UVM defensemen must step up


The bedrock of this year’s University of Vermont men’s hockey team is a veteran defense returning six starters.

In senior Patrick Cullity, juniors Kevan Miller, Kyle Medvec, Josh Burrows and Dan Lawson and sophomore Drew MacKenzie, the Catamounts boast a tourney-tested corps of big, tough, mobile defenders who can provide key hits and key goals.

Yet the group hasn’t jelled into the force it should be, can be and, from a Vermont perspective, must be for the Catamounts to be contenders in Hockey East and for a second consecutive NCAA berth.

“I don’t they’ve been great,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon on Monday. “We’ve had some players, we’re really had to reiterate their roles. For whatever reason — the hype going into the season, aspirations change — even though you have the same group of guys, some guys think they’ve got to be offensive-minded and it’s not their role.

“So you’re making sure your guys know what they need to do to give us shots at winning hockey games,” Sneddon said. “There have been some guys who just haven’t performed very well up to date.”

While some inconsistency should be expected from freshman Anders Franzon, the degree exhibited by others is surprising and it’s been across the board, though some have struggled more than others.

“It’s been one guy one night, a couple of guys the next night … It’s been a little bit of everybody,”  said Sneddon. “The three rocks back there right now have been Medvec, Cullity and Miller.

“It’s been more coverage and running around and not taking charge back there than anything. Our breakouts have been pretty good. We’ve had a few moments turning the puck over, not making the simple play, and that’s been working itself out of our game right now. It’s mainly been poor coverage or two guys playing the same guy and leaving somebody open … things you would expect out of a young defensive corps, not a veteran corps.”

With a longer and harder week of practice, Sneddon said, “We’re seeing improvement back there.”

It’s certainly what UVM needs and what this corps of defensemen can deliver.


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One Response to “UVM defensemen must step up”

  1. Jake Orr Says:

    Who cares how they’re playing? Cullity and Mackenzie have two of the nicest mustaches in the entire league…

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