With school back in session, the Vanderbilt Commodores are preparing for the spring semester portion of their 2013/14 schedule. While a 5-9-1 overall record isn’t where they would like to be, Vandy is sitting firmly at third in the SECHC East with a 3-3 SECHC record.
The fall semester was a tale of two seven game periods. The first seven games did not turn out the way Coach Bernstein intended. A 1-6-0 record with series losses against #2 South Carolina, #7 Mississippi, and Indiana. The only win coming in that seven game stretch was against a 5-6 Clemson Team. The Commodores were outscored 46-27 during those games.
The two main contributors to this dismal start was goaltending and time in the sin bin. The goaltending tandem of Junior Andrew Keen and Sophomore Bo Korpman had a combined 6.57 GAA and a .887 save percentage. It’s hard to help the man between the pipes when the team had a combined 142 penalty minutes. The Dores penalty kill during this span was 11%.
Vandy seemed to come alive during the second seven games. Posting a 4-2-1 record with a series sweep against a down Georgia team and a split with #4 Florida. The Dores lost to #12 Georgia Tech in a shootout and rebounded with a win to split that series. It isn’t surprising that goaltending and penalty minutes improved during this span. The Dores have only taken 58 penalty minutes and allowed 22 goals for a 3.11 GAA and a .916 save percentage.
The Dores have had solid play by a number of players, but freshman forward John “Johnny Hockey” Longman is averaging 1.42 points per game and is on a four game point streak where he has seven goals and one assist. Longman leads the team with 13 goals and 7 assists. Senior Captain Anthony Billota has five goals and six assists while Sophomore Jack Gibbons has eight goals and three assists. After a slow start, Freshman Tucker Rhodes has come on strong. Rhodes has three game point streak of his own where he has one goal and three assists.
Vanderbilt has six games left on their schedule before heading south to the Pelham Civic Center for the SECHC Tournament in February. The Dores will begin the spring semester by traveling to Cincinnati to take on ACHA DIII North #13 Xavier on 17-18 January. They welcome in-state foe Memphis for their last home stand of the season on 24-25 January and will travel east on I-40 to face their SECHC East rivals, the Tennessee Ice Vols to close out their season on 31 January and 1 February.