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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hockey Log

Normore all about aid these days

She just can’t help herself; but she’s helping her team aplenty, as would come naturally, beyond extensively critical thought, to any Providence College hockey buff.

Two-way connoisseur Erin Normore has not charged up a formal goal since her solo end-to-end touring of the puck and slot shot conversion against New Hampshire in last year’s Hockey East title tilt, one of few Friar highlights immortalized by NESN. With that being the last radiant moment of the 2006-07 season, the rising junior had all rink-going Friar Fanatics leaning on politely smiling tenterhooks and looking her way.

So far, there have been no one-woman shows like that early March gem in the otherwise treacherous depths of Lake Whittemore. Instead, as this edition of the PC Women gels, Normore is spreading a creativity fever throughout her bench.

No single Friar is running away as the top gun through the team’s first 11 games, but Normore’s 0-6-6 transcript has her running away in the race for the distinction of prime playmaker.

Her consistency in the area of mere effort has matched its forecast. She factored into three of PC’s first seven goals over the two ties that kickstarted their campaign. She has stabbed at least one shot on net in each of her last seven outings, beginning with the team’s egg-cracking 3-2 victory at Boston College.

What’s more, during fellow junior Mari Pehkonen’s timeout overseas for the Four Nations Cup, Normore, who evenly spread out 13 goals and 43 points over her first two collegiate years, was assigned to do what she is inclined to do a smattering of times per game anyway: stray from her blue line post and into the attack. After going pointless as a starting center against Northeastern November 6, she was sandwiched between Alyse Ruff and Sarah Feldman on the top line and tapped a helper against both Vermont and Dartmouth.

Her point in the 2-1 falter to the Big Green had initially been credited as her first goal of the campaign, but was retroactively awarded to freshman Jean O’Neill, who had assumed the screening position and chipped Normore’s long-range skipper home.

Even after Pehkonen returned, Normore stuck around upfront for the two-night Ohio State trip, even grinding with Pehkonen on her left side on the starting unit. But it wasn’t as if coach Bob Deraney had any reservations about shuffling her back to the point at the most seemingly random times -power play or no power play.

And what was initially exclusive to the cunning Canadian is now showing up in the likes of Stephanie Morris, who Normore partnered with back on the blue line against Brown, and freshman Amber Yung.

Yung, also a designated defender, has expressed an eerily analogous taste for juggling the puck into the corners and the traffic zone. So far, at the very least, it has earned her three assists of her own.

Quick Feeds: Twelve different Friars charged up a point each –no more, no less- in Saturday’s win. Among that dandy dozen, Stephanie Morris and Jackie Duncan cracked the scoring charts for the first time in 2007-08 with a helper on the game-clincher and last minute game-sealer respectively

Right off the draw that commenced a thirty-second 5-on-3 penalty kill, the Friars were reduced to 5-on-2 in terms of twigs when Sarah Feldman shattered her stick, but nonetheless carried on as the tip of their triangular formation. The cringe-inducing play was ultimately whistled when goaltender Danielle Ciarletta, entirely out of her crease in a kneeling position, tramped Brown’s only shot attempt with her skates

For the second consecutive game, PC’s busiest gunslinger, Kathleen Smith, dispensed a whopping nine shots on net, a team-high on the season matched Saturday by herself and Katy Beach

With the two conversions against Brown, albeit achieved through a laborious twelve whacks, the Providence power play had a multi-goal showing for the first time since the October 19 5-5 tie with Colgate, where both teams capitalized four times

Robert Morris, Sunday’s visitor to Schneider Arena, had Saturday to rest in the Renaissance City after already tipping over Brown 4-2 at Meehan Auditorium on Friday. The Colonials are one of two members of the four-member College Hockey America on the Friars agenda this season (PC visits Niagara over the first weekend of January).

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