Bradley P. Johnson via Flickr
Dartmouth takes on Vermont in a non-conference match-up on NBC Sports Network
Dartmouth and Vermont will square off tonight at Dartmouth, at 7pm EST, in a game that can be seen on the NBC Sports Network.
Dartmouth is off to a solid start this season, with a 6-2-2 record that has them ranked 10th nationally in the USCHO.com Poll. Vermont has struggled this season, with a record of only 3-7-3, but are coming off a three-point weekend at Alfond Arena against Maine, and are hoping to turn that momentum into their first non-conference win of the season.
Despite struggling as a team, Vermont does have some potential NHL-caliber players on their roster. Florida second round draft pick Connor Brickley is unlikely to play tonight, as he is out indefinitely with an arm injury. But 2011 third round pick Michael Paliotta, selected 70th overall by Chicago, should see considerable ice time on the Catamounts top defensive pairing. An alum of the NTDP program, Paliotta is a big, smooth-skating defenseman. Nick Luukko, a 6th round selection of Philadelphia in 2010, plays on Vermont's second pairing.
Vermont's top forward, Chris McCarthy, missed all but five games last year as a junior, due to a shoulder injury and ended up red-shirting. This year, he has led the Catamounts attack with four goals and six assists through 13 games.
The ECAC is usually known for its slow, defensive, grinding style of hockey, but Dartmouth has the second best offense statistically in the league, scoring an impressive 3.50 goals per game. They are led by sophomore forward Tyler Sikura, who has 15 points through the team's first 10 games. Sikura's skating has kept him off the NHL radar, but if the 6'2" forward with incredible vision and puck skills keeps producing, he could become a highly-sought after free agent prospect.