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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hockey Log

Men’s Hockey vs. Notre Dame Quick Hits
A broad, balanced spreadsheet of contributors piloted the defending national also-rans Irish to a 4-1 overhaul of Boston College last night. Nine of 18 Notre Dame skaters whittled one point –no more, no less- for himself en route to dispatching the very team that dashed their nominally Cinderella run to the Frozen Four in Denver last spring. It was the mighty Eagles first regulation loss on their home pond since the Friars squeezed out a 3-2 decision at the tail-end of February.

Hardly the one-year wonder some insisted they would be, the Irish (5-3) have been sharpened through a few early slits to the chin, one dealt by Denver, the other two by conference cohabitant and fellow national powerhouse Miami.

Notre Dame top scorers: Ian Cole (3-5-8); Billy Maday (4-3-7); Kevin Deeth (2-5-7)
Projected goaltending matchup: Chris Mannix (PC) vs. Jordan Pearce (ND)
Site: Schneider Arena, 7:00 face-off
Media: WOON AM 1240, Gametracker

Women’s Hockey at Robert Morris Quick Hits
Delayed karma, carrying over from last weekend’s half-full 3-3 knot at Boston University, effectively boosted the Friars in Part I of the two-game visit to the Colonials last night. Allotted five power plays in the opening frame –only after they had gone shorthanded in the fateful third period of their last game- Providence nipped early via Katy Beach at 8:52 and proceeded to pace themselves to a 3-1 triumph. Laura Veharanta’s team-leading eighth strike of the season, which enhanced the lead to 2-0 in the waning moments of the middle frame, proved the decider and Veharanta’s second clincher of her young collegiate career.

Through an assist on Veharanta’s tally and an empty netter for herself, Kate Bacon chalked up a 1-1-2 scoring log on the night, her third and fourth points of the season.

RMU top scorers: Brianna Delaney (4-1-5); Megan Picinic and Morgan Beikirch (1-2-3 each);
Projected goaltending matchup: Danielle Ciarletta (PC) vs. Breanne McLaughlin (RMU)
Site: Clearview Arena, 7:35 face-off

Quick Feeds: Both sides of the Friar Puck program will be engaged with programs carrying personal connections to Slap Shot’s Dave Hanson tonight. The Robert Morris Colonials inhabit Hanson’s own rink and the Fighting Irish are valuing the input –more with composite twigs than foiled fists- from senior forward Christian Hanson, Dave’s son…PC men’s senior Pierce Norton charged up the seventh two-goal game of his career as part of last night’s 2-2 home draw with Vermont. He also hinted a revival of his trusty power play connectivity in padding on career power play strikes #10 and 11…Friar freshman stopper Justin Gates indubitably submitted his most efficient start-to-finish performance to date last night, booting away 28 of 30 Catamount stabs. Meanwhile, the women’s rookie goaltender, Genevieve Lacasse, handled 27 of 28 RMU shots to pull her personal record even at 3-3-0…Beach and Alyse Ruff –who plugged the absent Mari Pehkonen’s void on Veharanta and Ashley Cottrell’s line- brandished the PC women’s most active twigs last night, discharging six registered SOG apiece.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hockey Log

Lofty goalie at RMU
PC women’s coach acclaims opponent in advance

The team growth motif reeling out of Friars’ coach Bob Deraney’s mouth during media addresses is plainly in an imperfect state.

That notion may have been at its plainest when he offered up his measuring evaluation of the forthcoming, two-game matchup with Robert Morris, which commences tomorrow night at the RMU Island Sports Center in Moon Township, Pa.

Raring to confront the CHA-based Colonials for the third time in as many seasons, and to pay his first-ever visit to the four-year-old program’s compact ice house operated by Slap Shot co-star Dave Hanson, Deraney referenced but one of the two visits Robert Morris has paid here.

And it wasn’t that of last November, when the Friars indulged in an ultimately season-best 7-1 decision, exiling opposing goaltender Brianne McLaughlin after two periods in the process.

Instead, the cautiously confident Deraney centralized his entire historical analysis on McLaughlin’s more typical stability.

Glancing back to the 2006-07 season, when RMU stopped by on November 19, he recalled “It was a 1-1 tie, and I guarantee you the shots were 50-10. So when she’s in the net anything can happen.”

For the record, the final shot discrepancy was actually 45-15, Providence. Nonetheless, with a few more recent, external chips of evidence, the point is taken.

McLaughlin, now a senior, has amassed a 4-3-0 transcript in the wee hours of this season, saturating her personal stats log with a nightly average of 35-plus saves and a .921 save percentage. She bolstered a booming start on opening weekend through a 63-save dolphin show en route to the Colonials’ 3-2 nipping of almighty Minnesota.

Minus a pair of triumphs over expansion Syracuse, McLaughlin has confronted no fewer than 31 whips at her net per game. And underscoring her individual consistency, which is perhaps sprawled out in seclusion, all four of the Colonials’ victories have been decided by a single goal.

Other nights, no different from her second drop-in to Schneider last year, McLaughlin is inclined to disassemble. And on the Friars half of the spectrum, Deraney has aptly cited traces of his own strike force’s capabilities.

“We just have to keep doing the things that we do well,” he said. “(Boston University’s) Allyse Wilcox is a good goalie, and we got three past her (in regulation) and two in the shootout (last Saturday), so our goal-scoring tactics and goal-scoring ability has increased, so we’re going to make it difficult for (McLaughlin).”

Nonetheless, he continued, “what scares me the most about them is their goaltending, because she can steal a game, as she’s shown…We have to come ready to play and put away our opportunities, because we might not get a second chance.”

Quick Feeds: Senior goaltender Danielle Ciarletta, who concocted her own dynamic performance in the Friars’ cage at BU, has seen every minute of both meetings with the Colonials, scooping up a light bushel of 14 saves both times. Whether she takes in the full length of this weekend’s two-gamer, though, will likely depend on the course of tomorrow’s installment. And Deraney has disclosed no indication that he wouldn’t reinstate Genevieve Lacasse on one night or the other for the mere sake of keeping the rotation fresh…With Erin Normore indefinitely fixed into a forward role, where she will most likely remain especially while Mari Pehkonen is attending to her international duties, classmate Brittany Simpson and sophomore Amber Yung have been a consistent defensive twosome over the last three games, as they were over the first three games of the regular season. Every other branch of the depth chart is still randomly tweaking at ever-so-subtle rates…Pehkonen’s Finns will lock twigs with 2006 alumna Karen Thatcher’s Americans the wrap up round robin play on the famed 1980 Rink at Lake Placid tomorrow night at 8:00.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hockey Log

Excitement shooting up
Deraney emphasizes perceived growth pattern

The PC women, by nearly all statistical counts, should have been sentenced to grudgingly chow into a limburger-based donut in the way of points last Saturday. From the moment they started nursing a newly established 3-2 lead at the 5:32 mark of the third period, they collected one count of holding, one of body-checking, one of tripping, and two of hooking –in that very order.

All the while, host Boston University buzzed through the arcane, one-sided offering of power plays and ran up a disproportionate shooting discrepancy of 18-1.

But minus the last-minute equalizer, spotted by Terrier Gina Kearns on her team’s last regulation shot and last of a whole dozen power play stabs, senior stopper Danielle Ciarletta bailed the Friars’ out of a full-scale spillage catastrophe. Furthermore, head coach Bob Deraney noted, the quartet of skaters before Ciarletta made a practice of sending BU into frequent regrouping mode with more resolve than he’s seen all season.

Implicitly, in his book, that made the point saved in the eventual regulation tie/shootout loss a point well earned.

“We are a much better team than we were two weeks ago,” Deraney acknowledged. “We’ve improved tremendously in a lot of different areas, both in wanting to win and in our commitment to winning.

“There’s definitely a new commitment to winning. You can see it in how determined we are to get the puck out of (our) zone. There were times when we cleared the puck over them rather than try to shoot it around them. There’s that little extra effort that basically tells (the opposition) ‘Hey, no matter what you do, you’re not gonna keep this one in.’”

And as an ultimate result, after both parties collected their guaranteed point, a mutual treat was shared between the Friars, Terriers, and the packet of onlookers at Walter Brown Arena. Each lineup went two-for-three in the “regulation shootout” round, PC’s Laura Veharanta and Ashley Cottrell each lighting up the Terriers’ Allyse Wilcox and Melissa Anderson and Tara Watchorn –who made the difference two nights prior in a shootout tipover of New Hampshire- converted once more against Ciarletta.

The fetters of tension only tightened as Kate Bacon stepped up for the first sudden-death whirl, ultimately missing and opening a wound for Erin Seman to finalize the BU triumph.

Most certainly, purists will deprecate the alleged peewee treatment each team got –i.e. everyone skates off with something beyond moral achievement for their efforts. And there will likely continue to be the protect-the-integrity-of-the-game outcry.

So be it, Deraney intimated.

“I thought there was some unbelievable skill showcased on both ends,” he said. “BU scored two, we scored two. Veharanta and Cottrell’s moves (for our goals) were absolutely outstanding and at the same time the kids who scored for BU –Melissa Anderson and Tara Watchorn- were outstanding. We had a chance to showcase the skill of our game, and I think that’s really important.

“When (the spectators) walked away from there, I’m sure they were talking about our two players and their two players. Not just the game that went on but, ‘Wow! Did you see those moves?’

“(If) you get people to start talking about our game outside the game, you’ll have a chance to bring in bigger crowds. So we’re willing to sacrifice that to grow the game.”

Warming Pehkonen’s seat
Senior forward Mari Pehkonen, whose goal-assist value pack Saturday splashed a personal four-game scoring drought, promptly parted with the Friars after the game to link up with Team Finland in Lake Placid –site of this week’s Four Nations Cup.

The Finnish Flare’s temporary absence is nothing new, although it may be interesting this year to see newcomer Laura Veharanta adjust to not collaborating with Pehkonen on the top forward line for the first time since her September arrival. Together, Veharanta and Pehkonen have assisted one another’s goals four times and run substantially ahead of their teammates in the way of shots (36 and 32 respectively).

Come what may, Deraney asserted, “I’ve always said that when you recruit world-class players, you have to be willing to let them go. At the same time, you have to be prepared to play without them. And our program is bigger than one player.

“Obviously, not having (Pehkonen) in the lineup will be a bit more challenging, but we like challenges.”

The Finns commence round robin action against almighty Canada at 1:00 this afternoon.

Quick Feeds: Sophomore forward Jean O’Neill sat out Saturday’s action due to a mild illness. But with her return, Deraney foresees a first-time vacated IR ward. “We’re looking forward to, hopefully, having everyone healthy for the first time all year,” he said…Just as the Friars did earlier in the season, BU ran a depth chart consisting of 11 forwards and 7 defenders Saturday…Sophomore defender Leigh Riley is currently the Friars’ solitary plus-minus leader with a +3 rate.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hockey Log: Sunday Edition

Hope on Huntington Avenue?
Near-perfect October for NU hockey

Two weeks back, the royal rooters following the full scope of Friar Puck were twice slit in the ego upon watching their men’s team break in the 2008-09 schedule with an unsightly 4-0 home falter to Northeastern on a Friday night, then getting word that their women’s team had fallen short, 1-0, in their Hockey East opener up at the Dog House the following day.

In the men’s sector, so much for making a statement against a fellow dream-big middleweight. On the women’s front, so much for scoring some immediate self-assertion and keeping the long-plebeian Huskies in their place.

Upon stepping back to retool their spirits, those same Friar fans should be apt to have scanned the standings and taken that as an “Oh, maybe it’s not me” type of revelation.

Both of the inhabitants of the rustic, going-on-centennial Matthews Arena were undefeated going into this weekend’s action, the male pupils of Greg Cronin standing at 5-0-1 and Dave Flint’s newly inherited ladies’ roster off to a 5-0-2 start.

Overall, the NU men are the last amongst the Hockey East populace to taste sincere defeat (they claimed a tie even as they slipped in a shootout at Alaska October 10) and –heading into Friday’s excursion to New Hampshire- were perched atop the conference standings at 4-0 in intraleague action. Through six ventures, goaltender Brad Thiessen has authorized a slim eight goals whilst indulging in 21 goals worth of offensive support –a primordial all-around upgrade from his first two campaigns.

Flint’s team, unmistakably bolstered by the iron curtain goaltending twosome of Leah Sulyma and Florence Schelling, carried on from their blanking of the Friars to zap Connecticut, 3-0, formulating their 2-0 Hockey East record. With four shutouts altogether, and a pleasingly cozy 18-5 GF-GA differential, they went into yesterday’s tangle with Boston College knowing that –barring the fashionable shootout- only one team could emerge from the ice chips with still no regulation losses.

Heading into the men’s Friday night trip to New Hampshire, the two Husky teams had concocted an aggregate October record of 10-0-3.

Maybe now is the time for Flint to borrow the recent history text sitting in Cronin’s office. The Northeastern men have stashed up early prosperity before, only to learn in the pinnacle of the pennant race that a contender can’t live out on goaltending alone.

Naturally, under Flint, a seasoned goaltending instructor credited for tutoring Andrew Raycroft –among others- and with Sulyma and Schelling carrying Chanda Gunn’s old torch, the women’s sect makes Northeastern the Massachusetts Institute of Goaltending. But just as Thiessen sorely needed Joe Vitale, Tyler McNeely, and Steve Silva to consistently sparkle the scoresheet, so too will the NU women need continued, or better yet enhanced, output from Kristi Kehoe and Co.

If everyone fulfills those duties, the Huskies will all have held up their end of the bargain. It’s tough to read, though, if that notion alone suffices for a scurvy-riddled fan base that hasn’t seen a Beanpot title for its boys since 1988 or its girls since 1998. Potential probably can’t quench a thirst pedaled by a program that hasn’t gone Gardening for the Lamoriello Trophy since 1989 (men’s) or one that hasn’t laid claim to a conference crown since one dozen years and one conference ago (women’s, ECAC title in 1997).

But it’s a game of gradualness, and NU is about as “NU and Improved” as the still-awakening eye can decipher.

Back in action, with similar traction
Freshly bestowed Boston College men’s captain Brock Bradford naturally needed a dollop of sentimental Rockstar to round out last spring’s taste of Frozen Four glory. Bradford, who gnashed and ground through every last game of the Eagles’ back-to-back shortcomings as a freshman and sophomore, was confined to the sidelines for the better part of his junior campaign due to a twice fragmented arm. Though indubitably the ideal teamster this game is expected to concoct, he divulged his personal extra sheet of hunger for a repeat.

“I try not to think about what happened last year,” Bradford recently told Inside College Hockey. “But sitting up in the stands during the national title run really motivated me and made me want to be a big part of it this year…and I think we have a good opportunity to do something special with this team this year.”

For his part, Bradford entered Thursday’s visit from Merrimack with six points through four games –knotting him with sophomore Brian Gibbons for the team lead- a singular team-best 15 registered shots, and was in a seven-way draw for second under the Eagles’ plus/minus heading. Additionally, all three of his goals have gone down as special team strikes (two on the power play, one on the PK).

Spagnoli available, if need be
David Spagnoli, a walk-on freshman out of LaSalle Academy who has acted as PC’s emergency practice goalie over Ryan Simpson’s recycled rehab regimen, has brought a frustratingly illegible background to the public eye. Lacking official citizenship on the Friars’ roster, he is known for little beyond his tenure with the Rams and a sliver of playoff action he saw last spring with the EJHL’s Bridgewater Bandits, when he was credited for a clumsily executed own goal on the part of the Boston Jr. Bruins.

Spagnoli’s fuzzy, altogether brittle-looking resume should have cautionary Friar Fanatics hoping that circumstances allow him to remain strictly an animate shooter tutor for weekend afternoons. But head coach Tim Army generously values his plug-in presence opposite Justin Gates and Chris Mannix. “He’d be our third guy,” the coach said in an implicitly hypothetical context. “So we have good depth in that position, and we’ll see what happens with Ryan.”

Bishop’s Blues’ slate special
Maine dropout Ben Bishop, who discarded what would currently be his senior season with no credible warning last March, scraped out 85 minutes worth of ice time on an emergency recall to his hometown St. Louis Blues last weekend. With established starter Chris Mason recovering from an appendectomy, Bishop got the milestone call from coach Andy Murray prior to the second period of an eventual loss to the Kings when Manny Legace had to give up on playing through an ailing hip sustained when he stumbled over special guest Sarah Palin’s carpet.

Bishop proceeded to authorize two goals on 17 shots faced in a no decision, then played the better part of a 4-0 triumph over Florida the following night, pushing away a light dozen shots before he gave way to Marek Schwarz.

And, wouldn’t you know it? The Blues’ Goalie Guild is suddenly mirroring that of the Bruins, hastily hauling in former Nebraska-Omaha backstop Chris Holt. Back across the river to Peoria (AHL) so soon, Big Ben?

New England west control
The frequency of interleague action is entering its clockwork period of deceleration, and the collective men’s Hockey East populace is emerging from the icy dust with a primordial upper hand on its bigwig and central western counterparts. The coastal league’s head-to-head log with the CCHA: 7-2-2. With the WCHA: 5-1-0. A few of the savory individual dishes for the not-so-picky regionalists: North Dakota being run out of the Icebreaker Invitational courtesy 5-1 and 3-2 lashings by Boston University and UMass-Amherst; still-floundering Wisconsin starting off with a fruitless excursion to New Hampshire and Boston College; UMass-Lowell pulling off a split at Michigan State’s home pond, including a 3-0 shutout October 16; and, as a climax to a very red October, BU’s 7-2 throttling of Michigan.

Fond mini memories
Out west, all the human interest buzz continues to center on Minnesota State junior Zach Harrison, whose twig is destined for the 2008 In Review sect of the Hockey Hall of Fame after he used it to pot a natural shorthanded hat trick against North Dakota two weeks ago. Puck nuts back here in the Divine City may recall ten years ago, when the same honor was bestowed upon P-Bruin Cameron Mann, who polished off his team’s historic ten-goal tempest en route to a 14-2 throttling of the Syracuse Crunch, one of many milestones in the supernatural 1999 Calder Cup conquest.

Sparse showcasing
Ten October games involving one or two Women’s Hockey East tenants have recorded an optional postgame exhibition shootout –i.e. one not necessitated by a pure bred 65-minute deadlock- with results as follows:

Saturday, October 11: BC 5, RPI 2 (shootout 1-0 BC)

Saturday, October 11: UNH 5, Niagara 3 (shootout 1-0 NIA)

Sunday, October 12: UNH 5, Niagara 2 (shootout 1-0 NIA)

Saturday, October 18: Northeastern 1, PC 0 (shootout 1-0 NU)

Saturday, October 18: UConn 2, UVM 1 (shootout 1-0 UVM)

Saturday, October 18: UNH 3, St. Lawrence 2 (shootout 1-0 UNH)

Sunday, October 19: Northeastern 3, UConn 0 (shootout 1-0 UC)

Sunday, October 19: UNH 2, Clarkson 1 (shootout 1-0 UNH)

Thursday, October 23: BU 3, UNH 2 (shootout 3-2 BU)

Friday, October 24: UConn 3, Princeton 0 (shootout 1-0 Princeton)

Quick Feeds: PC women’s senior Mari Pehkonen’s destination for this week’s Four Nations Cup –Lake Placid, N.Y.- is a mere two-and-half hour commute from Syracuse, a sister city to her hometown of Tampere, Finland…The PC men’s alumni game guest list with still about a week left to register: Dennis Burke (played 1992-96), Chris Ciceri (1970-71), Len Clarkin, Ken Richardson (1971-75), Mark Romaine (1987-90), Larry Rooney (1987-91), and Steve Taylor (1980-84)…Would somebody please explain how the Dartmouth women’s program could possibly have been rated 6th in the nation according to USCHO and 5th in the eyes of the coach’s panel even when they didn’t break in their 2008-09 game schedule until this past Friday? Ditto, with perhaps an extra bold question mark, for the Harvard women, who stood at #3 even before they dropped in on 1-7 Quinnipiac to commence their season?…This author, who is also an admitted arena tune junkie, would like to propose a quick fix to the Schneider Arena sound crew’s lackluster inconsistency in acknowledging PC women’s goals: keep that computer up there locked in to YouTube, where a smattering of users have an array of pro hockey goal horns for listening pleasure, and be ready at all times to roll out the Bruins or P-Bruins horn when the Friars light it up…Behind the aforementioned success of Northeastern, BU, UNH, and BC rolled up favorably jutting records on both sides of their rinks in October. Between the men and women, the Terriers posted a cumulative win percentage of .818, the Wildcats .714, and the Eagles .700…Word has it that Jessica Cohen, a productively grinding senior forward at Minnesota-based Shattuck-St. Mary’s, has all but been penned in to join the Friars next season by fellow SSM alumna and assistant coach Meredith Roth…This author’s picks for the out-of-market game of the week: A pair of aspirant WCHA women’s bigwigs in Ohio State and St. Cloud State play a two-game set in Minnesota. Meanwhile, the men’s Frozen Four rematch at Conte Forum is lined up for this Friday, one night before the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Paul Pooley pay their second visit to PC in the last three seasons.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

Women's Hockey 3, Boston University 3

Nick of tie
PC women blow late lead, lose in SO

BOSTON- Hankering an opportunity to reiterate the old adage concerning a third whirl-around, the Friars, this time, all but had their Saturday afternoon beans ready for feasting at Walter Brown Arena yesterday.

PC, staring down its third Boston-based adversary in as many Saturday afternoons, had cultivated a 3-2 lead over Boston University courtesy Mari Pehkonen early in the third period. They proceeded to dramatically shield that lead by means of letting the Terriers heave 18 shots at goaltender Danielle Ciarletta in the final 15 minutes, and letting Ciarletta handle them all.

That is, until there were eleven ticks to spare, with BU on the power play and their stopper Allyse Wilcox (19 saves) perched on the bench in favor of a six-pack attack. In a scarring manner fraternally reminiscent of her 1-0 letdown at Northeastern two weeks back, Ciarletta (35 saves) defaulted on the last regulation shot she faced, letting the Terriers’ top gun Gina Kearns knot things up, 3-3, and force a bonus round.

And in a fashion reaching the same spiritual effect of last week’s 3-1 drawback versus Boston College, the Friars –albeit with a single point to take home for their regulation tie efforts- ultimately faltered in a shootout, 3-2, Erin Seman whipping home the decider for BU in the fourth round.

En route to the half-full finish, Ciarletta was a no-duh cornerstone in neutralizing the Terriers’ breakout firestorm and retaining the parity where it mattered. Heading into the closing frame, in which they logged a 19-4 romp in the shooting gallery, Boston had a slimmer 18-17 edge in that category.

A predictably air hockey-paced first period featured ten saves apiece for the contesting goaltenders, four registered stabs by the Friars Finnish flare –grinding all-out through her last collegiate contest before she took immediate leave to join the Suomi Skating Sorority at the Four Nations Cup- three others by Kearns, and a balanced, generous offering of power plays.

The medium-sized bushels of shots were all but a direct attribute to the three penalties assessed to each side. Providence leveled seven of its first eleven shots over power plays, two of which were slightly cut into by infractions of their own. The Terriers similarly charged up five attempts in their first two 5-on-4 segments.

Ciarletta stood out in the latter stages of the period upon withstanding a four-shot salvo while Erin Normore served a two-minute sentence for body-checking.

Less than five minutes later, with BU’s Amanda Shaw off for hooking, the Friars converted on their lone full-length power play of the period with precisely one minute to work with till intermission. Point patrollers Normore and Brittany Simpson collaborated in setting up freshman Kate Bacon.

Even with Pehkonen flagged for tripping 23 seconds after the icebreaker, and a resultant savory 83 seconds worth of fresh-sheet power play time to commence the middle frame, the BU brigade suddenly went numb for a stretch, affording no shots on Ciarletta while PC logged six blocks.

But once Katy Beach took her second interference call of the day at 12:51, the Terriers finally popped open their long-bottled carbonation and vented two goals in a matter of 58 to usurp the lead. Unlike the taxing tempest from about the same point in the first period, Ciarletta could only withstand three out of four consecutive stabs, culminating in Jillian Kirchner batting home Sarah Russell’s rebound at 13:43.

On the following play, first-line winger Lauren Cherewyk inserted a feed from Anderson to spark a 2-1 Boston edge.

But it hardly took another three minutes for a reverse reversal. Jenelle Kohanchuk went off for hooking at 16:18, granting the Friars their fifth power play of the night. The numerical advantage was enhanced to 5-on-3 when Russell was flagged for high sticking at 17:16, and the Terriers’ scoreboard advantage disintegrated at 17:40 via radiant rookie Laura Veharanta, who now has nine points in as many career games at the Divine Campus.

Veharanta and Pehkonen –the Providence half of four two-point recitals yesterday, opposite Anderson and Kearns- traded roles to renew the lead at 5:32 of the third. But the Friars would be allotted an infinitesimal two more hacks –one later in the third and one in the bite-sized overtime period- at depositing the full two-point package.

The rest of the bittersweet ride was underlined by five individual penalties, including two 5-on-3 instances and one uninterrupted, 5:13 string of shorthanded labor.

PC, which clicked on two of six total power plays, saw its PK frequency bloat from six to 11 in the stretch drive. And twelve of BU’s last 18 whacks at Ciarletta were on one power play or another.

Remarkably, all those shots were in vain –until the cusp of the buzzer.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com