MEN’S HOCKEY NOTEBOOK
Vermont heads back out on the road this week as travel to the Pioneer Valley to take on No. 14 UMass in a two-game Hockey East set. Friday’s contest is set for 7 p.m. and will be Vermont’s first appearance on NESN this season. On Saturday evening the teams will faceoff at 6 p.m. Both games will still air live on ESPN+. As always, the games will be broadcast live on WVMT with the voice of the Catamounts Adam Lafleur in the Handy Toyota Broadcast Booth.
CatamounTV Weekly Press Conference: Wiedler | Zapernick
ESPN+ Broadcast: Friday | Saturday
International Streaming ($)
Live Stats: Friday | Saturday
JELLUS LEADING THE CATAMOUNTS OFFENSIVE ATTACK
Junior forward Simon Jellus leads the team in scoring this season with four goals. He scored the game-winner for Vermont on Oct. 13 at St. Lawrence and added a game-tying goal in UVM’s shootout win over Providence Oct. 28. Jellus also scored the shootout winner for Vermont against the Friars.
CARRIERE CONSISTENT IN THE BLUE PAINT
Gabe Carriere has played every minute this season for the Catamounts posting a 2-3-1 record with a 2.48 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. His .929 save percentage is tied for 13th best in the NCAA. Carriere stopped 60 of the 64 shots (.937 Sv%) he faced last weekend against UConn.
FAST START IN LEAGUE PLAY
Entering this weekend’s action the Catamounts are tied for fifth place in Hockey East with five points after four games. Last season the Catamounts dropped their first six league contests before earning five points with two wins against New Hampshire at the Gut. The Catamounts five points this year have come against UConn and #5 Providence, last season UVM earned a single point in five games against those two clubs.
THREE GOAL PERIODS IN LEAGUE PLAY
The Catamounts scored three goals in first period of last Friday’s 4-1 win over UConn. Dating back to February 10 of last season the Catamounts have scored three goals in a period in four of their last 13 games against Hockey East opponents. Before Friday UVM scored three in the third period of the 2023 Hockey East Opening Round to come from behind and top Maine 4-2. On back-to-back nights at UMass Feb. 10 and 11 the Catamounts scored three third period goals to force overtime.
Vermont sophomore defenseman Philip Törnqvist will face off against his brother this weekend at UMass. His brother Sebastian is a first-year defender for the Minutemen. Sebastian made his collegiate debut on October 7 against AIC and has played in three games this season. In his time with the Catamounts Philip has played 38 games, including all six this season. He’s posted two goals and three assists for five points for Vermont, including the game-winner last weekend against UConn.
SCOUTING THE MINUTEMEN
UMass is 5-2-1 this season, including a 3-1-1 mark at home at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen begin the season unranked but have steadily climbed in the polls since entering at No. 19 on Oct. 23. UMass is ranked 14th heading into the weekend set after defeating Northeastern 2-1 in overtime last Friday.
First year forward Jack Musa leads the team in scoring with three goals and eight assists for 11 points. All three of his tallies have come on the power play. He is tied for third in the NCAA among rookies in points. He was named Pro Ambitions Hockey East Rookie of the Month for October. His teammate Scott Morrow is second on the team in scoring with 10 points and he was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Month for October.
The UMass roster features 13 NHL draft picks, the most in program history, which is tied for second nationally, trailing only Boston University and Boston College’s 14. Six of the 13 draft picks are newcomers to Amherst.
The Catamounts lead the all-time series with UMass 46-31-10. However, the Minutemen are undefeated in a program record 12 straight against the Catamounts. Vermont’s last win in the series was on March 2, 2018 in the Hockey East Opening Round. The Catamounts defeated UMass 4-3 12 seconds into overtime of game two of the series with Cory Thomas’ first career collegiate goal.
Last season the teams played to 3-3 and 4-4 ties at the Mullins Center featuring three-goal third period comebacks by Vermont in each contest. The Minutemen claimed both contests in the shootout.
The Catamounts enter the new season with six NHL Draft picks on the roster. Eli Barnett (San Jose, 2022 7th Rd.), Andrei Buyalsky (Colorado, 2021 3rd Rd.), Luca Münzenberger (Edmonton, 2021 3rd Rd.), Isak Walther (Nashville, 2019 6th Rd.), Timofei Spitserov (San Jose, 2020 7th Rd.) and Joel Määttä (Edmonton, 2022 7th Rd.) are sure to bring NHL attention to the program this season.
GUT HOCKEY GOES INTERNATIONAL
The Vermont roster is comprised of student-athletes from nine different countries. There is at least one player from Finland, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Germany, Kazakhstan, Canada and the United States. There are eight student-athletes from Ontario alone, including five newcomers this year.
Handy Toyota is the presenting sponsor of the UVM men’s hockey program