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Monday, October 27, 2008

Hockey Log

Normore normalcy
Two-way specialist making good of ongoing forward assignment

Trying to cement a singular, concise, permanent definition of senior Erin Normore’s position with the Friars is about as bamboozling an endeavor as trying to put an effective, restraining hook on the two-way connoisseur.

Those who have followed the Friars long enough should be apt to remark that just the goal-assist value pack the senior picked up in yesterday’s 4-2 win over Maine was hardly sufficient evidence that she has had a weeklong stint amongst the team’s offensive dozen. Even as a defender, Normore has been characteristically inclined to venture with the puck deep to the corners of the attacking zone. A PC women’s hockey experience is hardly such without seeing her singlehandedly tour the biscuit from end to end at least once.

So, when Normore –who was implanted between Kate Bacon and Alyse Ruff on the starting line yesterday- hurdled over the boards for a line change, absorbed the fugitive puck in neutral ice, and strolled right in to thrust home PC’s fourth goal at 0:44 of the third period, it meant nothing beyond getting the day’s task done.

“When you have players that can play two positions, it gives you a lot of versatility based on what you need,” acknowledged head coach Bob Deraney. “And right now, she’s doing a wonderful job. So in the foreseeable future, she will continue to play up, but don’t be surprised to see her back at D or (at least) taking shifts at D.”

Technically, she did do a little of that yesterday, assuming the backline position for both power plays and penalty kills. She would be credited with a helper on the Friars’ second goal upon shipping a feed to Brittany Simpson, who proceeded to set up Laura Veharanta at 13:17 of the opening frame.

And based on the bench-wide round of shuffles that occurred in the middle of last weekend, Deraney’s configurations as a whole probably have a light coat of Zamboni-born water still yet to freeze.

But as the skipper says, Normore is a runaway leader in terms of flexibility.

Normore, who up to this point has suited up for all 115 possible games in her collegiate career, was strictly a blueliner for the duration of her freshman campaign. As her venturous tendencies broke the surface in the form of a breakthrough 6-16-22 scoring transcript, though, she played precisely two-thirds of the 36-game slate up front in 2006-07, charging up a 7-14-21 log.

The general rotation carried over the dawn of last season, when Normore started as a centerpiece in all but one of the Friars’ first ten outings. Deraney, however, ultimately regressed her back to the defense stable, where she remained for the rest of the campaign, though not without umpteen of her end-to-end rushes, another 22 points, and a team-best +19 rating.

And until a week ago, she was contentedly still a nominal defender with two assists over the first five games of her senior year. As of yesterday’s buzzer, she had bulked it up to 1-4-5 on the year and 70 points all-time.

Quick Feeds: Senior goaltender Danielle Ciarletta –playing in her 50th career game at PC- collected 20 saves yesterday to pick up her first win in three attempts this season…Sophomores Jean O’Neill and Leigh Riley are the lone two skating Friars who have yet to receive a penalty this season. Riley, though, momentarily thought she was busted at 13:08 of the first period after she had become entangled with Maine’s Ashley Norum, taking one another down within the far circle of the zone. Instead, Norum went off alone on a diving citation…As was announced over the PA system yesterday, the domestic violence awareness fundraiser conducted during Saturday’s game raised an estimate of over $500.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

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