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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hockey Log

Spotlight on senior sextet

Twenty-one relatives and/or intimate connections flocked from three different nations to Schneider Arena as part of the Friars’ annual senior sendoff ceremony prior to yesterday afternoon’s twig-lock with Boston College, whose eight 2009 graduates were mentioned over the PA system as a prelude to the principal rites.

Career highlights detailed for each senior’s minute in the sun:

Erin Normore- Slated to nudge into the #2 slot on PC’s all-time career games list today with 141, having dressed on every possible occasion. With her input yesterday, the two-way connoisseur is tied for third under that heading with 2005 alumna Hilary Greaves and 2007 graduate Kristin Gigliotti. Her presumptive play today will knot her with 2003 graduate Melanie Ruzzi for second all-time.

Steph Morris- 116 (now 117) games played and all nine career points have been notched against Hockey East rivals, including the game clinching goal against Boston University on January 24 of this year.

Katy Beach- A somewhat drolly delivered point that she now rates fifth on the Friars’ all-time penalty minute leaderboard with 196. That, plus a career scoring transcript of 27-25-52.

Mari Pehkonen- A Team Finland veteran of the 2006 Olympics and 2007 and 2008 World Championships. Back-to-back mentions on the Hockey East All-Tournament team in her first of three seasons at PC.

Danielle Ciarletta- Fourth on the Friars’ all-time games played list for goaltenders with 57, a total she upped to 57 with her start yesterday. In three seasons, she has racked up five Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week titles.

Brittany Simpson- The team captain is skating off with a bang, as evidenced by a career-best 12 assists this season. Like the aforementioned Ciarletta, she has put in multiple appearances on the league’s All-Academic roster.

The ceremony culminated with a spontaneous handshake line strictly between the seniors of both parties, followed by the national anthems of Finland (a nod to Pehkonen), Canada (Normore and Simpson’s home and native land), and the United States.

Line changes on the fly
Already raring to test a few tweaks in his depth chart as it was, head coach Bob Deraney was compelled to reform his forward lines yet again late in yesterday’s first period, at which point his club already trailed, 3-0. For the rest of the ride, sophomore Alyse Ruff and freshman Laura Veharanta swapped positions, Ruff now linking up with Kate Bacon and Normore, Veharanta partnering with Pehkonen and Ashley Cottrell.

“Just trying to create some sort of jump, create some sort of chemistry,” Deraney explained. “The lines that we had had in place didn’t seem to be clicking lately, so I was trying to create some sort of chemistry.”

It was to little immediate benefit. The newly concocted lines combined for a mere two shots apiece in the latter forty minutes of play.

Duncan checks back in
Junior forward Jackie Duncan broke her game day attire back out after a full-month’s, eight-game hiatus with a lower body injury, joining Morris and Pam McDevitt on the fourth line.

“She’s better,” said Deraney. “I wouldn’t say she’s 100-percent yet, but she’s good enough to play, and I thought she played fine.”

Quick Feeds: Though ten Friars lost profuse footing in the way of plus/minus yesterday, the likes of Cottrell and Colleen Martin picked up a +1 each for their involvement in the team’s lone goal. Cottrell is now tied with classmate Genevieve Lacasse for the team lead with a +9 rating…Each squad took five whistles from the orange-armed zebras yesterday, though the Eagles tacked on an extra eight penalty minutes owing to Meghan Fardelmann’s 10-minute misconduct, which she had added to her cross-checking felony at 11:28 of the first…BC –whose lone victory when authorizing the first goal occurred here four months ago- improved to a pristine 20-0-3 when drawing first blood, 12-0-3 when ahead after the first, and 16-0-4 through the second intermission…Eagles goaltender Molly Schaus pushed away 21 shots en route to her fifth career win against the Friars…Lacasse claimed just her second “no decision” in 26 appearances this season…Defender Christie Jensen led the Friars with four shots on net…Providence won the majority of yesterday’s face-offs (34 of 61)…An online audiocast will be available for today’s rematch at BC’s Conte Forum (1:00 p.m. face-off).

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

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