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So with the new Hockey coach, is it supposed to be Year 3 when the team might no longer be terrible? Year 5? Just want to know what’s reasonable to expect when it’s supposed to be relevant again, as a semi-interested, casual bandwagon type fan.

Don’t know anything about the new coach good or bad, other then taking over the program at the outset of COVID certainly less than ideal to build up success.
 

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You're going to have to wait a few more years. The program was left in really bad shape. Last year was meaningless as most of the roster was holdovers from the previous coaching staff, and there was Covid stoppages. This is no UMass rebuild to a national title. UVM doesn't have a Cale Makar walking through the door.

To be as brief as possible:

- 14 new players this year (10 freshmen, 4 transfers) + returnees who save for like 4, aren't very good. Transfers have been among the best players. A couple of freshmen have been promising. One has been hurt, unfortunately. This leads to not good hockey to watch and losing to fellow terrible teams like Holy Cross.

- Next year up to 12 freshmen alone could come...so that's a total roster turnover (22 freshman/sophomores on a roster usually of 25-28) not counting transfer adds within 2 years. You should expect them to be better, but by how much I don't know.

- That being said, 2024 or 2025 it's reasonable to expect a return to relevance. That of course means competing for the top 5 and not stinking up the joint. Maybe they go on a Garden run in the playoffs, best case snags an NCAA bid. They can do all those things without winning the league.

- If UVM can't make it happen by then, I'm not sure they ever will be able to. There should be an extremely high motivation to do so, because hockey still drives the bus on casual attention, interest, and money being forked over than basketball.
 

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Comrade Fox
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You're going to have to wait a few more years. The program was left in really bad shape. Last year was meaningless as most of the roster was holdovers from the previous coaching staff, and there was Covid stoppages. This is no UMass rebuild to a national title. UVM doesn't have a Cale Makar walking through the door.

To be as brief as possible:

- 14 new players this year (10 freshmen, 4 transfers) + returnees who save for like 4, aren't very good. Transfers have been among the best players. A couple of freshmen have been promising. One has been hurt, unfortunately. This leads to not good hockey to watch and losing to fellow terrible teams like Holy Cross.

- Next year up to 12 freshmen alone could come...so that's a total roster turnover (22 freshman/sophomores on a roster usually of 25-28) not counting transfer adds within 2 years. You should expect them to be better, but by how much I don't know.

- That being said, 2024 or 2025 it's reasonable to expect a return to relevance. That of course means competing for the top 5 and not stinking up the joint. Maybe they go on a Garden run in the playoffs, best case snags an NCAA bid. They can do all those things without winning the league.

- If UVM can't make it happen by then, I'm not sure they ever will be able to. There should be an extremely high motivation to do so, because hockey still drives the bus on casual attention, interest, and money being forked over than basketball.
This has been my thought process. It is going to take a while to fix this.

Recruiting was already struggling and only got worse after Wallack (who I thought had a decent eye for talent) was jettisoned. I feel like they were looking in a lot of the wrong places. In NE/NY you don't have the Beanpot pull, or a strong historic tradition, or Ivy academics, or shiny new facilities, or recent relevance, so you end up basically scraping for guys that would normally end up at like Holy Cross or Sacred Heart. And the previous regime almost seemed to ignore Quebec and Europe altogether, two hotspots for talent that nearby Clarkson has milked the hell out of - and, perhaps more notably, the women's team at UVM, which is currently third in Hockey East; 7 of their top 10 scorers come from either Europe or Quebec.

This was never going to change overnight, we knew this going in. Buyalsky being hurt hasn't helped as I really liked his game in the early goings.
 

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PS - UVM women just upset #1 Northeastern. The game was on NESN. Did so down their 4 Olympians too. This puts UVM in a tie for second in Hockey East. It's shaping up to potentially be their best season in program history. Still some tough games to go, but that's exciting.
 

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Comrade Fox
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PS - UVM women just upset #1 Northeastern. The game was on NESN. Did so down their 4 Olympians too. This puts UVM in a tie for second in Hockey East. It's shaping up to potentially be their best season in program history. Still some tough games to go, but that's exciting.
That save by McPherson with about 30 seconds to go. All-timer given the context.

This team is legit.
 

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I’m not a big hockey guy, but this team is legitimately fun to watch. Some really creative offensive players, and McPherson is on a different level than any goaltender I’ve seen here.

There are some tough games left on the schedule so who knows what will happen. But it‘s great to see them that high in the standings at the end of January.
 

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Comrade Fox
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Also going to have to survive about a month without a couple key pieces (Sini Karjalainen, Natalie Mlynkova, and Tynka Patkova are at the Olympics)


Thank god Austria didn't also qualify or else we'd REALLY be in trouble, lol
 

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Comrade Fox
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UVM women won again today, 4-2 over UNH at the Gutt. One win off the program record of 18 with 6 games to go (two @Maine, two at home against BU, and two @BC) plus postseason. Second in Hockey East and should end 2nd or 3rd barring a total collapse. The 7 game win streak is tied for a program record, and the 14 Hockey East wins break the previous mark of 13, set in '13-'14.
 

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UVM women won again today, 4-2 over UNH at the Gutt. One win off the program record of 18 with 6 games to go (two @Maine, two at home against BU, and two @BC) plus postseason. Second in Hockey East and should end 2nd or 3rd barring a total collapse. The 7 game win streak is tied for a program record, and the 14 Hockey East wins break the previous mark of 13, set in '13-'14.
How much work to they need to do in the pairwise to maybe land an at-large to the tourney, provided they're able to keep this up? I see they're 12th right now so firmly on the bubble since only 8 get in. Hockey East usually gets 3 teams in, but right now Northeastern is 4th and UConn and UVM are 11 and 12, so it feels like they have to probably win the conference tourney for a bid?
 

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Comrade Fox
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How much work to they need to do in the pairwise to maybe land an at-large to the tourney, provided they're able to keep this up? I see they're 12th right now so firmly on the bubble since only 8 get in. Hockey East usually gets 3 teams in, but right now Northeastern is 4th and UConn and UVM are 11 and 12, so it feels like they have to probably win the conference tourney for a bid?
The women's tournament got expanded to 11 this year, and the CHA has no one over that line, so you're looking at 10 at-larges since I don't think NEWHA has its autobid yet.

But I think they have to win the conference tourney, yeah, the RPI gap between UVM (and to a lesser extent UConn) and the cutoff (10th-place Clarkson) is just too big. I do think UVM has a shot at that tourney they can keep in form; they'll have the Olympians back and with McPherson you have a goalie that can steal a game if you need her to.

Holy Cross and to a lesser extent Merrimack being godawful is killing the HE Pairwise especially since there's only one truly elite team in Northeastern.
 

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2 huge games in Orono vs. Vermont this weekend! Maine swept Providence for their 6th win in a row. They are currently in 4th place in HE. You coming to Orono for the series, TovarishchLisa?
 

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Comrade Fox
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Olympics start tonight! UVM women has 5.5 representatives at this year's tournament.... the .5 is because one (Blanka Škodová of Czechia) is an alternate who's just there in case of emergency.

Sammy Kolowrat (alum), Natálie Mlýnková, and Kristýna (Tynka) Pátková for the Czechs, Sini Karjalainen for Finland, and it was announced by the program today that they've signed Sofie Skott Dahl of Denmark. (Dahl isn't the only Dane with VT connections, btw; Nicoline Jensen started her career at Castleton before transferring to UNH. Shoutout @VTSHIC on that catch because I would've easily missed it.)

Czechs play China at 11:10 PM tonight, Finland opens play against the US at 8:10 AM tomorrow morning. Think it's fair to say most of Catamount Country should be on the Czech bandwagon! (you too Maine, with Přibylová and especially Vanišová, who still ranks as one of my favorite opposing players to watch from my college days.)
 

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Olympics start tonight! UVM women has 5.5 representatives at this year's tournament.... the .5 is because one (Blanka Škodová of Czechia) is an alternate who's just there in case of emergency.

Sammy Kolowrat (alum), Natálie Mlýnková, and Kristýna (Tynka) Pátková for the Czechs, Sini Karjalainen for Finland, and it was announced by the program today that they've signed Sofie Skott Dahl of Denmark. (Dahl isn't the only Dane with VT connections, btw; Nicoline Jensen started her career at Castleton before transferring to UNH. Shoutout @VTSHIC on that catch because I would've easily missed it.)

Czechs play China at 11:10 PM tonight, Finland opens play against the US at 8:10 AM tomorrow morning. Think it's fair to say most of Catamount Country should be on the Czech bandwagon! (you too Maine, with Přibylová and especially Vanišová, who still ranks as one of my favorite opposing players to watch from my college days.)
Maine's Tereza Vanišová scored 2 goals in yesterday's 3-1 Czech win.
 
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