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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hockey Log

Groth, Vella break in
Last off the IR, two frosh make debut

Friars’ head coach Bob Deraney ended up crafting quite a regular “Can’t wait any longer” line to round out last night’s depth chart. He took senior Jackie Duncan, one week removed from her belated season debut, and partnered her with rookies Emily Groth and Jess Vella, both of whom were likewise injured prior to the season and kept to the sidelines through last week owing more to an already-full roster than to their own game-ready condition.

With Groth assuming the center, flanked by Vella on the left and Duncan to her right, the line only got around to taking one face-off, which Groth lost to Northeastern’s Rachel Llanes at 1:50 of the first period. Mere seconds after that neutral zone draw, Duncan took the unit’s only registered shot of the game. And later, at the halfway mark of the period, Vella took PC’s first penalty (holding), going off simultaneously with the Huskies’ Julia Marty (hooking) when the two tangled in the near corner of the offensive zone.

Other than that, there was nothing else to pull out from the database, especially as the game intensified and their shift frequency decelerated. But, given their circumstances, the recovering and recapturing trinity made a satisfactory impression on the skipper. (Perhaps most importantly, all three players completed the night with an even plus/minus rate.)

“I was very happy with them,” said Deraney. “For the amount of time they played and for a first college game, I thought they did a good job. That’s a good Northeastern team, No. 9 in the nation, and I thought they did a nice job (against them).”

Cottrell keeps cooking
First-line center Ashley Cottrell, who will journey up to New Hampshire as a Hockey East All-Star tomorrow, grabbed a goal-assist value pack for her second consecutive multi-point game. She now has a 4-6-10 transcript to speak of in an active five-game point streak and a team best 10-8-18 log on the year.

Both Cottrell –who also won 16 out of her 26 face-offs- and new leftside linemate Nicole Anderson picked up their fourth respective power play goals last night while right wing supplement Laura Veharanta has collected a helper in each of her last two outings.

A little closer to Earth
The marquee goaltending card of Genevieve Lacasse and Florence Schelling took some conspicuous dents last night. Lacasse, who repelled 25 out of 29 shots faced, saw her save percentage dip from .920 to .916 and her goals-against average nudge up from 2.10 to 2.23 in a matter of 60 minutes. In the same time span, Schelling resisted 24 stabs but had her save percentage docked from .970 to .964 while her GAA was swollen from 0.81 to 0.99 as she endured just her second multi-goal game of the year. Ironically, though, both of those were winning efforts, the other being a 3-2 triumph at Boston College on October 13.

Wohfeiler a real winner
Northeastern junior Alyssa Wohfeiler notched her third game-clinching goal last night, thus tying her with teammate Lindsey Berman and Newport County native Kailey Nash of Vermont for the league’s distinction of clutch capstone.

Quick feeds: Jess Cohen’s icebreaker early in the opening stanza was her first goal since October 17 against Syracuse and quickly halted a four-game point drought…PC remains winless when tied after two periods, having dropped to 0-3-3 in that scenario. They are also, uncannily enough, 0-2-0 when leading after the first 20 minutes…For the first time in 10 games, the opposition had a better disciplinary record than the Friars. Providence was cited for seven minor offenses last night while Northeastern was flagged on five occasions…Five of Northeastern’s six freshman forwards picked up a point last night, including Danielle Kerr’s first overall (an assist on classmate Casey Pickett’s goal midway through the second)…Forwards Pam McDevitt and Bre Schwarz were healthy scratches in favor of Groth and Vella. Alyse Ruff filled McDevitt’s customary role of drilling backup goaltender Christina England during the second phase of the pregame warmup…The Friars will round out the month of November and the first half of their regular season next weekend with a two-night home set versus Wisconsin (Friday and Saturday, both 7 p.m. face-offs). The defending NCAA champion Badgers, who are missing head coach Mark Johnson and five valuable players attending to Olympic duties, are 8-4-1 going into tonight’s tussle with St. Cloud State, their last engagement before they venture out east.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com