Partisans band together
Surprise visit from pep band spices atmosphere
Unoccupied for the weekend, what with the grand downtown exhibition opening of the Keno Kagers still a week away and the Tim Army Corps taking a pair of night trips to Massachusetts, the Providence College pep band put in a rare appearance at yesterday’s women’s hockey clash with Boston College.
Theoretically, part of the band’s timing and planning may have been swayed by the opposition at hand, this matchup being generally accepted as a healthy rivalry for both sects of the Friar Puck program. The band did, after all, go out of its way last spring to hop aboard a Friar Fanatic party bus to the men’s quarterfinal series at The Heights, inevitably engaging themselves in a top category verbal tussle with the Superfans.
Regardless, if only for one whirl this winter, this meant giving the Skating Sorority and their packet of royal rooters a chance to hear a fresh-from-the-brass version of the PC fight song after goals and buzzers –versus the slower-paced, canned version one usually hears at a women’s game. It meant intermingling the players’ customary stick salute to the visitor’s introduction with the Fanatics’ less hospitable “Sucks!” jeer.
And, at a stoppage of play with 7:58 left in the middle frame, it meant breaking out the renowned cowbell dance number. Naturally, the only missing element there was the loyal men’s season ticket holder/cowbell dancer, “Eric the Ram.”
Additionally, the band’s presence made for a timely counterpoint to a substantial and vocal posse of Eagle fans. In all, the reported attendance read a season-high 351 spectators.
Different faces, similar parity
Freshman Genevieve Lacasse, who unveiled a new blank white helmet in place of her Team Canada mask yesterday, is now the fifth PC crease custodian to have confronted BC’s established nucleus, junior Molly Schaus.
Schaus, putting in her eighth appearance in as many possibilities against the Friars –seven in the regular season and one in the 2007 Hockey East semifinals- withstood a 30-plus shot count for the fourth time and improved her transcript to 4-3-1. She previously etched a W on Providence ice on February 17, 2007 when she pushed away 34 of 36 stabs while Danielle Ciarletta and Jana Bugden authorized three goals apiece in a 6-2 letdown.
In countering Schaus, the current senior Ciarletta holds claim to a 0-2-1 log. The since-graduated Bugden was 2-1 in four overall outings while classmate Lauren Florio had a no decision. Current sophomore Jen Smith kilned her first –and still only- collegiate win last October at Conte Forum, submitting a 23-save performance en route to a wound-stuffing 3-2 triumph.
Quick Feeds: As evidenced in their productive, shorthanded collaboration in the first period, forwards Katy Beach and Kate Bacon were the most energized Friars on the bench yesterday after they had each sat out Sunday’s trip to Vermont with minor ailments. Beach would lead the team with six shots on net, right ahead of five apiece by Bacon and rookie blueliner Jennifer Friedman…BC’s top gun, junior Kelli Stack, struck the 100-career point plateau two weeks ago with a goal-assist value pack against RPI. She tacked on point #101 yesterday through an assist on Tracy Johnson’s empty netter…Yet another trivial testament to the overall parity between PC and BC: the contesting clubs evenly split the game’s 60 face-offs…Head coach Bob Deraney’s rather urgent, self-focused assessment of Maine, today’s adversary in a 2:00 twig-lock: “They’re a good team, just like all the teams in Hockey East. With them, you gotta come out and you gotta put them away. If you put them away, you have a good chance of winning. If you don’t, the same result (as the BC game) could happen.”
Al Daniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org