UNH vs. No. 15 University of Vermont
Friday at 7:05 p.m.; Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington, Vt.
Saturday at 7:05 p.m.; Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington, Vt.
UNH is 11-13-4, UVM is 16-9-3
It’s the home stretch of the season, but the ‘Cats are on the road for this tilt.
After one of the more painstaking weekends to date, the ‘Cats continue their quest for Hockey East points with a two-game series against the No. 15 Vermont Catamounts at the Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington.
Playoffs don’t technically start until March, but it might as well be a playoff mentality going into this weekend. With No. 3 Boston University as the adversary next weekend, the ‘Cats need a solid outing to build momentum and gain ground in the playoff-seeding race.
Currently, as a result of last weekend’s games, UNH stands at No. 8, the last possible home seed available with a 6-7-3 conference record. Vermont has three points up on the ‘Cats with 18, good for the sixth seed. Two wins or a win-tie combination at the very least evens up the point total between these two teams. Making a win that much more crucial.
The Catamounts despite early-season success have struggled as of late. They split weekend series with both Providence College and the UConn Huskies. Similar to UNH’s experience, the Catamounts tied Notre Dame the first night, then lost the second night 4-1 in their most recent matchup on Feb. 4.
Injuries have cost the ‘Cats some much-needed depth defensively, but a proven offense, led by Hobey Baker award nominee Tyler Kelleher, have an opportunity to take advantage of a vulnerable Vermont defense. The ‘Catamounts have let up four or more goals in three of its last four games. However, the ‘Cats are going to have to get it done in five-on-five play, something that has been a weakness for the Wildcats all season. The Catamounts’ opponents have been held to two power-play goals on 12 attempts in the last four games. UNH will have to own the five-on-five element of the game if they want any chance to come away with points in conference.
Hobey Baker nominee
-Kelleher is a nominee in fan voting for the 2016-17 Hobey Baker award, which goes to NCAA Division I hockey’s top player. -To vote for Kelleher, go to hobeybaker.com and click on the “vote for Hobey” tab and find Kelleher on the drop down menu. You can also join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag