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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Hockey Log: People of Power

Scribe’s Note: In homage to The Hockey News and its traditional “People of Power and Influence” issue, we offer you an alphabetical list of some of PC Hockey’s most influential people

Tim Army, 1985 alumnus and men’s head coach: In the midst of his third season at the helm of his alma mater, Army is never shy to acknowledge that he himself is still learning his position. His unmistakable PC pride has made for a great base from the day of his hiring. But just like his pad-clad pupils, the former NHL and AHL assistant/head skipper is demonstrating an exponential adjustment –lately hinted at in bite sizes by some more frequent, more decisive victories- and taking the resultant confidence in more rational stride.

Brian Burke, 1977 alumnus and Anaheim Ducks GM: Burke’s fervent “Old Time Hockey” propensities have long made him a unique beacon of attitude in the NHL front offices. But in 2007, he added a whole new sort of shine to his persona when his Ducks penned a Stanley Cup championship. And of course, far from one to forget his roots, the Divine City native made a point of tacking on the Friars’ Black-White intrasquad scrimmage to Lord Stanley’s infinite whistle-stop campaign, three days before the two had to hustle back to the other coast to raise their banner.

Bob Deraney, women’s head coach: Now flanked by a fervent trio of ex-Friars for assistants –Bob Bellemore, Meredith Roth, and the newest additive in Amy Quinlan- Deraney gets closer to becoming only the second Friars coach so stretch his reign to the decade mark. And even as the annual fast-track to a conference banner raises its hurdle and analysts raise the small-school factor, the once-upon-a-time BU Terrier chooses to run on the positive influence of PC’s past and inject a firm stick-to-it-iveness for the present.

Cammi Granato, 1993 alumna: She just can’t stop pioneering, can she? Still safely the women’s program’s all-time goals and points leader, Granato is now converting some personal negative energy and kilning a sound post-USA captain’s legacy. This past November, her willingness to speak her mind for the sake of her still-skating friends even after her dubious release from the Olympic team and her input as an NBC analyst earned her a share of the Lester Patrick Award. Come mid-February, Granato will be among the fourteen newest members of the Friar Athletics Hall of Fame, opposite fellow hockey alumni John Marchetti and Ed Monahan. She is also slated to be enshrined in the IIHF Hall of Fame this May, perhaps striking hopes of another trail-blaze for the women’s game at the main Hall in Toronto.

Lou Lamoriello, Former PC coach/AD: Speaking of not straying from one’s legacy, the tireless Lamoriello handled yet another year of juggling umpteen positions in the New Jersey Devils front office. This particular year, though, he took on a temporary self-assigned post to the Devils bench for the second time in recent memory before calling upon Brent Sutter –a hiring popularly taken for intent to finally decongest the Devils’ stuffy defensive mindset. Still most appreciated back in Providence for leading the assembly of Schneider Arena, Lamoriello dipped that brush yet again and smudged it onto Newark with the late October opening of the Prudential Center.

Erin Normore, women’s junior defender: Every PC women’s hockey buff now understands that Normore knows no positional bounds. But it continues to work for her as she earns herself summer activity with her native Team Canada, retains a hale and hearty plus/minus rate, and puts in regular appearances on the scoresheet from all four corners of the attacking zone. This year, fitting as she is now an upperclassman, she is tipping her scoring scale more to the assists column and seems to have a handful of understudy teammates harmlessly taking after her adventurous strategy.

Jon Rheault, men’s senior forward, co-captain: The team’s reigning MVP is building on that honor in a manner that should only come natural with “The C.” Rheault –also the Friars’ runaway active ironman with 122 career games- has extracted himself, along with a smattering of fellow veterans from a collective pothole that plagued them throughout 2006-07. Already, at the half of this season, he himself has 10 goals and 18 points, a mere seven notches below his 25 total points last year and a pace that has little reason not to surpass his career-best sophomore transcript of 16-14-30. This is especially the case if he clings to the formula he used in December, which brought him four multi-point performances in five games.

Tyler Sims, men’s senior goaltender: Like the aforementioned offensive likes of Rheault, Sims wasted little time in the latter half of 2007 retooling his old game. After nose-diving to an abysmal 7-19-2 junior year record, he goes into the final semester of his college career having already matched his sophomore total of 3 shutouts –not to mention set a franchise record in that area- and with a more respectable 6-6-1 transcript that might continue to hike upward if he and his peers can learn to freeze the evident momentum.

Sonny Watrous, 2007 alumna: Mere months after curtaining her radiant playing career (collegiate totals: 67 goals and 70 assists for a precise point-per-game median) Watrous opted to keep hanging about the PC sports scene –for at least a little while longer- as the official TV timeout MC at men’s hockey game basketball games. And when Cox Communications decided to televise her one-time teammates against Yale on December 6, Watrous took the liberty of reporting on the sidelines before the camera.

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