It was only a 3-3 tie with UMass-Lowell, but after recent games, the level of play exhibited by the University of Vermont men’s hockey team was a victory for resilience.
That’s all in the game story, but there were other notes worth mentioning:
*** Junior forward Brett Leonard of South Burlington played in seven games as a freshman. His most notable contribution as a sophomore last year was switching from forward to defense when injuries left UVM with too few defensemen for practice. His selflessness was greatly appreciated. He never played in a game.
Friday night, though, Leonard was in the lineup for the first time since Dec. 15, 2007, a matter of 70 games. He made an impression that’s sure to earn him more game-time consideration.
“Brett Leonard and that line — we’re looking for a fourth line that can give us a spark — they may have been one of the best lines lines on the ice tonight,” said UVM coach Kevin Sneddon of Leonard, Chris McCarthy and David Pacan.
“Those guys might not be in here doing interviews tonight but they might have been our most consistent line from start to finish. It was the spark we needed.”
*** “Well, I’m sure the Catamounts and their fans are happy to have (Justin) Milo back. That was a big goal he scored. He looked really good out there,” said UML coach Blaise MacDonald.
After missing the first five games, Milo returned from a foot injury to set up one goal and score the tying goal. He barely missed a game-winning goal during a late power play.
“It felt great. I was pretty nervous before the game coming off a little injury and not practicing a lot,” said Milo, who missed much of preseason because he was helping the Staten Island Yankees win the NY-Penn League championship. “As soon as I got out there, I was excited, the fans were great as always and it just felt good to be part of the team again.”
*** Rob Madore played well with two of the goals deflecting off teammates’ sticks. He’ll rest Sunday with senior Mike Spillane going against Providence. Spillane lost the starting job to Madore last year, came back in great shape and was scheduled to start against Maine but pulled himself out of the lineup with illness, an act Sneddon has praised as maturity and concern for the team.
Tags: Brett Leonard