Below are a few snippets from University of Vermont’s Hockey Media Day, held this afternoon at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Both teams will play preseason games Sunday at the Gut, the men taking on New Brunswick at 4 p.m., and the women following at 7 against McGill.
Here’s video clips from the press conference, courtesy of UVM.
Be sure to check out the Free Press’ comprehensive season previews in the print and online editions next week.
KEVIN SNEDDON, UVM men’s coach:
About turning the page on last season’s Frozen Four trip: “We gained a lot of valuable experience last season that can be utilized this year with our returning players. With that being said, probably our biggest challenge this year is to focus on what’s important now. We are real proud that we were able to contribute to our rich tradition here, but at the same time this is a new journey. We can’t be focussed on last year, we have to move forward, which isn’t always as easy at it seems. We get asked a lot of questions from the media and from around town about last year’s season.”
About replacing Viktor Stalberg, who left after his junior season to play in the NHL: “I know everyone is questioning how we are going to replace Viktor Stalberg. We’ve had that problem in the past and our guys have risen to the occasion. There’s no reason not to think that with our current players, when they are given more opportunities that they will rise to the challenge.”
About improving on special teams: “I look back at it and it’s somewhat amazing that we made it all the way to the Frozen Four with one of the worst penalty kills in the country.”
BRIAN ROLOFF, senior forward and captain:
About replacing leadership lost from last season: “I don’t think we take it as pressure. I think Dean (Strong), Corey (Carlson), Peter (Lenes); we watched them play for three years, we learned from them and saw how they got the job done. We can just kind of step into their shoes which they molded out nicely. I feel like the guys in my class are ready to take on the challenge.”
TIM BOTHWELL, UVM women’s coach:
About team’s mission to reach the Hockey East playoffs for the first time in program history: “Without a doubt, it is in each and every person’s mind on the team that (Hockey East) playoffs are what we are after this year. We were very close last year; two or three goals over the course of a season at the right time would have put us in the playoffs. Conversely, keeping out two or three extra pucks at the right time could have put us in the playoffs, as well. With that quote, we are really excited about the challenge of trying to make that happen this year and make a little bit of history for this program.”
About improving on defense: “The defensive side of things is really where we have to make our biggest improvement this year. We really kind of took a step backward in that area last year. It’s a real focus for us this year to block more shots, to limit more scoring opportunities, to limit the shots on goal and to just be a better defensive team.”
PEGGY WAKEHAM, Junior defenseman who led the team in scoring last year:
About the team playing its first eight games at home: “Really important to have these game at home because last year we gained a lot of confidence at the end of the season. We started last year rough, so I feel like having them at home this year — we are more comfortable at home — is a better schedule for us.”
About team’s mindset: “We are all ready. Last year we were so close, a couple goals here and there. We all knows how it feels not to make it and now we are ready to make it.”