Scribe’s note: The latest edition of The Hockey News (press date: December 25) features a column to “offer up a wish list for all 30 NHL teams.” Here now is the PC program’s version of that report:
MEN’S WISH LIST
A momentum trapper: To an extent, the Friars have already received Part I of this present. Thanksgiving break proved an effective filter as PC went from swaying through an earthquake of October and November to vacuuming six succeeding points in the first week of December. On top of that, they are but three points removed from first place (shared by Northeastern and New Hampshire for the moment) and have games in hand on all conference rivals except Vermont.
What they would do for a MacInnes Cup of cheer at the Great Lakes Invitational to make them that much more reckonable when they return to the coast in 2008…
Home cooking: It wasn’t until their recent hot streak that this edition of the Friars had much going for them in the House That Lamoriello Built. Uncharacteristically sparse masses (partially owing to conflicting men’s basketball action) watched decisive 8-0 and 5-2 triumphs in a pair of ECAC contests just before exams. But in Hockey East action, PC’s home record currently stands at an iffy 1-2-1 while they have rounded up seven more invaluable points over four consecutive road excursions, a string which actually dates back to the end of October.
After the New Year, they will have exactly two-thirds of their conference slate waiting, ten of those eighteen games at home. Once that rolls around, the new trick for Army’s corps will be to put the “control” in “cruise control” as they pursue their first passport to TD Banknorth Garden in seven years.
WOMEN’S WISH LIST
Poise under pressure: For all that they have to subsist on so far, the Friars have had trouble budging ranked opponents (1-4 record) and non-conference rivals (2-6-1). Additionally, quite inverse to the men, the PC women have but one road triumph to speak of, an icebreaking 3-2 overhaul at Boston College back on October 30.
That was also their lone win against a nationally heralded team. Otherwise, they have missed out on similar opportunities against St. Lawrence, Connecticut, Dartmouth, and Harvard. That’s not even counting a sweep at the hands of Ohio State, who was not ranked that particular weekend but has nonetheless hovered around the elite square all season.
Come what may, the Friars are more than likely to have more opportunities to make their case to join the club. Their return home features a two-game tangle with the mighty forgotten, but mighty good Mercyhurst. And they haven’t even gotten around to their season series with roundly braced rival New Hampshire.
Four of the Friars last six setbacks have been a one-goal difference as well. A reversal of luck in that sphere would make for an offer they couldn’t refuse.
Fanfare: Very little –even five home victories and an all-in-all comfortable position in the Hockey East standings (4-2-1 transcript, tied for second place)- has helped to attract Friar Fanatics to a women’s game this season. As is the case with the men’s team, though, PC has exactly two-thirds of its Hockey East slate and a grand total of eight home outings yet to come.