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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hockey Log

The last of this year’s hundreds
Martin on cusp of milestone, others in line for next year

Until this past November, junior Colleen Martin had dressed for all but one possible intercollegiate contest until a reckless blindside check via Robert Morris’ Megan Picinic at the conclusion of a 5-2 road win November 8 rendered her invalid for the next three ventures.

Apart from that, the ploddingly evolving stay-at-home defender has blazed a facile trek towards eyeing her 100th formal skate with the PC program tonight in Part II of this weekend’s home-and-home series with New Hampshire. The most readily accessible records thus have her filling the 66th slot in that club.

The 2008-09 Friars could play a maximum of only eight additional games –next weekend’s home-and-home with Boston College to round out the regular season, up to three WHEA playoff contests, and up to three engagements in the NCAA tournament- effectively making Martin last to crack triple digits under the career GP heading this season.

In the most distant scenario, classmate Pam McDevitt might beef up her resume to read as many as 99 appearances before Schneider Arena takes its long summer’s nap. But McDevitt, together with rising juniors Jean O’Neill, Alyse Ruff, and Amber Yung are on an auspicious pace to surpass the centurion plateau sometime next season. Soon-to-be senior Jackie Duncan and Leigh Riley –both with 55 games to their credit heading into the weekend- are still a bit of a long shot in the drive to this signpost.

Anything goes
Leading up to last night, the Friars had boasted a lead for at least a portion of each of their eight preceding ventures. They had trailed in one stretch or other during five of those games. They have scored first in three of their last fur losses, amounting to an 11-6-1 record in that case, while last Friday’s OT epic against Northeastern upped their transcript to 5-6-1 when the opposition gets the initial upper hand and 2-3-1 when they trail at the first intermission. When leading after 20 minutes, as they were the following night in the Hub, they are now 4-3-1.

Jensen rebooting
Rookie defender Christie Jensen –kept strictly to the sidelines for the last two weeks with a head injury- provided a spare body during last night’s warm-up session, then made quick to doff her gear and join her fellow scratches in the bleachers. “Just to help her kind of get her legs back under her,” explained head coach Bob Deraney, who did not offer a conclusive timetable for Jensen’s full resumption of the normal routine.

Defenders get helpful
PC sophomore blueliners Amber Yung and the aforementioned Riley claimed credit for the initial assists on their team’s two goals last night. Yung thus splashed a personal seven-game scoring drought and enhanced her scoring totals to six assists on the year while Riley whittled off her second point in three games.

On the other bench, sophomore Raylen Dziengelewski pitched in two assists for her second multi-point game as a Wildcat (she collected four second-hand points against Niagara on November 25, 2007). Veteran Maggie Joyce, meantime, gave aid to Kelly Paton’s goal late in the second period, as did forward Sam Faber, who would finish with a goal-assist value pack by inserting the game-clincher early in the third.

Copycat backfire
In the final minute of the second period, PC stopper Danielle Ciarletta tried to match the quick wit counterpart Lindsey Minton had enacted moments earlier by clamping down a fugitive puck right off a post-icing draw so as to let her teammates take off in favor of a fresh five-set of legs. It didn’t fly for the officials, seeing as Ciarletta lunged out a little too far out of the crease. Nonetheless, she stalled long enough to buy defender Jennifer Friedman time to clear and get that sorely desired line change on the fly.

Quick Feeds: For the 11th time overall this season and the fourth case out of the last nine games, the Friars and their adversaries strung out a scoreless first period. PC is 10-7-0 when knotted after 20 minutes…Insidious freshman sniper Kate Bacon upped her scoring totals to 7-4-11 and her cumulative shot collection to 101, second only to classmate Laura Veharanta (121) for the team lead…Top gun Jenn Wakefield of New Hampshire led all puckslingers with seven shots on net…With her first start in over a month –her 56th engagement while bearing the Skating Friar crest- Ciarletta finally nudged ahead of current assistant coach Amy Quinlan for fourth on the program goalie guild’s all-time games played list…The UNH freshman goaltender Minton improved to 6-0-0 in six full-length twirls on the year…The Friars edged the Wildcats at the dot last night, laying claim to 30 out of 24 face-off wins.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

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