Fresh flow still a work in progress
The finishing trick, not to mention a way of stamping out the post-face-off jitters for the duration of the game, is something they still need to kindle. But the underlying data put up by the Friars’ rookie legion over their first two regulation games should inject a psychological boost as they pick up another four days of fostering before St. Lawrence busses onto campus this Friday.
All but one of nine true freshmen saw regular action over this past weekend’s two game sweep at the hands of Ohio State. And, to their credit, they pitched in a cumulative 18 shots on goal –nearly half of the team total 40- in Friday night’s engagement, then combined for 14 of the Friars’ 33 registered bids on Saturday. Feel free to dab on the one shot by Arianna Rigano –a third-line junior who upgraded her pressure upon her summer transfer from Division-III St. Anselm College.
In both outings, a freshman led team in the SOG column. Starting forward Laura Veharanta unleashed six on Friday and blueliner Jennifer Friedman charged up five on Saturday.
Still, they kilned nothing statistically substantial beyond Veharanta’s inaugural goal in Game 1 and the same milestone from Abby Gauthier the following afternoon. And the Buckeyes were a telling stride ahead of the Friars in the way of development, as partially evidenced by their radiant rookie output. Forward Natalie Spooner (series total: 11 shots) picked a goal-helper value pack on Saturday to erase her team’s 1-0 and 2-1 deficits before classmate Laura McIntosh slipped home the game winner.
Not many leading sentences
The Friars’ captaincy trinity debuted their indicative letters over the weekend –senior defender Brittany Simpson brandishing the C and Katy Beach and Erin Normore each assuming the A.
Somewhat expectably, the team-centric Deraney dodged persistent inquiries about individual leadership aptitude, but expressed trust in the voting panel that is his roster and coaching cabinet.
“I think they’re the perfect picks for our captains,” he offered. “In the ten years I’ve been here, we’ve always done it this way. Everyone gets one vote –even staff members. Each person gets one vote. It doesn’t stand for any more or any less.
“And the kids are good judges on who can lead this team. That’s why we do it at this time, so everyone can see who can be good leaders. And I think they’re doing a nice job.”
To cultivate more detail, though, it may be worth mentioning that Simpson, Beach, and Normore constitute three of only four members of their recruiting batch to have stayed the full length of their eligibility in Friartown. Out of a recruiting class of eight who arrived in 2005 at a program on the heels of four consecutive league titles, the likes of Meredith George, Mara Grainger, Brittney Lomond, and Stacey Scott took off no later than the conclusion of their sophomore year.
The half that have remained here –the votes suggest- figure to have the staunchest, most unyielding appetite to replenish what attracted them to Deraney’s program in the first place.
Evidently, the tech personnel Schneider Arena can relate to the players’ yet-to-thaw-out quandary. The scoreboard blacked out shortly after PC assumed the 1-0 lead with 18:04 still to play in Saturday’s first period, though the game obliviously rolled on for nearly another minute. When play was stopped by a natural icing call against Ohio State, the on-ice officials attended to the scorer’s box and had the crew reset the clock to 17:17.
Quick Feeds: The weekend sweep for the Buckeyes improved head coach Jackie Barto to 3-0 all-time in return visits to her roots. OSU now leads the all-time series, 5-1…Mari Pehkonen’s helper Friday and goal Saturday give the Finnish flare an early solitary lead on the PC scoring chart. Pehkonen and linemate Veharanta are tied for the team lead with 9 shots on net…For both of this past weekend’s games, Deraney dressed eleven designated forwards and seven defenders. Senior Stephanie Morris and freshman Lauren Covell took turns on Friday and Saturday respectively lining up with Pamela McDevitt and a select, double-shifting ringer from one of the top three lines…Of the 22 rostered skaters, only freshman defender Breanna Schwarz and still-healing forward Jean O’Neill have yet to see action. By Deraney’s latest account, O’Neill should be ready to crack the lineup no later than Saturday’s bout with Colgate.