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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hockey Log

Timetable for full bench come Mayor’s Cup

At the 68-second mark of the third period last night, PC’s two-way connoisseur Erin Normore folded up in a toe-curling gesture after a freak collision behind her own cage. She proceeded to lug herself back to the bench unassisted, but with a grimacing, heat-of-the-moment look of ailment.

But Normore, who had been reassigned to strict defensive duties with the recent upper body injury to Colleen Martin, hardly missed a beat. In another minute and 41 seconds off the play clock, visiting Meryhurst took its ninth penalty of the night, and she promptly joined classmate Brittany Simpson along the power play points.

Given the Friars’ flustering lack of connectivity in the way of offense over the 3-0 loss, Normore finished her night with a decent two registered stabs at opposing goaltender Hillary Pattenden and took a late elbowing penalty whilst attempting to screen the goaltender in a shorthanded sugar rush with 1:15 left in regulation.

“She logs a lot of quality minutes for us,” said head coach Bob Deraney. “It was a rough game, and whenever we play anybody, Erin Normore is one of those kids that they’re going to pay extra attention to. Obviously, Mercyhurst paid extra attention to her tonight.”

More to the point, assured that there are no new casualties to pen to the IR roster, Deraney intends to keep Finnish flare Mari Pehkonen, still recuperating from mononucleosis, and project defender Colleen Martin, recipient of an injurious hit from behind at the final buzzer against Robert Morris two weeks ago, sidelined for but one more night when Niagara visits this evening.

“Mari’s feeling better, so it’ll probably be another week,” he said. Martin, meanwhile is technically good to go, but “Unfortunately, she got cleared only yesterday (Thursday), so it just wouldn’t have been right to put her in the lineup tonight and tomorrow after taking two weeks off. It would be disastrous if she were to risk getting injured again.

“So we’ll play it conservative here, and try to get through another weekend without her, and welcome her back on Monday.”

Which, if all goes according to plan, would mean dressing them both again when the Friars’ make the night trip to Brown a week from tonight.

Appetite for reconstruction
Deraney’s quick assessment of tonight’s adversary from Niagara: “They’re a tough team. We always play them tough. It’s going to be a dog fight, it’s going to be close.”

More to his viewpoint, tonight promptly offers a chance to rerun last night’s type of sprint to the buzzer, albeit, he hopes, with a revised upshot.

“That’s the great thing about college hockey. You can an opportunity to bounce right back twenty-four hours later, so we’re really looking forward.”

Quick Feeds: Danielle Ciarletta had her turn juggling the fiery ammo of Meryhurst strike force two years ago, posting a still-career-peak 45 saves in a 4-3 falter October 28, 2006. With last night’s 54-shot salvo and 51-save count, Genevieve Lacasse has likewise placed her career bar on a bout with the Lakers…Mercyhurst and New Hampshire are each liable for two of the Friars’ last four home shutout losses…Mercyhurst did a convincing job of veiling the fact that they only dressed 17 skaters (11 forwards, 6 defenders) last night…The Niagara Purple Eagles will bus in for tonight’s 7:00 face-off at 3-9-1 overall and on the heels of a 4-2 triumph at Brown. Ashley Riggs sits atop their scoring chart with a 7-7-14 transcript through 12 games…After tonight, PC will not see home action for another seven weeks, attending to six sparsely scheduled away games before they resume the full-swing of the Hockey East season with UNH January 10.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

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