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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hockey Log

Ice storm watch via Friars, Huskies
Deraney foresees gritty confrontation

Last season is last season, expect for when the present is so rigid and protracted that it clutches the past in one fist, the future in the other, and accordingly injects its consistent influence.

That’s how the puck spins in the Battle for Southern New England. Typically, when the PC and Connecticut women lock twigs, hard noses and hard feelings slosh from end to end like a choppy, monsoon-driven river.

Hence the candidate for quote of the week straight from Friars’ coach Bob Deraney, offering a general prophesy concerning tomorrow afternoon’s meeting at Schneider Arena: “It’s gonna be a very physical, hard-fought, ugly hockey game.”

Deraney didn’t refer back to any previous get-together in particular. Not even the Friars’ head-turning, shellshocking, 5-1 triumph in the 2008 Hockey East semifinals, which was carried out on UConn ice, no less, and likely pierced the Huskies’ NCAA tournament bubble.

Implicitly, the spirit of the rivalry is safe without extra zesty circumstances like that. Nevertheless, there is some cause to believe that the visiting Huskies will be vying to make an early statement whilst serving a mini-dish of eye-for-eye justice in the House That Lou Built.

“They’re definitely gonna come in hard, especially coming off the loss from last year,” said PC senior defender Erin Normore, who charged up a goal and assist in that revolutionary game. “So we’re just gonna come out, work hard, play our game, and hopefully come out with a win.”

The Friars (5-5-1 overall; 2-2-1 Hockey East) and Huskies (6-4-2 overall; 3-2-0 Hockey East) alike may indeed need to subsist, in part, on a not-so-negligible dose of hope. Time and again, the explosively molecular mix of elements have broken the surface in this matchup.

Over all four of their get-togethers last season, neither team allotted the other more than 30 shots on an individual night.

“Both teams play shutdown defense and there are some talented kids on both sides who can score goals,” Deraney observed. “Dominque Thibault and Amy Hollstein are both dangerous. Their goaltending, whether it’s (Brittany) Wilson or Alexandra Garcia, they’re both very good."

Already, through 12 total contests, Thibault has a 12-7-19 scoring transcript to top the UConn charts. She and Hollstein (8-6-14) sandwich Michelle Binning (9-7-16) to formulate a trinity of point-plus-per-game Huskies.

The more likely starter Wilson already bears a decent 4-2-1 log, 2.22 GAA (precisely the same as Garcia’s), and .904 save percentage. She will counter either a certifiably sharp rookie in Genevieve Lacasse or a not-so-problematic veteran in Danielle Ciarletta and will be personally confronted by a Providence strike force that is steadily heightening its nightly output on the scoresheet.

“We’ll have our work cut out for us to score,” Deraney observed. “But in turn I think that the way we’re playing pretty good defense, if we can get to them early, they’re a different team. If they can get a hold of us, they can win a one-goal game."

From where Deraney’s stands, part of this year’s incentive is not to let his team procrastinate in propping up its half of the parity. Over their first two meetings last season, the Huskies made Zamboni brooms of the Friars through 5-0 and 3-0 finals at Freitas Ice Forum.

It wasn’t until the third regular season encounter and the spontaneous playoff rumble that Providence tuned the back of Wilson’s cage. When they did, though, they clicked copiously and in effect cultivated two key wins.

Those discrepancies in upshots couldn’t be plainer to the Friars’ skipper.

“If we get ahead of them, they’ll have to take chances and if they do that, they’re not their best,” said Deraney. “So our goal will be to try to score early and stay on top. If we do that, we’ll have a lot of success.

“If we don’t, then it’s going to be a knock-down, dragged-out, sixty-minute battle.”

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

On Hockey

Trying times for the Tims
PC, Maine coaches staying positive in battle for lesser hardship

At the very last possible minute, the very last possible symbolic lesion was dealt to Friar Puck’s spirits last Sunday when the Maine Black Bears –in town last night and tonight- hatched the goose egg in their Hockey East win column through a 2-1 nipping of the suddenly disfigured Boston College Eagles.

The more expectable upshot –a facile BC victory- would have rendered last night’s affair a matter of who would cease to blink first. In other words, barring a 65-minute knot, somebody would render the opposition the last winless team in the league.

Instead, the Friars had to resort to thawing themselves out and hurling off that mortifying persona of solitary winlessness. Furthermore, as head coach Tim Army observed Tuesday in the first league-wide teleconference of the season, in a respectful credit to his forthcoming opponent, “You beat BC, you’re playing good hockey.”

By the final buzzer last night, Maine was good enough to build on that Chestnut Hill venture, kilning a 3-2 victory before a colorfully bipartisan Schneider Arena mass of 1,876. The Friars, who have now authorized the icebreaking goal in all but two outings, abolished two deficits in the second and third periods and blew away the Bears in the shooting gallery, 37-17. But their guests, one pace ahead in the way of confidence coming in, kept a pace ahead in the way of overall momentum control all evening.

Even so, the Black Bears are not exactly absolved themselves. And by their not-so-ancient standards sculpted by the late Shawn Walsh and propped up impressively by Tim Whitehead, they won’t fully restore order in Orono for a while.

Last spring, the once nine-time national tournament participants (1999-2007) snapped their string of prosperity at a rate reminiscent of Wall Street circa October 1929, finishing ninth overall in the league.

Delete would-be senior goaltender Ben Bishop and sophomore scorer Andrew Sweetland, which was precisely what happened within weeks of Maine missing out on the 2008 Hockey East playoffs, and it’s plain to see that Whitehead has a slow, excruciating replenishing project at hand.

The bookends of the past six days are as favorable as it can get for the moment. “It is one thing to have moral victories, those are fine,” Whitehead said during Tuesday’s conference call. “But those only carry you so far, until you need a real victory.”

Army’s sentiments exactly –Friar Fanatics would hope.

The Friars have similarly failed to rinse out all of their vinegar from the tail-end of last season, when they tripped inches in front of home ice boundaries then went into roly-poly mode against BC in the quarterfinal. Some are inclined to point to the towering losses of triple-digit point-scorer Jon Rheault and sturdy goaltender Tyler Sims as a principal impediment.

Beginning with a 6-0 stick-lashing by Boston University in last year’s home finale, the Friars are now 0-9-1 in their last ten tangles with conference cohabitants. With only a single point courtesy a come-from-behind 2-2 knot with Vermont last weekend and a 0-5-1 Hockey East record, their dwelling in the dreaded #10 slot is growing increasingly forlorn by the night.

Not so surprisingly, during Tuesday’s teleconference, Army and Whitehead were two of only three skippers directly inquired about their freshmen –the third being Mark Dennehy of the perennially plebeian Merrimack. After all, if there’s any merit to the principle of rebuilding from the bottom up, the two Tims will pounce on the chance to highlight their respective leading point-getters –PC’s Matt Bergland with 10 points going into last night, Maine’s Gustav Nyquist with seven.

As it happened last night, Nyquist sprinkled an additional goal to his young resume with the first goal last night before Bergland scraped out PC’s second equalizer.

Additionally, the Friars’ Justin Gates and the Black Bears’ Scott Darling have barely tipped the overall balance scale in their respective goalie guilds ahead of senior Chris Mannix and junior Dave Wilson respectively. The rookies constituted last night’s goalie showdown, Darling pushing away 35 Providence stabs en route to #3 star status behind Friar Matt Taormina –who raked in a flashy, ice-kissing equalizer at 6:29 of the third period- and Maine sophomore Jeff Dimmen, who grabbed a helper and the game winner barely five minutes after Taormina’s strike.

Army: “We’ve gotten good contributions from all of our freshmen. In fact, the bulk of our scoring has come
from our sophomore and freshman classes. And then you can add Johnny Cavanagh to that group as a junior.”

Whitehead: “We are very pleased with our freshman class. They and the sophomores make up the bulk of our team, so it is important that they do contribute right away, and they have. We have strong freshmen at all three positions.”

Wow. If only The Hockey News still ran its “Separated At Birth” feature. Army and Whitehead, for lack of other feasible options, are banking on a bright immediate future.

Those immediate futures reconvene tonight on the PC campus, and the Friars simply need to tip the scale the other way. They need to translate their now slightly weightier desperation. And quick.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

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

Monday, November 10, 2008

On Hockey

Future may be sooner than expected
PC women rookies already dazzling

As his immediate past grows gradually less immediate, more protracted, and more cyclically scratchy, Friars head coach Bob Deraney is accordingly more inclined to embrace the present and future.

Only now, though, are there jutting signs that could verify his teeth-gritting optimism that the program he has now held charge of for a decade can renew its contender’s club membership of yesteryear.

“We’ve gone through a cycle of champions where you’re almost at the pinnacle and, what happens is, kids don’t want to come because you’re too good and they want to go where they can play right away. So, all of a sudden, you don’t get those players,” Deraney explained shortly before the commencement of this season, referring to the four-year banner sweep (2002-05) and the still-lingering hangover that has plagued him since.

“But I think now we’re back on the up-cycle,” he concluded.

Fast-forward to the Friars’ return trip to campus after sweeping the Robert Morris Colonials via 3-1 and 5-2 triumphs over the weekend. The individual high spots are their most abundant yet, especially amongst those who have yet to thrash through a final exam on the Divine Campus.

Laura Veharanta –whose goal-assist discrepancy is slightly shadowing that of sophomore Alyse Ruff- slugged home her second career clincher in Friday’s victory, then sprinkled two more in Saturday’s first period tempest to abolish initial 1-0 and 2-1 Colonial leads.

Veharanta’s statistical leadership credentials after the fact: a runaway 10 goals, 12 points, seven power play strikes, and 44 shots on net in a mere 11 games.

Ashley Cottrell, who scraped out a helper on Veharanta’s winning strike Friday, followed up with a playmaker hat trick Saturday. Her weekend outburst doubled her season total to eight points and helped her draw a tie with senior Erin Normore for a team-best seven assists.

Kate Bacon’s goal-assist value pack Friday and assist in Game 2 inflated her overall output to 2-3-5 in nine games played.

The aforementioned Normore joined her understudies in the multi-point club, pitching in a characteristic pair of assists in Game 1 and a somewhat less characteristic twosome of firsthand conversions on Saturday. Normore’s goals, both third period strikes which were assisted by captain Brittany Simpson, served to obligingly enhance a 3-2 lead spotted 35 seconds into the middle frame by Ruff –yet another two-pointer on Saturday’s scoresheet thanks to her assistance on Veharanta’s second goal.

Additionally, subtracting a pair of empty netters, records of all of the Friars’ connections on the weekend went the distance and credited two helpers, a subtle testament to enduring, methodical, proficient puck movement.

Then there was the backstop, Genevieve Lacasse, arguably the foremost surprise in this year’s frosh crop. Despite senior Danielle Ciarletta’s valiant Superglue showing that salvaged an invaluable point against Boston University the weekend prior, Lacasse was reinstated if only for continuous balance in the goalies’ guild –easily PC’s most stable entity all season as it has yet to authorize more than three opposing strikes in a single game.

As it happened, the rookie had her turn facing a wrathful rally-minded opponent in Friday’s third period. Like the Terriers before them, the Colonials heaved 18 shots at the Providence cage in the closing frame, the last eight of them unanswered.

And just like BU, the Colonials finally inflicted a dent on the final stab. Only they still had a 2-1 deficit to surmount, and the deficit would upgrade thanks to Bacon’s gravy goal a mere 42 seconds after Jacki Gibson had put the host on the board.

Lacasse took on a rare second consecutive assignment Saturday and initially hitched to grant a few early RMU leads. But upon taking a score of Veharanta (aka Friars) 2, Colonials 2 to the second sheet, Lacasse uncompromisingly fused her borders, pushed away 18 more lashes, and boosted her overall transcript to 4-3-0.

Granted, Lacasse will likely continue to more or less balance the rucksack with Ciarletta, but the fact is no rookie crease custodian has garnered this much so early in this program since Jana Bugden in 2002-03.

Nor have the Friars established popular credibility since they were given primordial accolades in the form of a #9 national ranking in the preseason polls. No telling if they will have pole-vaulted back onto the scene by the time USCHO and the like revise their opinions tonight, but Deraney can comfortably remind himself that he has a fresh certificate of momentum good enough for the immediate future.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hockey Log: Sunday Edition

A remedial rummage
Early uncertainty can only be handled with serenity

If you’ve ever strewn about the concourse of Schneider Arena long enough after the score-cementing buzzer, you may notice a tendency for the sound system to generate the hip, mildly celebratory opening to Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days.” That is, naturally, assuming that it is a glorious day/night of victory for the host Friars.

Not so much recently. Rather, it’s been predominantly Gory Days for the Tim Army Corps as the month of November thickens. Coming into this weekend’s action, they brandished a harrowingly hollow 0-4 transcript in their 27-game Hockey East season concomitant with a raggedy goal-scoring deficit of 22-7.

Left and right, names of varying gravity and familiarity have been plugged, unplugged, and/or replugged into the game night lineup. Perhaps most tellingly, in the latter installment of last week’s forgettable home-and-home deal with UMass-Amherst, the could-be, would-be, should-be exemplary senior line of Kyle Laughlin, Nick Mazzolini, and Pierce Norton all took an upper bowl seat as penance for unsatisfactory play the night before.

The second-year captain Laughlin, for one, had sat out but two other games in his career. Those were the Friars’ first two contests of his freshman year. And here he was, involuntarily snapping a 111-game dressed streak implicitly for individual scoring famine. It was the story behind Miracle in its dreariest stretch.

Granted, the senior line –and Norton in particular- played a jutting role in at least letting Providence temporarily compress the open wound on Friday. Norton’s two power play strikes abolished Vermont’s 2-0 lead and formulated a 2-2 tie, in effect whittling PC’s first point in the 2008-09 conference standings.

And for those fans who aren’t easily perturbed with the passé connotations of the “It’s a long season” homily, that’s still one valid source of potential consolation.

Then there’s the option of chinning up to the smattering of consistently promising elements on the Friar bench, namely the crafty first-line freshman and top gun Matt Bergland, whose pair of helpers for Norton augmented his early hot streak to nine points (eight of them helpers) in seven games.

Or, for those ready to rehash the play-it-safe, play-it-disinterested attitude once reserved for the Bruins, it should perhaps be noted that an array of PC athletic entities have had their explicitly wretched years and lived to tell the tale; or, better yet, to promptly bury the shoddy memories altogether.

Just to name one, men’s soccer, under head coach Chaka Daley’s tutelage since 2000, just extended its fourth consecutive appearance in the Big East tournament through an exhilarating first-round overhaul of Villanova. What happened immediately prior to their post-season regularity? The 2004 edition of Friar Futbol pulled a reverse 2007 Patriots and posted a 0-16 overall record. Daley’s tenure was five years running at that time. Now it’s in Year 9 and arguably at its most prosperous period.

And even established bigwigs in Friar Puck’s peer group have their infuriatingly substandard off years. The last time Boston University genuinely spilled its shot at an NCAA tournament berth –in 2003-04, when Jack Parker had already surpassed his 30th anniversary at the helm- they did so through a shaky 12-17-9 overall record. The best they could brandish in the way of individual scoring was then-junior defenseman Ryan Whitney, all 25 points of him. But the Terriers’ sandwiched that forgettable run with several saturated 20-plus win campaigns.

Jerry York’s capstone class at Conte Forum has collected eight Frozen Four passports in their last 11 opportunities and been to the regionals two other times in that time frame. In each of those ten prosperous years, the Eagles won no fewer than 24 games. Their only miss: when they went an iffy 18-18-2 in the 2001-02 season, a year of championship afterglow no less.

All emotional therapeutic tips aside, the general points are taken from the Providence fan base. This program has had no engagements at Boston’s prevalent ice mansion since the week before Ray Bourque went back there for a visit with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. It hasn’t come within legitimate tasting distance of the Lamoriello Trophy since Chuck Kobasew’s BC Eagles snatched it away from them that year.

And thoughts of national competition beyond the Vernal Equinox have never been long lasting since the Friars were scorched in the 2001 West Regional by Dany Heatley and the Wisconsin Badgers.

Understood. It’s tough to try to attend to those going-on eight-year-old hunger pangs when the team is doing nothing to stirringly fuel one’s appetite.

So what’s a Friar Fanatic to do? Ultimately, a full-rink lap like this returns to its point of origin. The Friars need only –and can only- fight to stabilize their system, steadily pour it into the competitive melting pot, and stand by for the final product in about four months.

Gritty Duncan etching her stripes
In a nod to the current edition of The Hockey News (newsstand date: November 17) wherein “NHL Team Reports examine players on each club who have stepped up this season by playing more minutes and a bigger role,” the Free Press offers the same report concerning PC:

Provided she can stabilize her health for the remainder of the season, PC women’s junior forward Jackie Duncan is on a promising pace to finally cement her name’s regularity in the nightly depth chart and relevance in the ongoing chatter amongst Friar Fanatics.

After charging up a so-so scoring log of 4-4-8 in 29 games as a frosh, and subsequently being restricted to a mere eight credited contests last year, Duncan entered the first full week of November with three points in six games, albeit accompanied with two temporary stints on the IR. When available, though, Duncan has recently been incorporated into the Friars’ power play brigade and is steadily improving her face-off proficiency.

Across the hall, sophomore Ian O’Connor took on a pre-season promotion to the PC men’s top line –linking up with Bergland and John Cavanagh for the team’s only stable entity thus far- after he led his rookie class with 11 points last year. All three of the relatively young guns have yet to look back. Already, he has twice snagged a goal-assist value pack –once at Holy Cross and once at UMass at the tail end of October- and to his credit glimmers at his best when enough teammates, especially his linemates, are cooperating.

Minnesota matching (or not)
Smells of the latest batch of ammo in the chronic, good-fun regionalist conflict recently billowed out of the chimney Minnesota’s regal ice cabin –aka the Xcel Energy Center. The X, already the fixed site of the WCHA Final Five and what will be two Frozen Fours come 2011, had just hosted the inaugural “Minnesota College Hockey Showcase,” featuring all four of the state’s male WCHA inhabitants.

Conference commissioner Bruce McLeod, upon soaking in the event he had reportedly been attempting to formulate for two decades: “It has a Beanpot feel to it.”

New Englanders are free to press slight exaggeration charges here. But take it from a scribe who has lived in both regions. Where they stand now in the full time capsule, the likes of Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State, St. Cloud State cannot measure up with Minnesota to kindle any buzzing rivalries of BC-BU proportions. Add the disadvantage of these programs being randomly speckled across the state as opposed to the Beanpot’s convenience of having all four participants nearly compacted within the same city limits.

Not to mention the beyond-reach continuity count. By the closure of this season, it will read: Beanpots 57, Minnesota Showcases 1.

And finally, Mr. McLeod, wouldn’t you rather concoct your own unique atmosphere rather than embark on a fruitless endeavor to duplicate the vibe of another world?

What was and "What if?"
A tandem of developments in the last week had to place PC Hall of Famer Chris Terreri, deep down, in a vat of starkly mixed feelings. When the polls closed over whom the Hockey East fandom liked as the league’s all-time top-performing crease custodian, Terreri was the exultant Obama of the pool. Accordingly, the lavish platter of yet-to-be-surpassed achievements in the 1986 alum’s stay on the Divine Campus resurfaced.

But ironically, Terreri’s triumph in the retroactive popularity contest fell the very day word broke out that his former New Jersey superior, Martin Brodeur, would take the first protracted medical leave of his distinguished professional career. Brodeur, who plunged in and earned priority consideration for the Devils’ cage ahead of his elder Terreri circa 1994, underwent elbow surgery Wednesday and will be shelved for three months at best, Terreri’s fellow Friar, former coach, and former employer Lou Lamoriello reported.

Hockey humility and selflessness aside, might Terreri be entitled to wish for a personal time machine?

Lowell’s Vallorani a hushed helper
There exists something of a gridlock in the bite-sized curious elements surrounding Dave Vallorani’s start to his career at UMass-Lowell, a program which graduated but one senior last season in Kelly Sullivan –a defenseman at that- and accordingly seemed to be shifting its weighty youth movement to fruitful maturity. Yet Vallorani, a freshman forward, has drawn a tie with junior Kory Falite atop the Riverhawks’ scoring chart with five points in as many games (all of them helpers). And even with that, plus the freshly bestowed Hockey East Rookie of the Month accolades, Vallorani has yet to be assigned anywhere higher than the third line. A likely attribute for that, though, would be his early lack of supplementing firsthand production. Vallorani has only charged up five shots on net in as many games played this season, a nightly median exceeding only that of sophomore defender Ryan Blair and a packet of less regularly dressed teammates.

Quick Feeds: In Team USA’s round robin tussle with Canada at the Four Nations Cup, former Harvard women’s standout Angela Ruggiero broke ex-Friar Cammi Granato’s all-time games played record of 205 in the national program…The PC men’s lone two disclosed pick-ups for next season, Chris Rooney of the EJHL’s Bridgewater Bandits and Alex Velischek of the AYHL’s New Jersey Colonials boasted respective scoring transcripts of 6-15-21 in 16 games and 5-5-10 in 11 games in their respective young (presumed) college prep campaigns…So, it looks like there won’t be any “Hockey Moms” on a national political platform anytime soon. Perhaps it’s for the better. After all, logic has it that the Palin Pit Bull breed of hockey moms tend to make their mailmen out of innocent referees and coaches. This game, and especially the youth game, can live without that kind of representation…Remarkably, out of eight Women’s Hockey East goaltenders to have charged up a save percentage within the .900 range, the helplessly tireless Genevieve Turgeon of Maine wasn’t one of them as of this weekend. She just missed out with a .890 shot-by-shot success rate…This author’s picks for the out-of-market game of the week: the Cornell men, who somehow retained membership in the national Top 20 leaderboard even without having played until this weekend, conduct a home-and-home series with Colgate, a consistent honorable mention in the polls of late.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com