PC women not through shuffling
The Friars most indulgently exercised their loose scrimmage options and rotated all eight of their defensive players Sunday, which meant icing a brimming 20 skaters plus three of the program’s four goaltenders.
Officially, rookies Breanna Schwarz and Christie Jensen constituted the taxi tandem amongst the blueliners. On solid ice, that would mean reserving two bleacher seats for them come Friday’s hosting to Ohio State.
Similarly, one line combination fit for a human interest story included the likes of Kate Bacon and Ashley Cottrell, once temporary USA teammates at the U18 World Championships shortly after they signed their NLIs last season. Partnering with senior Katy Beach, the second line productively unloaded ten shots on net.
Again, if head coach Bob Deraney was itching to cement his positional plan, that group would be set to work again this weekend. But that’s the thing. The ice on that issue was no more solid than what the Friars and Brampton Junior Thunder struggled through in PC’s foggy 4-1 exhibition victory.
Jean O’Neill, out indefinitely with a lower body injury, stood out as the solitary scratch amongst the skaters Sunday (she watched the action from the upper bowl with goaltender Christina England).
And yet, for all that she pleasurably produced in last year’s stretch drive on a powerhouse line with Mari Pehkonen and Alyse Ruff, even she will not be immune to rotation once she returns, Deraney said.
Expecting to cultivate “more versatility” out of his entire depth chart this season, Deraney hinted that, once she suits up again, O’Neill will likely be assigned to a different line so as to let a pair of still-burgeoning scorers feed off of her.
“Today was just an opportunity for everyone to show what they can do,” the skipper added. “I’ll go to the tape on it this week and we’ll make more concrete changes.”
Shootout preview showcased
The women’s sect of the Hockey East conference has –albeit unannounced- opted to give the shootout a try this season, as evidenced by a purely expository one-on-one showdowns that followed Sunday’s game.
All 2008-09 games, Deraney said, will end in a shootout regardless of the result. For deadlocked conference games, though, they will take on some statistical gravity. As has been practiced in the NHL, all regulation ties will warrant a point in the Hockey East standings for the participating club. Whoever prevails in the bonus round will wrest away an additional point.
Sunday’s shootout results read as follows:
Tanya Lamon of Brampton: scored by poking the puck through goaltender Genevieve Lacasse’s pads.
Mari Pehkonen of PC: lobbed it wide over the net.
Samantha Revell of Brampton: denied on a sprawling snuff by Lacasse
Ashley Cottrell of PC: scored on a tap through goaltender Andrea’s Weckman’s vacant five-hole
Tenecia Hiller of Brampton: denied on a kick save by Lacasse
Laura Veharanta of PC: denied on a stick save by Weckman
Alexis Ardell of Brampton: scored by lacing it in around Lacasse’s right side
Erin Normore of PC: denied on a glove save by Weckman
Quick Feeds: Freshman Laura Verahanta, filling O’Neill’s familiar post on the top line with Pehkonen and Ruff, discharged a team-leading 8 shots on net. She was followed immediately by classmate Arianna Rigano, who compiled six attempts...Sixteen of twenty Friars etched at least one shot on net Sunday…Jen Smith, by virtue of the deciding goal coming in the second period, was credited with the win.
Al Daniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org