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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hockey Log

A timely respite
PC women foreseeing a rigorous sprint

Freshly reinstalled to the .500 fence at 5-5-1 overall, the Friars have accepted the first patent step to what they hope will soon escalate to renewed national relevance.

They have subsequently accepted an auspicious seven-day gap between their return ride to campus from last weekend’s two-game sweep at Robert Morris and Sunday’s home get-together with Connecticut, which will commence a more contrary, three-game-in-seven-night homestand.

All players stayed clear of the refrigerated sector of Schneider Arena so as to thaw themselves mentally both Sunday and Monday. They then kicked off a five-day game prep regimen yesterday with a less formal, split-squad sort of practice.

“It’s not so much more time to prepare as it is to really recharge our batteries,” explained head coach Bob Deraney prior to yesterday’s on-ice colloquium. “We’ve taken a couple of days off, and today we’re gonna put our defensemen on the ice for fifty minutes and then bring our forwards in for fifty minutes. So basically, they’ll all have played less than an hour of hockey over the last three days, which I think is very good for this time of year.”

Once the ice chips of next Sunday settle, the Friars will have another four days to sharpen up for the likes of visiting Niagara a week from Friday and mighty Mercyhurst the following night.

They won’t be seen again in a brightly lit edition of Schneider Arena until January 10. But a night trip to Brown for the Mayor’s Cup after Thanksgiving and a two-night venture to Maine the first weekend of December is in order.

Do the math: that will mean having consumed precisely half of the 2008-09 itinerary before the standard December decelerator kicks in.

“With so much hockey left to play before the Christmas break, this is our chance to make our mark in the national rankings. I’m not hoping. I’m confident we will.”

Perpetrators and victims
Through the first 11 games of the season, both the Friars and their adversaries have garnered an aggregate 90 whistles from the duo of orange-armed zebras this season. However, the opposition, which has drawn strictly minors against PC, bloated its own penalty minute total to 199 thanks to Robert Morris winger Megan Picinic’s last-second hitting-from-behind major –warranting a DQ and conjoined 10-minute misconduct citation and one-game suspension- on Saturday.

More to PC’s concern, though, that infraction left junior Colleen Martin folded over with an unspecified, indefinite injury.

“We’ll wait to see,” said Deraney on the ailing defender’s status. “We haven’t had a final decision, but it’s possible she could be out for at least the next game on Sunday. We’re not sure yet."

Busy twigs
Senior Katy Beach unloaded six shots on goal per night on the weekend and is now second on the team in that category with 38, behind Laura Vehranta’s 44. Beach’s linemate, Kate Bacon, comes in third with 33, despite each of them having missed two of the Friars’ first 11 games.

Quick Feeds: Genevieve Lacasse’s fifth third period save in Saturday’s 5-2 win, registered in the final stanza’s 13th minute, was #200 in her young, seven-game-old collegiate career. By night’s end, she had slid that total up to 204… Lacasse has yet to face any fewer than 27 shots on a given night. Her Saturday workload and efficiency rate (25 saves) perfectly matched that of a 4-2 win at Vermont on October 19…Working with 13 available forwards, Deraney rotated rookies Lauren Covell and Abby Gauthier between the gametime roster and the sidelines over the RMU series…Upon claiming Rookie of the Week accolades, Veharanta is the first Friar on either side of the program to earn a fun-size weekly nod from the Hockey East offices.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

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