Remembering the 1995-96 University of Vermont Hockey Team

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Picture via uscho.com, @uvmphoto
A season filled with so much celebration ended in heart break for the University of Vermont (UVM) hockey and it's fans in 1996. A roster loaded with talent was one win away from making it to the NCAA final. However deteriorating ice conditions, and a hand thrown puck into the net during double overtime against Colorado College ended their journey.

Here's what wikipedia said about that final (phantom) goal,

"The game-winning goal scored by Colorado College during their semi-final match against Vermont was thrown in by hand but was still ruled as a goal. The Colorado College player's momentum carrying him forward, he open-palmed the puck, which was directed in to the goal."
Picture via NHL.com

For many of those players that would be the highlight of their careers while others like Martin St. Louis and Tim Thomas it would only be the beginning. Both had aspiratons of playing in the NHL but concerns lingered about their futures. Scouts said that St. Louis was too small at 5'8," While Tim Thomas would most likely be stuck behind newly acquired Patrick Roy in the Avalanche organization. It took time but both St. Louis and Thomas would go on to win the Stanley Cup. They would also pick up other hardware along the way including the Hart Trophy for St. Louis in 2003-04, and two Vezina Trophies for Thomas in 2008-09, and 2010-2011.


Here's the 1995-96 roster, so you can reminisce.

An interesting fact about that season was that UVM didn't win the ECAC tournament but received an automatic bid to NCAA tournament by winning the conference regular season title. That season they were upset by Harvard in the ECAC semi-finals 4-3.

Picture via UVM athletics
Martin St. Louis and Eric Perrin had identical stats in goals (29), assists (56) and penalty minutes (38), though St. Louis played in three fewer games that season than Perrin. J.C. Ruid tied both St. Louis and Perrin with 29 goals. While Tim Thomas logged 2,254 minutes in goal (he also had 8 penalty minutes for a goalie).

The 1995-96 UVM Hockey team left a lasting impression on UVM fans and Vermonters. Many of those fans waited overnight outside  "The Gut" to get single game tickets. The price they paid was well worth it.


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