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Vermont 2023/24: Stuck in the Wieds

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  • Loved the game management in the third period. Until the icings from the irresistible empty net, almost every UVM puck possession resulted in the puck ending up in the UNH zone. It's never good when you dominate a period and don't score. That hurt UNH in the 2nd like it hurt UVM in the 1st in the second Northeastern game. Luca had a strong game - leading the rush on the first goal and staying out of the box especially after taking a hit. Hope the energy level is high again tonight.

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    • Strange having a weekend in February without a game. Don't recall that happening before.

      Next four games are against the two teams below us in the standings and the pairwise. Both are on five game losing streaks. After that, 5 of our last 6 are against the top 6 in the country (although Maine could drop after discovering why it's a bad idea to give Northeastern a 5 minute power play last night).

      It's hard to envision a path to a first round home ice spot that doesn't include finishing ahead of both Merrimack and Lowell. The two teams slightly ahead of us on a percentage basis, UConn and Northeastern will share 6 points when they meet March 1st & 2nd, so it's unlikely that both would fall out of the top 8. The loser of that series, though, appears at this point to be the best candidate for the third team UVM could beat out for the last home ice spot. UNH is currently a point behind Ct and NE, but has 3 and 4 games in hand, respectively.

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      • Considering how we have performed at Lowell two ties with shoot out victories is a win! Would have loved a true win on one of the games. Maatta stone cold in shootouts!!

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        • Considering how we have performed at Lowell two ties with shoot out victories is a win! Would have loved a true win on one of the games. Maatta stone cold in shootouts!!

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          • Originally posted by GreenCat View Post
            Considering how we have performed at Lowell two ties with shoot out victories is a win! Would have loved a true win on one of the games. Maatta stone cold in shootouts!!
            Reminds me of the old UNH jinx. In one of the St.Louis, Perrin, Thomas years, we only managed a tie despite having a much better season than they did. I think we finally won the next year.

            It's a game of inches. Tying Lowell goal came following a UVM icing where Maatta might have had his stick lifted at the red line. If Maatta touches that puck, result might have been different. Of course, Lowell hit the crossbar another time too.

            Has to be disappointing getting only 4 out of 9 points against the last place team. But, not a bad result especially after where things stood after the first period. And, in the poll, WE were predicted to BE the last place team. Now we're in 7th on a percentage basis after key UConn loss to UMass. A good weekend vs. Merrimack will keep us in contention for a first round home ice spot.

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            • I agree 4 points on the road at an arena that gives us fits has to be considered a positive. We continued to put distance between Lowell and ourselves. Sets up for a big home weekend with Merrimack. They are 5 points back and have played 3 more games than us. Again - opportunity to increase the distance between them and us.

              Top 5 in HE has a good gap and its unrealistic to think we can catch any of them. However, then it gets interesting with the next grouping.

              6th place - UCONN - 23 pts in 19 games
              7th place - UNH - 22 pts in 16 games
              8th place Tie - NU - 20 pts in 17 games
              8th place Tie - UVM - 20 pts in 16 games

              Last year 8th place was achieved with 30 points and previous year with 32 points. I believe we've got to get to minimum of 30 points to have a chance at a home playoff round. Overall schedule is tough with 8 remaining games. 2 home Merr, 2 on road at BC, 2 home Maine, 1 road UCONN, 1 road BU. A good home weekend this week goes a long way to getting Cats in position.

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              • Originally posted by Catfantoo View Post
                I agree 4 points on the road at an arena that gives us fits has to be considered a positive. We continued to put distance between Lowell and ourselves. Sets up for a big home weekend with Merrimack. They are 5 points back and have played 3 more games than us. Again - opportunity to increase the distance between them and us.

                Top 5 in HE has a good gap and its unrealistic to think we can catch any of them. However, then it gets interesting with the next grouping.

                6th place - UCONN - 23 pts in 19 games
                7th place - UNH - 22 pts in 16 games
                8th place Tie - NU - 20 pts in 17 games
                8th place Tie - UVM - 20 pts in 16 games

                Last year 8th place was achieved with 30 points and previous year with 32 points. I believe we've got to get to minimum of 30 points to have a chance at a home playoff round. Overall schedule is tough with 8 remaining games. 2 home Merr, 2 on road at BC, 2 home Maine, 1 road UCONN, 1 road BU. A good home weekend this week goes a long way to getting Cats in position.
                I agree about catching the top 5. If Maine has a bad weekend at UNH, there might be a chance of catching them. But, they show no signs of faltering.

                But, I strongly disagree on needing 30 points for just a chance at first round home ice. While it's true that the 8th place team had 30 points last year and 32 the year before, the NINTH place team had 28 and only 25, respectively. It's not a remote possibility that UConn becomes the 5th team to go pointless against BU next week. Then they play red hot Northeastern. A split would give them 26 points going into their last game with UVM. A regulation win for UVM in that game would leave UVM ahead of UConn as long as we get 4 points in our other games (maybe only 3 if it's only a two way tie). That would give us a home ice spot at 27 points as long as Merrimack doesn't get at least 12 out of 15 points and Lowell doesn't get at least 14 out of 21.

                UConn has scored 5 goals total in their last 6 Hockey East games. There is a chance that they could go pointless in their last five games. So, there's a chance, admittedly unlikely, that UVM could get a home ice spot with as little as 24 (or even less likely 23) points.

                If UVM gets to 30 points, I think it's very likely that we would get a home ice spot. The worst scenario would be for Northeastern to sweep Lowell and then roughly split at Maine (2 games) and Providence (1 game), but bomb out and get swept by UConn.

                Northeastern plays UConn twice. That makes it harder to finish ahead of both of them. But, if UVM is going to get a home ice spot, the loser of that series is most likely going to be the team that goes on the road. UNH is also a possibility. If they do poorly at home against Maine this weekend, that will be worth exploring as well.

                Mathematically, it will take at least 21 points to get first round home ice. 37 points clinches at least first round home ice. (NE and CT can each reach 37, but only one of them can since they play each other twice).

                One step at a time. Important to get significant points against Merrimack. No disrespect to them, but the rest of the schedule is against the top 6 in the pairwise apart from the game at UConn.
                Last edited by Jim F.; 02-13-2024, 12:12 PM.

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                • Glad at getting 4 out of 6 points on the road but UVM let a great chance at 5 get away with that weak 5-minute major powerplay in the 3rd period that didn't even get 1 good scoring chance, could have sealed the win.

                  How bad has the PP been? food for thought...

                  You take the number of PP's 96(some are less than 2 minutes but some are 5's) so 96 times 2mins per is 192 minutes then divide that into 60 mins per game you get 2.81 goals per power play game.
                  UVM average goals per game this year including even strength and shorthanded is 2.8 goals per game.

                  Our Powerplay is the same as even and shorthanded!!!! Yikes!!!
                  New Arena New Arena where for art thou New Arena

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                  • UVM drops to 8th place on a percentage basis. UVM is now mathematically eliminated from 1st & 2nd place.

                    Lowell beating Northeastern helps our chances for a first round home ice spot, but increases the risk of finishing 10th or 11th. Mathematically, at least 21 points are needed for home ice. 36 points now clinches. If UVM beats UConn in regulation, UVM would clinch at 34 points. UVM still controls its own destiny for 7th and 8th place and will continue to control its destiny for 8th until at least next Friday no matter what happens Saturday. Mathematically, at least 25 points is needed for 7th. 39 points clinches.

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                    • We finally scored a powerplay goal but gave up a shortie so blahhhh.

                      We now have 10 PP goals but have given up 4 shorthanded goals. Can we refuse powerplays?

                      New Arena New Arena where for art thou New Arena

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                      • So disappointing. This team is marginally better than last year, but that’s about it. Don’t think anything’s going to change until we get a new rink (won’t happen in my lifetime) and a legit coach. Hindsight is 20/20, but we should have scooped up Ben Barr when we had the chance.

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                        • Originally posted by UVM Cat in Texas View Post
                          So disappointing. This team is marginally better than last year, but that’s about it. Don’t think anything’s going to change until we get a new rink (won’t happen in my lifetime) and a legit coach. Hindsight is 20/20, but we should have scooped up Ben Barr when we had the chance.
                          I get your sentiment. How do you not have the team ready to play against a team you must win. Some people need to sit out a game if this is the level of play we can expect! We can’t get home ice so why does it matter.

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                          • Had hoped for more than 3 points vs. Merrimack, but we're alone in 7th on a percentage basis and control our own first round home ice destiny until at least March 1st.

                            Some division showing up in the standings. Some crossover possible, but it looks like 1 and 2 will be BC and BU. 3-6 will be Maine, Providence, UMass and UNH. UVM, UConn and Northeastern will battle for 7-9. All are at 23 points, and UVM has a game in hand. Merrimack and Lowell will likely be 10th and 11th. To just get to 23 points, Merrimack needs 5 out of 9 in 2 games vs. Providence and 1 vs. BC. Lowell needs 7 out of 15 vs. Providence (1), UMass (2) and UNH (2).

                            UVM, Ct and NE all play vs. the top 3 next weekend. Then Ct and NE play each other. Worst case for UVM is NE and Ct split and also get points next weekend. Best case is somebody sweeps and the loser goes pointless in their other games.

                            Mathematically, at least 23 points is needed for first round home ice. At 23 points, UVM loses the tiebreak with NE and a tie at 23 points with Ct is impossible. So, UVM needs at least 24 points to have a chance at home ice. 24 points is only good enough if NE goes pointless in their last 5. 36 points clinches. If UVM beats UConn in regulation, UVM would clinch with 34 points.

                            Mathematically, at least 26 points is needed for 7th place. 39 points clinches.

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                            • Wiedler signs 4-year head coaching deal.

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                              • Wow. I think Wiedler has done a good job but there’s an important part of the season left to go…maybe the old contract was expiring and a move had to be made.

                                on another topic, I’m a little surprised that Robbie Stucker is still in the ECHL i had him tagged as quickly to AHL at least.

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