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Monday, February 11, 2008

Hockey Log

Spoils rained on Rheault Saturday

Let it Rheault, let it Rheault, let it Rheault.

The Friars’ third goal in Saturday’s instant classic bout with Vermont –which augmented their lead to 3-1 at 1:02 of the second period- was not the final doing of Jon Rheault. However, the senior captain was spotted swinging into a quick Ray Bourque kneeling fist pump, suggesting that he was already aware of his 100th career point arriving by way of an assist even before the PA system addressed the milestone to the audience a few stoppages later.

As it happened, Rheault’s special night was still not cemented. Hours after the game was clinched in overtime –and after this publication unleashed its account of the game- he was retroactively credited with the deciding goal, having evidently guided defenseman Matt Taormina’s slapper into the net.

That much noted, the PA announcement, CSTV Gametracker, and Sunday morning’s headline tabbing Taormina as the clutch man of the night –which he nonetheless has been many occasions this season- were only a few rungs shy of “Dewey Defeats Truman” on the look-before-you-leap scale.

Come what may, this does come only a week after Taormina’s third winning strike at Boston College and a month after Rheault had kindled a walk-off goal against Lowell. In that respect, Saturday’s collaboration made for a Skating Friar equivalent of, say, David Ortiz accepting a ninth-inning walk before Manny Ramirez deposits a meteorite on Lansdowne Street.

On a more personal level for Rheault, he exceeded his career high with his 17th lighter of the season, having tied his no-jinx sophomore total of 16 with a shorthanded goal in the first period and amounted all of that to his eighth 3-plus point game in his Friar career.

Cavanagh quick to amend: At 13:14 of the second period in Friday’s 2-1 loss, sophomore John Cavanagh was flagged with a tripping penalty. Within a mere thirteen seconds of his jailbreak, he put Providence at the man-advantage by absorbing a hit-from-behind by Jack Downing behind the Catamount cage.

One might say he paid his dues well enough right there. But on Saturday, Cavanagh effectively drew two more power plays. Late in the opening frame, he took a cross-check from Brayden Irwin and followed up by assisting on Nick Mazzolini’s conversion 52 seconds later.

Cavanagh went on to initiate the OT goal, closing up his revolutionary weekend with three helpers to boost his scoring transcript to 4-12-16.

Ruffian Rookies: For all the hitting-from-behind infractions that were called in the Providence-Vermont series (5 total), four of them were handed to a freshman, be it one in a Friar or Catamount jersey.

And to the temporary dismay of the PC bench, Matt Germain’s infraction midway through Saturday’s game was the only one that warranted a five-minute major. Vermont utilized its resultant all-you-can-score buffet to reduce PC’s lead to 3-2, but was otherwise thwarted by Tyler Sims and Co.

Schneider Samaritans: Prior to Saturday’s face-off, the evening’s select student vocalist had a dollop of trouble booting up her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Take 1: “Oh say, can you see? At the twilight…”

Take 2: “O say, can you see? At the twigh-”

Take 3: By this point, the good-natured Schneider Arena crowd joined in from the start and offered up a whistling, pat-on-the-back ovation at the anthem’s conclusion.

Quick Feeds: The Friars have now required overtime in seven of their nineteen Hockey East games and have posted a 2-3-2 transcript in that scenario. Among fellow Hockey East inhabitants, only Boston College has played a bonus round in conference action that frequently. The Eagles and Catamounts each have nine OT games to their credit overall…Rheault registered a whopping dozen shots on net in his dazzling outing on Saturday as well as seven on Friday, including his team’s only goal in the losing effort…PC remains perfect (9-0) when leading after two periods…Monday’s refreshed USCHO poll has the Friars ranked 14th in the nation…Sophomore goaltender Ryan Simpson, with a 1-3-0 record to his credit as a freshman, suited up to back Sims for the first time this season last weekend.

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