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Monday, January 26, 2009

Hockey Log

O’Neill has Haber’s number
Report based on Gametracker

BOSTON- Still yet to fully replenish the rhythm she pleasurably exhibited in the home stretch of her freshman season, PC sophomore Jean O’Neill reran at least one occurrence from around this time last year. When given the chance, she tucked a pivotal puck behind Boston University’s established backup, Melissa Haber.

Recall when the since-dispersed PRO Line of Mari Pehkonen, Alyse Ruff, and O’Neill was just chafing together its collective lumber en route to a blazing performance in the climax of the 2008 Hockey East pennant race. On a visit from the Terriers that January 31, O’Neill converted a feed from Pehkonen at 3:58 of the middle frame to saw through a 2-0 deficit. One period later, Pehkonen and Ruff collaborated to set up O’Neill once more, spotting a 3-2 Friars’ lead at the 1:29 mark.

It was the trinity’s seventh game as a unit, but the first that saw each constituent pen her name on the scoresheet. Not to mention, O’Neill had her first –and still only- multi-goal game to speak of. From there, she would pitch in seven more points, Ruff eight, and Pehkonen 11 over the remaining 11 games of the season.

The line was quick to disintegrate at training camp while O’Neill nursed a lower body ailment that confined her to the sidelines for the first three games. She has since appeared in all but two of the Friars last 23 ventures, but had merely a singular goal and assist by the halfway mark of the season.

Since the holiday break, though, O’Neill has mustered at least one shot in net in every game, save for Saturday’s 2-0 home win over the Terriers. And late in yesterday’s first period, she was in a serendipitous position even with members of two totally different lines on the ice with her: Stephanie Morris and Ruff, her one-time linemate and former Princeton Tiger Lilies teammate before their simultaneous arrival on the Divine Campus.

O’Neill’s eventual connection on a Morris rebound effectively turned the tables on PC’s come-from-behind win, and Haber’s third fall-from-ahead loss in as many career tussles with the Friars.

In all, O’Neill is now 3-for-5 when shooting against Haber.

Martin’s input more tangible
With an assist in each game this weekend, junior stay-at-home defender Colleen Martin –who defied her billing with a few deep cuts to the cage Saturday- now has a career-high six points on the year, all of them in the form of helpers. She was granted initial credit on the play that set up Katy Beach’s clincher on Saturday, likewise on what would end as Jean O’Neill’s equalizer late in the first period yesterday.

Martin, who has not tuned the mesh firsthand since her freshman year but has shown some curious on-and-off flashes of two-way connoisseur Erin Normore’s venturesome influence throughout the season, had two shots on net yesterday to boost her season total to 36. On this pace, she should easily surpass the 41 she accumulated late season, possibly concomitant with her 100th career game, due to fall in three weeks when the Friars finish a home-and-home series with New Hampshire up at the Whittemore Center.

Sizzling Bacon
Second line winger Kate Bacon discharged four of the Friars’ seven third period shots while letting another attempt go wide. She would finish the day with a two-team-leading 6 SOG, just ahead of BU’s Melissa Anderson (5), Erin Seman (4), and Holly Lorms (3). Only Bacon’s linemates –Mari Pehkonen and Normore- plus Stephanie Morris and Martin would record multiple shots on the PC sheet, tossing out two apiece.

Consistent command
PC sealed its three-game season series with Terriers at 2-0-1, amounting to three winning upshots in as many head-to-heads on the year. They have already swept Maine clean and went 2-1-0 against Vermont.

Quick Feeds: The Friars were outshot in both halves of this series, effectively enhancing their record to 6-5-1 in that situation. Additionally, with the come-from-behind trick yesterday, they are now 4-6-1 when authorizing the first goal. BU dropped to 10-2-3 when drawing first blood…Where has Laurel Koller gone? The BU senior entered the 2008-09 campaign with a three-year scoring transcript of 21-20-41. She now has but one solitary assist to speak of through the Terriers’ first 25 ventures...Sophomore defender Leigh Riley, one of the least penalized amongst the Friar regulars, committed just her fourth infraction of the season yesterday, guilty of obstruction interference at 12:32 of the first…Normore’s helper on Beach’s game winner yesterday tied her with freshman first-liner Ashley Cottrell for second on the team with 18 points…With two performances much more to her personal standards, Genevieve Lacasse pruned her GAA from 2.05 going into the series to 1.89 this morning. Her save percentage, meanwhile, was nudged up from .934 to .939.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

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