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Monday, December 29, 2008

Hockey Log

Yung deviates normal itinerary
Wrapping up USA holiday camp while mates visit Yale

For once, Finnish Flare Mari Pehkonen is not required –indeed, not authorized, per a U22 age limit- to donate another block of her time and aptitude to her homeland program. She’d otherwise be in Germany once more for the annual MLP Cup tournament (nee European Air Canada Cup).

Coincidentally, on tomorrow’s matinee visit to Yale, PC shall mark a perfect attendance milestone for another senior –Erin Normore, who as of her first shift on the day will have offered up her all-encompassing services in each of 125 career opportunities during her distinguished stay on the Divine Campus.

Hardly an auspicious time for yet another Friar to briefly pull her blades off an intercollegiate ice surface. But, as the can’t-be-perfect universe of elements dictates, Normore’s stylistic understudy, sophomore Amber Yung, is in the midst of USA Hockey’s Minnesota-based holiday camp, which will culminate Wednesday morning.

Yung, who devoted a worthwhile sliver of her summer regimen to the U22 Select series versus Team Canada, was one of 58 icers penciled in to the age-equal camp, conducted in part by former Friar player and coach Jackie Barto.

Intermingled with a smattering of established international gems, increasingly usual suspects, and sheer newbies, Yung is toiling with Team Red, opposite three Hockey East cohabitants in BC’s Meghan Fardelmann and New Hampshire’s Kacey Bellamy and Sam Faber.

The Reds and Blues (who roster the likes of Karen Thatcher) will wrap up their five-day regimen of practices and scrimmages when they face one another off at 8:15 CST Wednesday morning, after which Yung is expected to return here and rev up for next week’s Cornell series. Team White consists strictly of the U18 team fostering for the forthcoming World Championships.

In the meantime, Yung’s voluntary absence immobilizes her own bid for a Normore-like presence record with the Friars after 53 consecutive games played. This leaves classmate Alyse Ruff and frosh Ashley Cottrell, Jennifer Friedman, Christie Jensen, and Laura Veharanta as the only other perfect attendees active in the program.

As he did last month while junior Colleen Martin was recuperating from a temporary ailment, head coach Bohb Deraney will most likely reel Normore back to the blue line, though the two-way connoisseur has long established that she can comfortably take a forward assignment once the defense’s numerical constraints let up once more.

Fence-ridden and defense-minded
The Bulldogs, 5-6-0 overall and 3-4-0 against ECAC rivals, have concocted an even 27-27 overall scoring differential in their first 11 games on the season, amounting to a game-by-game median of 2.45 red lights on each end.

The Friars, though they offered hints of an escalating offensive production rate before they went on their long hiatus, currently boast an average of 2.53 GF per game while authorizing a slim 1.82 GA.

Projecting tomorrow’s goaltending card is one of the more constricted calls on the schedule. PC’s dynamic duo of Genevieve Lacasse and Danielle Ciarletta and Yale’s youthful pairing of Jackee Snikeris and Genny Ladiges are all nurturing supra-.900 save percentages. Although, the Bulldogs have apportioned their work load most evenly, with each stopper seeing action in six games and Ladiges holding the upper hand in the GA department, 14-13.

Quick Feeds: Yale was one of the late bloomers in commencing their 2008-09 schedule –their season opener fell on Oct. 25 at New Hampshire- in large part owing to the extensive offseason renovations to Ingalls Rink. As a result, today will merely mark Date #12 on their 34-game season schedule. They will cram the remaining 22 outings, all but two of them ECAC games, within the first 52 days of 2009…The Friars and Bulldogs are two of only four teams –opposite UNH and Quinnipiac- between the two eastern conferences who have yet to grant a shorthanded goal to the opposition…Senior Cristi Howser is on relatively stable pace to claim Yale’s scoring title for the fourth time, topping the charts with 10 goals and 16 points to date…Tomorrow’s 3:00 showdown can be followed via Gametracker through either club’s website or through an audio or videocast courtesy Yale’s home page.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

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