Scribe’s note: This week’s edition of The Hockey News (press date: December 4) included an NHL team’s column with a specific focus on “how each has done so far by position” Just for fun, and to provide work for a little more ink, here now is the PC program’s version of that report:
OFFENSE: Last year’s depth chart was so evidently arid that the incoming freshman class was touted as a potential pan of saviors. Mere entertaining thoughts designed first and foremost to fill Schneider Arena was all the veterans needed to step up. After Tuesday’s revolutionary 8-0 thrashing of Brown, top gun Matt Taormina has already doubled his 2006-07 point total of 7 with 15 through 14 games played. A similar storyline applies to Taormina’s fellow juniors Pierce Norton and Kyle Laughlin, with 13 and 11 points respectively. Already this season, the resurgent Friars have thrice forced an opposing coach to switch goaltenders.
DEFENSE: Taormina’s eccentric scoring impression has not seemed to force him to sacrifice his original occupation. But in any case, senior bouncer Trevor Ludwig and junior Cody Wild –when available (Ludwig has missed 8 games, Wild 6)- have kept true to form with a gloveful of building-wide audible hits. Meantime, the deft likes of rookies Eric Baier and Joe Lavin have consistently pitched in to an effort that has comfortably slimmed down the nightly workloads of goaltender Tyler Sims.
GOALTENDING: In conventional goaltender fashion, Sims has noticeably reflected the Friars’ early register, allowing 15 goals in his first four starts and giving way to back-up Chris Mannix for three of the team’s first four Hockey East games. But since returning for a momentous weekend sweep at Maine, Sims has charged up a 4-1-1 transcript with three shutouts.
OFFENSE: Collectively, Providence has cultivated nine multi-goal games out fourteen played and have distributed the scoring wealth rather evenly. Designated senior backliner Kathleen Smith is the only Friar with 10-plus points thus far, but another four (Alyse Ruff, Cherie Hendricksen, Sarah Feldman, Erin Normore) have nine apiece. Immediately after that, Brittany Simpson, Rachel Crissy, and Amber Yung boast eight heading into Thursday. Only two regular skaters have yet to hop on the scoresheet in a game this season.
DEFENSE: Half of the top eight Friar scorers are defenders, but similar to Taormina and Co., they have not harmfully abandoned their original posts. Over the course of a four-game winning streak, PC has confined its opposition to less than 30 shots per game and is learning to contain a discipline detonator that had a way of costing them games in the opening month of the season.
GOALTENDING: Even with the reliable Jana Bugden still around last season, coach Bob Deraney made a point of softening then-sophomore Danielle Ciarletta for her all-but-certain claim of the torch, summoning her for fourteen games. After recording a .500 transcript (5-5-3) that matched Bugden’s and the whole team’s, Ciarletta has appeared thirteen times this season and looks to be steadily ascending with the rest of her team. Over the first four chapters of a continuing six-game homestand, she has rapidly advanced her 1-6-2 overall transcript to 5-6-2 and withholds 2.67 GAA and .900 save percentage.
Quick Feeds: Through her hat trick in Saturday’s 7-2 romp of Maine, Alyse Ruff earned her second Hockey East Rookie of the Week honor in a month…The PC Women, currently affixed in a three-way tie for second place with the lately slipping Connecticut and Boston College, received their first honorable mention this season in USCHO’s Top 15 national poll Monday. Later this week, the Eagles will have two chances to absorb more conference points when they tangle with crosstown rivals Northeastern and BU, but however those ice chips may settle, the Friars will have three games in hand.…Thursday’s tilt with Yale, slated to commence at 7:00, will be the first of two women’s games to be televised through Cox Communications…Tuesday’s Mayor’s Cup game was the first in PC men’s history to be monitored by two referees, a sparsely used format that will come to full time use throughout the NCAA starting next season.