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Comrade Fox
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Bit of surprising recruiting news on the men's side tonight. Minnesota Mr. Hockey this year, Max Strand, committed to UVM:


Mr. Hockey in Minnesota is very prestigious, and among its alumni are two Hobey winners (Brian Bonin and Marty Sertich) and a fair few guys who went on to NHL careers (Nicks Bjugstad and Leddy, Paul Martin, Darby Hendrickson, Casey Mittelstadt, and Ryan McDonagh, among others). Strand would be the first ever to play for an Eastern school at the college level and is the first in nearly a decade to go out-of-state for college.
 

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Bit of surprising recruiting news on the men's side tonight. Minnesota Mr. Hockey this year, Max Strand, committed to UVM:


Mr. Hockey in Minnesota is very prestigious, and among its alumni are two Hobey winners (Brian Bonin and Marty Sertich) and a fair few guys who went on to NHL careers (Nicks Bjugstad and Leddy, Paul Martin, Darby Hendrickson, Casey Mittelstadt, and Ryan McDonagh, among others). Strand would be the first ever to play for an Eastern school at the college level and is the first in nearly a decade to go out-of-state for college.
That's two big commitments they've gotten from Minnesota, as they also landed Alex Bump in the fall. Bump was a Mr. Hockey finalist, and was actually the Minnesota AP Player of the Year.

Woodcroft keeps doing big things on paper. Just got to get it to translate to the ice at this point.
 

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Comrade Fox
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So.... are we good at hockey now? Or, at least not terrible?
I feel like this season's team was at least in the realm of "watchably bad." You can kinda tell they have the right ideas but just didn't have the quality to pull it off

the main issue was definitely talent and I think the staff has trended in the right direction with regards to that.
 

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I feel like this season's team was at least in the realm of "watchably bad." You can kinda tell they have the right ideas but just didn't have the quality to pull it off

the main issue was definitely talent and I think the staff has trended in the right direction with regards to that.
Thanks for the Hockey updates. I don't know much about the game but enjoy the thread and updates! You may even convince me to watch a game if I ever decide to cram myself into tiny seats with a ton of random strangers in a pandemic (yes I know I am over the top lol but I feel the same about planes - now that people had to wear masks on them, even after the pandemic I want people on planes wearing masks lol).
 

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If they can get their very young roster next year (it's something like 21 freshman and sophomores if Bump and Strand are coming this year) to stay healthy and show some real scoring promise with potential legitimate top 6 Hockey East forwards, that's the most encouraging sign you could have. It'll still be a long road. If they go from 8 wins to 12 to 14 wins next year that's a very positive trend.

They probably are going to need to snare a blueliner or two in the portal. They could only be going into the season at 6 defensemen, which is not ideal. I did see that they got a super senior forward from Princeton. Not sure how much he'll contribute, but they probably need a few vets around to help this young team out.
 

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Comrade Fox
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If they can get their very young roster next year (it's something like 21 freshman and sophomores if Bump and Strand are coming this year) to stay healthy and show some real scoring promise with potential legitimate top 6 Hockey East forwards, that's the most encouraging sign you could have. It'll still be a long road. If they go from 8 wins to 12 to 14 wins next year that's a very positive trend.

They probably are going to need to snare a blueliner or two in the portal. They could only be going into the season at 6 defensemen, which is not ideal. I did see that they got a super senior forward from Princeton. Not sure how much he'll contribute, but they probably need a few vets around to help this young team out.
Lo and behold, Eric Gotz via the portal from Michigan Tech:

As was pointed out by VTSHIC on Twitter, he's the apparently the nephew of Jerry and Jim Gernander, both former UVM players; Jerry still works at the school.
 

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So the article says both signed NLIs....but are going to juniors next year and coming in 2023-24...given that college hockey is up there with SEC football recruiting in the tricks that are played, UVM staff better do all they can to ensure these guys don't back out. NLIs might be binding, but you basically can't hold a kid to it if they want out because it will be used against you in recruiting...so yeah, make sure these guys are ironclad committed to coming all year long because if they have good junior seasons you know that the Gophers and the likes of Michigan and such will come poking around to get them to get out of their commitment. They already had it happen with one player who was supposed to come in this fall and is now going to Minnesota. Would go a long way if they get them set up with a junior team and coach they can absolutely trust isn't going to let the advisors and agents and other teams come get in their ears.
 

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Comrade Fox
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More portal news tonight, we've completed the goaltending for next year, snagging Oskar Autio as a grad transfer from Penn State according to Mike McMahon.

His numbers aren't great (.893 SV%, 3.14 GAA in 23 games last season)...BUT this is a Penn State goalie, and that's kind of an important caveat - Penn State plays an absolutely firewagon, who-cares-about-defense style of hockey that leads to lots of goals for them, but also a LOT of high danger scoring chances against.

I'd imagine that since Todd seems to prefer 1A/1B rather than "ride one guy all year" that cements the goalie situation as Carriere/Autio 1A/1B, with Hudson as the "break glass in case of emergency" guy (albeit a much better one than we're used to at least IMO).
 

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An incomplete listing but....

Home games for men:

10/1 & 10/2 vs. UConn
11/11 & 11/12 vs. UNH
11/25 vs. RPI
12/1 & 12/2 vs. Maine
12/9 vs. Holy Cross
12/11 vs. Dartmouth
12/30 & 12/31 vs. Lindenwood
1/14 vs. AIC


Home games for women:

9/24 vs. Ottawa (exhibition)
10/1 vs. RIT
10/14 & 10/15 vs. UConn
10/28 & 10/29 vs. Boston College
11/11 & 11/12 vs. Boston University
11/22 vs. Dartmouth


The men scheduling a bit softer for some non-conference hopefully results in wins to improve, but also turn the W-L record around to not look so bad.
 

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The men’s and women’s full 22-23 schedules are out on the UVM web site. On the men’s side, a bunch of non-conference cupcakes (HC, RPI(2), Lindenwood(2), AIC). So win total should go up from last year.

I realily don’t get college hockey scheduling. For a fringe sport (nationally), I don’t know why they don’t follow the basketball OOC formula, with more non-conference and inter-regional games early in the season, and backload Jan-March with conference games. Instead we get the above OOC games plus the usual yawners with Colgate, Yale and Dartmouth. And half the HE games are played by mid-December. Sorry, I am not ready for four HE league games the first eight days of October.
 

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The men’s and women’s full 22-23 schedules are out on the UVM web site. On the men’s side, a bunch of non-conference cupcakes (HC, RPI(2), Lindenwood(2), AIC). So win total should go up from last year.

I realily don’t get college hockey scheduling. For a fringe sport (nationally), I don’t know why they don’t follow the basketball OOC formula, with more non-conference and inter-regional games early in the season, and backload Jan-March with conference games. Instead we get the above OOC games plus the usual yawners with Colgate, Yale and Dartmouth. And half the HE games are played by mid-December. Sorry, I am not ready for four HE league games the first eight days of October.
The men need wins and have to understand what winning feels like, so I get scheduling the way they have been. But, it's no guarantee they'll win those games...they did not beat some of those cupcakes (Holy Cross) last year. As for scheduling...if there were 150 college hockey teams, you might get your wish in regards to unique matchups and not see the same old teams. But, there aren't, so easy travel and familiarity it is. Also, games vs Dartmouth, Colgate, RPI, St. Lawrence, are very good draws locally especially the latter since there is a huge SLU alumni base here. And, these teams long have just been old rivals, and given UVM has lacked consistency (that's being nice) outside a few years in HEA, there is going to be an appeal for those games to the older crowd (the ones who give money), and a lack of appeal playing UVM from CCHA/NCHC/Big 10 schools until they turn it around. Also, the wonky schedule is because the Ivies in ECAC start later than the rest per school order, and all leagues schedule in which a team or two in the league is generally going to have an off week. That also explains why the independent teams can survive and make a full schedule.

Also, the lack of teams going west or western teams coming east is not just a UVM issue. A lot of schedules this year from Hockey East teams have almost exclusive ECAC/AHA in the non-conference, save for the big national brand schools, or those who had worked out prior agreements. Could get tougher as some schools (especially CCHA probably are having to work on tighter travel budgets post-Covid).
 

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The men need wins and have to understand what winning feels like, so I get scheduling the way they have been. But, it's no guarantee they'll win those games...they did not beat some of those cupcakes (Holy Cross) last year. As for scheduling...if there were 150 college hockey teams, you might get your wish in regards to unique matchups and not see the same old teams. But, there aren't, so easy travel and familiarity it is. Also, games vs Dartmouth, Colgate, RPI, St. Lawrence, are very good draws locally especially the latter since there is a huge SLU alumni base here. And, these teams long have just been old rivals, and given UVM has lacked consistency (that's being nice) outside a few years in HEA, there is going to be an appeal for those games to the older crowd (the ones who give money), and a lack of appeal playing UVM from CCHA/NCHC/Big 10 schools until they turn it around. Also, the wonky schedule is because the Ivies in ECAC start later than the rest per school order, and all leagues schedule in which a team or two in the league is generally going to have an off week. That also explains why the independent teams can survive and make a full schedule.

Also, the lack of teams going west or western teams coming east is not just a UVM issue. A lot of schedules this year from Hockey East teams have almost exclusive ECAC/AHA in the non-conference, save for the big national brand schools, or those who had worked out prior agreements. Could get tougher as some schools (especially CCHA probably are having to work on tighter travel budgets post-Covid).
All good points, and I get it. But if college hockey is truly interested in growing the sport a bit, they need to be more creative in their scheduling. It’s not just a UVM issue. And again, hockey in early Oct, especially league games, is not good.
 
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