesello on the point on the power play then too
    Last edited by catmandoo; 07-17-2013 at 10:41 AM.

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterWallack View Post
    I always thought the power play was in direct correlation to the talent level of the players, not the ability of the coaches to teach it.
    You thought wrong BTW.

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    The reality is it is a little bit of both, talent and coach. It is true you can't draw blood from a stone...if there is not talent then all the coaching in the world won't fix that. On the other hand, Division I college hockey in Hockey East is also above the level where you can just thrown the puck out there and assume that talent will carry the day. Coaches determine the best skills of their players and then develop schemes to maximize them. The staff, in my opinion, has done a great job of that defensively. Offensively, and on the power play, I don't think they've done well.

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Catamount93 View Post
    The reality is it is a little bit of both, talent and coach. It is true you can't draw blood from a stone...if there is not talent then all the coaching in the world won't fix that. On the other hand, Division I college hockey in Hockey East is also above the level where you can just thrown the puck out there and assume that talent will carry the day. Coaches determine the best skills of their players and then develop schemes to maximize them. The staff, in my opinion, has done a great job of that defensively. Offensively, and on the power play, I don't think they've done well.
    Agreed but I find it a little disingenuous for the brother or cousin of the assistant coach come on here and defend him and blame it on the recruited talent. Lets see what "his" recruits do first and by the way Pollesello was his player in juniors and did nothing on the point and in fact led the team in minus. Those are facts. Ironic that Yale finally did something in the National Tournament when he finally wasn't there. Just sayin..

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterWallack View Post
    interesting that Yale was brought into the conversation. All but two of the players on their championship team of this past season were personally recruited by Coach Wallack. Hopefully , you gentlemen will allow the coaching staff at UVM to do the same. I'm sure Coach Snedden had that in mind when they were hired. I'd be more than happy to send you gentlemen my e-mail address so you can send me your collegiate hockey resumes.
    Geez, and u thought the off season thread was going to be boring!
    Considering how close to to the season the new coaches were brought in, I thought things went about as we'll as possible. The thing that bothers me the most is how the coaches have to really play up the " All In" thing. What happened to playing for pride? Intensity can 't be coached. It should be there naturally. Hopefully this years recruits will have a different attitude and push the guys that need to be artificially pushed.

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterWallack View Post
    . I'd be more than happy to send you gentlemen my e-mail address so you can send me your collegiate hockey resumes.
    You go ahead and post it on here.

    Frankly, I agree with Martin St Louis Fan. The new AC's just got here, give them a chance to get some guys in here and have a full off season to work with players. That said, the power play sucks AND it is not because UVM just doesn't have the skill level. It's because it has been poorly coached.

    Now PeterWallack, take the stick out of your ***, If you want to come on to this thread and make some enemies then many will be glad to oblige. If you would like to discuss hockey you may find that there is actually a fair amount of knowledge on here, especially concerning the players, the program, and yes even on possible improvements. Having a closed mind is the sign of having a weak mind.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcarter7669 View Post
    ...you know on the road where UML is winless against conference opponents in the top 16 of the PWR...
    Your reading comprehension skills are whats getting in the way.
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottK View Post
    Apparently, I'm not the one with the reading comprehension problem. Lowell won at Michigan

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    Re: UVM Offseason Thread- Summer 2013

    Wow is a coach's dad/brother/cousin really coming on here to pick fights and be a jerk? Ha might have seen it all now. Another day, another excuse from UVM hockey. Pathetic just win some games and yes fix the power play it sucks!

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    I'm a proud supporter of the UVM hockey program, have been since the early 90's. I'm in section 21 with a gamer jersey on. Stop by love to talk about hockey with you! Looking forward to season already!


    If you are concerned about my comments about player intensity. You should know that Coach Sneddon has made many comments about how this team needs to get back to being be a hard nosed, "Lunch Bucket" team.
    Last edited by Martin St. Louis Fan; 07-18-2013 at 05:45 PM.

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