Sports

Vermont influence felt by Blackhawks

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CHICAGO — During the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, there was a distinct University of Vermont flavor when the Bruins took on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference finals.

The matchup pitted a pair of former Catamount stars — Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and Lightning forward Martin St. Louis — against each other.

Former Vermont coach Mike Gilligan, now working on the school’s fund-raising side, said he grew up a Bruins fan but was torn because of his affection for both players.

Thomas has since left Boston, but as the Bruins and Blackhawks battle in the Cup Final, Vermont is well-represented on the Chicago side. Forwards Patrick Sharp and Viktor Stalberg are on the roster, and two other former Catamounts are members of the staff.

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