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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With Vermont Head Coach Kevin Sneddon

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, October 25 at 2:00 p.m. ET, Vermont Head Coach Kevin Sneddon pays a visit to "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. Vermont is the newest member of Hockey East and play their first league game November 1 at Northeastern. The Catamounts are currently ranked No. 11 in the USCHO/CSTV Rankings.

Kevin Sneddon

In just his second year at the helm of the University of Vermont hockey program, head coach Kevin Sneddon lead the Catamounts to their first 20-win season in eight years. With a 21-14-4 finish, Vermont was the nation's most improved team in 2004-05. Picked to finish 10th in the ECACHL Preseason Poll, the Catamounts instead finished fourth in the ECACHL and were ranked as high as 10th in USCHO/CSTV Poll.

Sneddon begins his third season at Vermont in 2005-06 as he leads the Catamounts into their first year of play in the Hockey East Association. A 1992 graduate of Harvard University, he is just the third coach in the last 40 years at Vermont. He succeeded Mike Gilligan, who stepped down in April of 2003, after 19 years behind the Catamount bench. The head coach at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., from 1998 to 2003, Sneddon was associated with the Union men's hockey program since 1993-94, when he was named assistant coach under former head coach Bruce Delventhal.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Kevin won't be stopping by until 2:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, October 25th, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Welcome back to "Tuesday @ the Rink". We have a great chat ready for everyone, as we are now joined by Vermont Head Coach Kevin Sneddon.
Coach Sneddon: I'd like to welcome all the fans that have joined us today. I appreciate your questions and look forward to the chat!

Don (Lincoln): Any nostalgia or regrets as your program leaves a considerable history in the ECAC behind to move to Hockey East?
Coach Sneddon: No real regrets, but I will miss going head to head with all the great coaches/friends from the ECACHL...I have a lot of great memories from that league as a player and a coach. I am excited about our move to Hockey East, though. It's the right fit for our program and school. Thanks!

Baltimore, MD via Burlington,VT: Congrats on a great start to this season. With the move to Hockey East have you seen an increase in the amount of blue chip players that are seriously considering UVM?
Coach Sneddon: Definitely. I think it has more to do with the amount of energy and excitement around our entire athletic program, though. Our President (Dan Fogel) and Athletic Director (Bob Corran) have really energized our campus and when recruits visit, they fall in love with UVM. You may have already noticed some blue chip recruits on our current roster (Mitchell, Fallon, Lenes, Strong etc.) Hockey East was a part of their decision process.

Charlie (Shelburne): Coach, I had a good headache after Friday's game from the noise the crowd made for the third Peter Lenes goal. Think that's the noisiest moment you've been part of at Gutterson? If not, what is?
Coach Sneddon: Thanks, Charlie. That was number two in my book. A great moment for a young Vermont born player! The game against UNH last year when we scored the game winner with one second to go was louder than any rink I have been in.

Adam (Burlington): As far as college hockey arena's, how do you rate the atmoshere of Gutterson Fieldhouse and the support the team receives at home?
Coach Sneddon: I am obviously very biased toward our fans, but I honestly believe we have the best fans in the country. They are with us through thick and thin; all they ask for is 100% effort out of our team each night. The noise in our building certainly provides us with an extra player at times! Thanks Adam.

Wendy from South Burlington: Coach - do you like to give your D men the green light to get in the play? Thanks
Coach Sneddon: Good hockey question, Wendy. There are certain players that we allow to jump up in the offense more than others. Our philosophy is to have as many players in motion as possible to apply as much pressure on the opposition as possible.

Steve (Canton): What do you remember most about your 1989 NCAA title as a player? Do you talk to your team about what it took and how you got there?
Coach Sneddon: I was a young freshman on that team, and I remember watching Lane McDonald prove to the college hockey world that he was simply the best player. In big games, he always produced. Most importantly, I remember how well he handled the media...a true class act. I don't go into the old stories with the team very often unless they ask.

swbrdr: Kevin, You have two strong forward lines but to play with the upper echelon HE teams I think you need a third line that is a scoring threat every shift. Do you see the chemistry coming together with Gaspirini, Carlson and the third forward?
Coach Sneddon: You are certainly correct in your assessment of needing a solid third line that can play both ways very well. If your top lines can't find room to produce, your third line has to. It is still early and we have a few games to play with some lines to find that perfect connection. We have been impressed with Gasparini and Carlson to date.

Mike (Falmouth, MA): As a new member of Hockey East can you comment on your view of the current competitiveness of Hockey East members to the other conferences. Last year's results were very disappointing to many Hockey East fans. What's your view for this season?
Coach Sneddon: Mike, it was disappointing to all the leagues except for the WCHA! I think Hockey East is poised to have a great year this year. Some of the early results have gone the other way, but once teams in our league gel, I think you'll see several teams make the NCAAs.

Paul (White River Junction): How would you compare your rivalry with New Hampshire now that you're in Hockey East to your rivalry with Dartmouth in the ECAC? Do you see continuing the Dartmouth rivalry annually in the future?
Coach Sneddon: Coach Gaudet and I would really like to keep playing each other because it's good for fans in this area. We have games scheduled with each other for the next few years already. As for UNH, I think it will take some time to re-establish that rivalry, but I can envision some other rivalries as well (Maine, UMass etc.).

Jerry (Essex Junction): Catamount hockey has been the "big game in town" for so long, and I was wondering how you see the recent success of UVM basketball affecting that.
Coach Sneddon: I am thrilled for the basketball program as well as the success of our other teams. The success with our athletic teams has really re-energized our campus. The nice thing about our fans is that they support more than one sport. In other words, neither team would be affected by the other team's success. I will be cheering on Mike Lonergan this season!

Go Cats Go (Burlington): How have you been able to turn things around in such a short period of time at Vermont?
Coach Sneddon: Thanks for the compliment. I think a few things fell into place at just the right time. We have a great strength coach (Paul Goodman) who helped our staff establish a work ethic second to none. We are also fortunate to have one of college hockey's best captains in Jaime Sifers. He is a special young man who represents everything we believe in as coaches. Combine all of that with some luck and confidence, and you have a team that can win some games.

Hurley (NYC): Coach, congratulations on a great start. Are you at all worried that facing the tougher hockey east teams every weekend will wear down your team? Could this be a factor with your guys come spring?

David (Norwich, VT): You mention the possibility of a budding rivalry with Maine, and I'm reminded of the ugly loss UVM had against them last year. Do you think your guys knew how good they were at that point? Has there already been talk among the guys about being eager to get their hands on Maine?
Coach Sneddon: Well Maine has taught us a few lessons that past few games, that's for sure! We have a ways to go in order to say that we are a rival of Maine's...I was referring to future years with Maine. I do think our players will remember those tough losses and look forward to our next meeting.

Don (Stowe): Seems like Brady Leisenring is off to a great start...his goal in the Friday game against Duluth was a beauty! Would you say he's 100% back physically to where he was before the injury? Also, do you think he's picked up anything in terms of hockey sense from having to sit out most of last year?
Coach Sneddon: Thanks Don. Brady is certainly back to 100%. It was a tough year for him, but he handled it better than I could have imagined. He was a true leader off the ice last year. Whether he was helping his teammates or assisting our staff, he definitely contributed to the team's success. I think he is back and better than ever because he was able to study the game from a different perspective last year.

Jason (Baltimore): Before the season what goals did you set for this year's team? Is the team on track to exceed those?
Coach Sneddon: We do establish team goals each year and we have them written in our play books. We do opt to keep those goals private, but I can say that this year's team wants to improve upon last year's moderate success. They are very focused and have high expectations for their first season in Hockey East. Thanks Jason.
CSTV.com Moderator: That is all the time we have with Coach Sneddon today.
Coach Sneddon: Thanks for all the great quesitons today. It is nice to see the passion out there for college hockey. I am off to practice now. Take care!
CSTV.com Moderator: That is all for today's edition of "Tuesday @ the Rink". Join us next week for another exciting doubleheader, when we will be joined by Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson and Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. The chats kick off at 1PM Eastern. See you all then.

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