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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hockey Log

PC women hope exorcism is habitual

Depleted antagonist legion or not, Providence played its part last Saturday in slashing off the power behind the tremendous engine that had fed New Hampshire’s ceaseless saga of Friar restraint.

Intriguingly enough, they have proceeded to spring back into this practice week eyeing tonight’s trek up north to contend with another routinely insufferable Granite State gem: Dartmouth.

The Friars are grudgingly glaring at a protracted six-game skid against the Big Green and have only two wins to speak of in 15 tries over Bob Deraney’s near-decade-old tenure. All this after the program had consumed 25 of its first 27 tangles in the all-time series between 1979 and 1996.

PC, which last surpassed the Big Green in a November 2002 visit, is raring to put a bow on a .500 nonconference record, an invaluable feat they have blinked on each of the last two seasons. They come into this interleague finale with an even GF-GA of 27-27 against alien adversaries.

And they are just on the heels of overthrowing a ranked opponent in the (now formerly) #6 Wildcats. Dartmouth ascended from the 8th slot to #7 in yesterday’s weekly revision upon raking away Harvard, Yale, and Brown –all on the road- by a cumulative count of 17-3. Their old slot was, incidentally, filled by a bumped UNH.

The Green (11-5-2 overall) had been rated 3rd overall in USA Today’s last poll before a three-week holiday layoff, then inevitably slipped to #8 upon posting a 1-3 run before polling resumed seven days ago.

Dartmouth is tops in the ECAC standings at 9-3-2, their game transcript coupled with the league’s best offensive and defensive efficiency rates (3.44 and 1.72 respectively).

Tipping the scale on their last nonconference call whilst slighting an unmistakable bigwig could only mold a layer of worthwhile padding onto the Friars’ NCAA passport application.

Star dusted
Dartmouth's celestial junior Sarah Parsons, a spotlighted U.S. Olympian in the Torino Games before she had even enrolled, has experienced a minor-to-moderate dip on her personal scoring chart. After turning in a goal-assist value pack in the team’s belated home opener on Halloween, she took leave to partake in her third consecutive Four Nations Cup, and has since come back to muster a mere four goals and four helpers over 13 intercollegiate contests.

Her ten-point total places her in sixth place on the Big Green stats sheet and her current pace has her finishing with a slim 17 points, half of what she packed in last year and roughly one-third of her all but Kazmaier-worthy freshman aggregate of 50.

Cottrell’s consistency
Upon earning belated credit for an assist on Jennifer Friedman’s icebreaker, and eventual game clincher, on Saturday, first-line centerpiece Ashley Cottrell enhanced her active point streak to six games –the longest such streak kilned by any PC player so far this season. Cottrell, the lone Friar to brush the scoresheet in last week’s 4-1 loss at Cornell, has now initiated five game winning plays and finished another herself. Her 13 overall assists lead all rookie Hockey Easterners, just ahead of linemate Laura Veharanta and BU phenom Jenelle Kohanchuk’s 11.

Quick Feeds: Dartmouth senior defender Julie Bronson has charged up one point in each of three possible confrontations with the Friars (one goal, two assists)…Genevieve Lacasse scooped up her second Rookie of the Week distinction of the season yesterday. With Saturday’s shutout, her third in 15 ventures, Lacasse has slimmed her GAA in Hockey East action to a precise goal-per-game median…Providence has nibbled back into national visibility, absorbing two votes for an honorable mention in the USCHO Top 10 leaderboard…Assistant coach Amy Quinlan has returned to campus with a World U18 gold medal, her Team USA having nipped Canada, 3-2, in the final…Tonight will be the last pre-scheduled weekday engagement on the Friars’ 2008-09 itinerary.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

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