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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hockey Log

Covell returned to forward

Erin Normore she is not, certainly not at this stage in her career and, given the lofty standards, likely never in the future.

Still, PC women’s sophomore Lauren Covell has made her slightly belated impression as a capable and flexible two-way puck pusher, able to accept reassignment from defense to forward or vice versa on demand.

Strictly a winger in all of her 24 appearances last season as a barren frosh, Covell had assumed a blue line post for the first eight ventures this year and promptly turned heads with two assists in as many weekends. And then, prior to yesterday’s matinee tangle with Boston University, she found herself back amongst a still-shorthanded offensive corps.

In effect, with the tweak, PC head coach Bob Deraney coaxed his backline brigade to sacrifice one of its bodies and left each position with one void on the depth chart as opposed to a disproportionate two cavities amongst the forwards.

“That’s using your personnel,” said Deraney, who is not settled on keeping Covell up front full time but was encouraged by the first impression. “Every game is different. You look at who you’re playing against, strengths and weaknesses, and then you use your personnel accordingly. We felt, against Boston University, that would be our best use of our assets and our personnel to be successful. And I think it paid off, even though we didn’t win.”

Covell –whose one shot attempt on the day hit the post in the fifth minute of the second period- did return to her point perch for every special teams sequence, and that was where she extracted her third helper on the year.

Within the final two minutes of the second period, the Boston PK cleared their zone and convinced Friars’ stopper Genevieve Lacasse to play the puck behind her cage. Covell arrived on the scene, held up, and then handed things over to center Ashley Cottrell as she swooped by.

Cottrell proceeded to go on a quite Normorian trek along the far wall, never relinquishing the puck en route to potting the equalizer and granting assists to Covell and Lacasse alike.

As for Covell’s assignment in today’s visit to Connecticut, Deraney said, “It definitely worked today, so we’ll talk as a staff and look at UConn more as the opposition.”

Another battle for redemption
Not unlike yesterday, the Friars will again have a stark conflict of interest today as both clubs concerned are seeking to redeem a loss. This afternoon’s opponent from Connecticut (4:00 p.m. face-off over at Freitas Ice Forum) is coming off its second fall-from-ahead 3-1 road slip to New Hampshire of the season.

Just as they did four weeks prior, the Huskies nabbed the initial lead, only to have the Granite State Goddesses perk up and preserve their seamless all-time Hockey East home record at the Whittemore Center. The loss docked UConn to 0-2-1 within league boundaries this year.

“Hey, I think they’re just like (BU),” said Deraney after his own team’s 3-1 falter yesterday. “They’re going to work extremely hard, they’re going to go four lines deep, any mistake you make can end up in the back of your net. You just can’t give them any gifts.”

Quick feeds: Yesterday was the five-year-old BU program’s first win at Schneider Arena in club history and their first regulation knockout of the Friars since February 2, 2008…For the second time this season, the Friars finished even with the opposition in the shooting gallery, each side charging up 25 registered stabs…BU won 35 out of the game’s 58 face-offs…Yesterday’s first period was the fifth scoreless opening frame out of nine total games this season. The Friars curbed the opposing strike force through intermission for the fifth consecutive outing…PC and BU will lock twigs twice more in a mere two weeks, converging on Boston’s Agganis Arena November 14 and returning to Schneider the following afternoon…Five of the Friars’ eight November games will be at home, but they begin the month with two on the road. After this afternoon’s day trip to UConn, they shall come back to gear up for a Friday excursion to Maine.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com