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Friday, February 27, 2009

Hockey Log

First-year Friars jumping at second chances

The PC women’s radiant rookie corps –provider of 43.9% of the team’s goals, 38.9% of the assists, 82.2% of the saves, and 87.5% of the wins over the regular season- frightfully lost some of its immunity to inexperience in the climax of its first collegiate campaign.

For the last three-plus weeks of game action, acetylene stick carriers Laura Veharanta and Ashley Cottrell have been stuck in the 20-point range after they were originally on pace for facile point-per-game finishes or better. Defender Jennifer Friedman rapidly receded to her stay-at-home focus after a head-turning six points over seven games in January. Blue line associate Christie Jensen is still kicking ice chips over the memories of a head injury that barred her from playing in six games to start February.

And goaltender Genevieve Lacasse has, on the whole, propped up her consistent reliability, though she has had her stats slighted a little in three losses over her last five decisions.

Yet head coach Bob Deraney has let the speed bumps slide on two key terms: the adjustment to a recent first-time skate in the icy canyon that is New Hampshire’s Whittemore Center and a protracted period of virtual postseason hockey.

Deraney had dressed all eight of his active rookies –seven true freshmen plus junior transfer Arianna Rigano- for PC’s lone regular season visit to the Wildcats on February 14. He made special note of that in the somewhat distant aftermath of an eventual 4-1 slip –one where, to their respective credits, Kate Bacon (five shots) potted the lone goal and Veharanta pitched in another four of the team’s 17 shots on net.

But, he added, the Friars have an enticing chance to pay another visit to Lake Whittemore before the curtains drop on the 2008-09 season. And, maybe then, the notorious depths of that rink won’t be quite so arduous to the newbies.

To create that opening, though, PC will have to cultivate something out of the voluntary playoff mindset Deraney has instituted for at least the last 10 regular season games.

“That’s been happening all along,” he reiterated. “We’ve been talking about playing playoff games for at least a month now.”

And in hindsight, for the frosh and their elders alike, there is a cornucopia of nonfatal growing pains to consider. Through their first 10 out of Hockey East games, the Friars were 7-2-1, a thought-provoking pace for some 31 or 32 points, at least 14 of those cultivated via victory.

Instead, they sank into the dense lottery ball-like derby, going an iffy 5-6-0 in the stretch drive. And they sequentially bid agonizing adieu to the prospect of hosting next week’s semifinal and championship rounds, ditto the second-place bye and the extra week of uninterrupted practice that comes with it.

“When you look back at the standings, we ended up with 25 points,” said Deraney. “We lost to Northeastern twice (1-0 on October 18, 3-2 on February 7) and we lost to Vermont (5-2 on January 18). Give us those six points and we get the bye. So we’d been talking about whether we were going to make these games easier for us or harder for us.”

They might have hit at their hardest in the finale weekend versus Boston College, who last Friday really just needed to deal a flick of the fingertip to dash PC’s by now brittle hope for the bye.

But the following day at BC’s Conte Forum, Lacasse put forth a 22-save performance worthy of third star of the game accolades –her first appearance on the three-star leaderboard in four appearances and her 14th overall out of 22 chances this season.

Veharanta, still acclimating to some late line chart tweaks, discharged a jutting five shots on goal, Friedman two. Veharanta’s new associate winger, Bacon, notched a +1 rating.

And following a 65-minute, 1-1 draw, Cottrell came through in the shootout, salvaging the Friars’ right to host tomorrow’s preliminary round bout with Connecticut (1:00 p.m. face-off).

Timely, vividly influential perk-ups like that were not lost on Deraney.

“They were actually playoff games,” he said. “They had implications, so I think we’re already prepared for that.”

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hockey Log

PC women eye offensive U-turn

Officially 1-5-1 since the calendar Zamboni’s last lap, and resorting to overtime or a shootout to polish off both of their latest conference victories, the Friars are not inclined to deny the difference their lately arid offense might have made in their playoff assignment.

They will round out their February slate on Saturday with a spontaneously scheduled do-or-die, Seed 4 versus Seed 5, home tilt with Connecticut, against whom they sneezed out an unfavorable 2-1 OT decision on the first of the month. Since that afternoon, they have not mustered any more than two regulation goals per game. They have been restricted to merely one in each of their last three.

Laura Veharanta, still the top gun of the program with a 15-14-29 scoring transcript, has kept that same data ever since she planted an initial 1-0 lead during that visit to Freitas Ice Forum. Former linemate and top playmaker Ashley Cottrell has upped a 5-14-19 reading to 5-16-21 in the last four weeks. Senior A-captain Katy Beach is dry on the month as a whole, leaving her stuck on 8-8-16 totals.

Most everyone else has at least sprinkled valuable, tangible output, though not enough to retain the once-worthwhile visions of bringing the Hockey East championship to Schneider Arena. Some nights, they have fallen prey to the opposing defense’s equivalent resolve, amounting to shallow shot totals. Other times, they have launched boundless salvos at rubber-proof brick walls in the crease.

“I honestly think it’s just been great goaltending,” said head coach Bob Deraney. “I think we’re making shots and we’re doing all the things that you’re supposed to do. It just happens that you’re snakebitten.”

When PC’s promise for a regal finish in the standings was at its peak some three weeks ago, they lobbed an even 100 cumulative shots at Northeastern’s tricky tumbler Florence Schelling, though it would only be good for five strikes and two of four possible points in the home-and-home series.

From there, they pressed on to back-to-back confrontations with the two eventual first-round byes, New Hampshire and Boston College, both of whom laid out effective puck graters and confined the Friars to no more than 22 shots over their next three games –a trinity of losses by a combined 12-4 upshot.

Granted, Providence virtually matched their adversaries’ exceptional defensive grip each night. But their own strike force simply didn’t bat home more of those decisive, fleeting scoring rushes.

“It definitely needs to be addressed and hopefully we’ll pick it up,” said Cottrell, whose last regulation lamp-lighter was the icebreaker in a 5-1 drubbing of UConn at the end of January, coincidentally the last offensive bonfire PC has spoken of. “We just have to go out there, play our game systematically, and be mentally strong.”

There was a rather timely hint of that yearned-for resurgence last Saturday at BC’s Conte Forum, at which point it was already do-or-die as far as home ice for this weekend’s preliminary round was concerned. The fresh-willed, fastidious Friars threw a baker’s dozen worth of biscuits at Molly Schaus, though the celestial stopper made like herself in swallowing everything to lug a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Eagles subsequently trimmed PC’s shooting frequency to 10 second period stabs to merely seven in the third. But, to their credit, the Friars only let Genevieve Lacasse deal with 13 more Boston bids after she had faced 10 in the opening frame. And Erin Normore’s connection in the middle frame effectively turned the tables.

By day’s end, Lacasse had overthrown Schaus for first place in intra-league save percentage and her praetorian guards –reeling off Cottrell’s shootout clincher- are stirring a new brew of hunger and hope in their practice ice this week.

“It’s definitely something that we need to focus on,” said Normore, who has four points in five career postseason games. “In our last couple of games, we have gotten our shots and chances. We just can’t put the puck home. But hopefully these (timely bounces tend to) come in do-or-die games and we can put those shots home and get the wins under our belt.”

Providence has held up thus far on relatively short sustenance, all leaderboard lesions aside. But the mutually do-or-die scenario at hand might call for a reprise of the three-goal outburst that effectively settled the home swing with UConn.

“I have to believe that we’re storing them up to something,” said Deraney. “I’ve always believed that it always evens out. So the fact that we haven’t been scoring means we’re soon going to break through somewhere, somehow. And since we’re still playing and in the playoffs, there’s no better time to break out than this Saturday.”

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hockey Log

PC, UConn women have lessons to go off

If the Friars –ahead of the contesting Connecticut Huskies- can lash out no fewer than one extra token of resolve in Saturday’s playoff opener, the ominous, electro-databased 180-spin on 2008 shall halt right here.

The 2007-08 Huskies were prompt to initially dilute the Battle of Southern New England’s pungency, winning the first two meetings at Freitas Ice Forum by a cumulative 8-0 score.

But, less than 24 hours removed from an embittering 3-0 crash-and-burn, the Friars resiliently retorted with a 5-3 triumph at Schneider Arena. Little did they know, though, that they would pay a spontaneous visit back to Storrs in another 27 days to lock twigs with the Huskies once more.

But with a pair of power play strikes courtesy Mari Pehkonen –the first a 5-on-3 conversion in only the sixth minute- PC sledgehammered the formerly binding UConn ice en route to a 5-1 final.

Plenty of evidence there to verify head coach Bob Deraney’s smudgy CD record of “The past doesn’t matter.” And, by all counts, he’d be happy to labor under the same old notion for this weekend’s matinee engagement at Schneider Arena.

The 2008-09 Friars hosted the first two installments of the regular season series and, subsisting on a few timely, productive sugar rushes to the opposing cage, wrested away two wins by an aggregate final of 7-1.

But, less than 24 hours removed from a 5-1 falter on January 31, the resolute Huskies merely reran their persistent 60-minute grind at Freitas the next day, ultimately nailing a come-from-behind 2-1 victory in overtime.

And if not for a sweeping schooling at the hands of regal New Hampshire this past weekend, that rally on February 1 may have paid extraordinary long term dividends to UConn. One more point in their bushel, and they would have been hosting the forthcoming semifinal qualifier.

Instead, they’ll settle for the prospect of dishing out eye-for-eye justice in the form of a party-spoiler at PC’s first home hockey playoff game since the men’s program hosted Boston University in 2003.

If they so please, they’ll have a buffet of red meat to bolster their incentive. Beyond last year’s letdown, handfuls of the Huskies may recall when their bid for a playoff passport was mathematically zapped in the climax of the regular season in 2007.

The culprits: the Friars, who had swept a home-and-home by 4-1 and 6-3 decisions that weekend.

And then, head coach Heather Linstad, for one, will recall the 2005 conference championship, a 3-1 upshot to round out PC’s four-year dynasty. That, and the 2003 semis –a 7-0 Providence cookout.

“They’re going to be just as hungry as (Boston College) was last Friday –we ended their season last year too,” said Deraney. “I expect them to give us their best effort as they always do.

“The past doesn’t matter. It’s who shows up on Saturday at 1:00, and who wants it more than the other, who’s willing to focus to the end and make the plays necessary to emerge victorious.”

Psychologically replenished through last Saturday’s 2-1 shootout overhaul of the Eagles –which simultaneously salvaged their home ice viability- the Friars can enter this do-or-die engagement all the more learned. The day prior, a vengeful BC team wasted no time ambushing a still-fraught PC squad and stamping a 5-1 decision. As an immediate consequence, the sorely craved first-round bye was out of the question for Deraney and Co., which also dropped to 1-5 in a calendar month that had begun with the aforementioned OT falter at Freitas.

Until the technical tie at Conte Forum (it is officially scored a 1-1 upshot), the Friars had spilled four consecutive games by an unfavorable 15-6 scoring aggregate. Hardly the set of fresh facts they wanted sifting in their dressing room as they tune up for the second season.

“I didn’t realize how poor we were in February until I went back and looked at it, because you wouldn’t think we played that way,” Deraney mused. “But I think it was very important for us to gain some confidence back. Confidence is such a big thing in every sport at every level.

“But when you talk about confidence…it wasn’t mysterious. That’s how we’re capable of playing. We just have to bring that type of effort every night.”

Quick Feeds: Deraney on his unadulterated neutrality over Sunday’s UNH win over the Huskies that in effect granted the Friars home ice this coming weekend: “No matter where we go, it comes down to how well we’re playing. That’s all we ever focus on. It’s an opportunity to get better every time. And when it’s out of your hands, it’s out of your control. So wherever they told us to go, we were going to go there and bring our best effort.”…Team captain Brittany Simpson had a Jumbotron spot at last night’s men’s basketball game, delivering a pre-taped promo of the upcoming game during a TV timeout midway through the second half.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On Hockey

Ripening rivalries in qualifier round
BU-NU women’s tangle not to be overlooked

If the Connecticut Huskies –on tap for a 1 p.m. Saturday drop-in at Schneider Arena to lock twigs with the PC women- are to have their way, it will be their own 2004 Red Sox spin on a matchup that has made a rigid habit of lining up whenever one party must turn in their game garb at day’s end. Otherwise, the Friars will yet again muzzle the menace from across their western border and swipe the dislodged “revenge seekers” cap in turning their focus to either Boston College or New Hampshire.

Just be careful not to utterly deplete your appetite for a go-anywhere postseason hockey clash pitting mutual animosities against one another. If all goes according to plan, after the third period buzzer finalizes the first WHEA playoff game ever conducted in the House That Lou Built, fans can crack open B2 Networks on their laptop to view an inner city dogfight between Boston University and Northeastern.

Fans with a partisan palate for that game –slated to commence at 3 p.m. Saturday at Walter Brown Arena- will only be shamed should they suddenly choose to take a breather from all the litter natter they have been sharing over the men’s Beanpot and the just-finalized, double-knotted home-and-home series between the other Hockey East’s runaway heavyweights. Now is not quite the time for these fans bases to let up on one another. (Hey, after this, they get a three-week break till they all but inevitably reconvene at the Garden, do they not?)

No, on paper the BU and NU women do not measure up for the same type of liable arm wrestling match as their male counterparts or the PC-UConn card. But Hockey East chieftain Joe Bertagna had his reasons for augmenting the playoff pool this particular season, a decision he publicly pronounced amidst last year’s tournament and which was formally approved by his satellite athletic directors the following month.

And, incidentally, the Terriers and Hub Huskies are the core reasons.

The four-year-old BU program took in its first sliver of postseason play last year while Northeastern was convincingly distancing themselves from the plebeian sect of the standings. And as was thus to be expected this season, as Maine went, so went Vermont –and fast.

So, here you have your sextet of worthwhile challengers for the Yet-To-Be-Named Trophy. You have the self-explanatory Battle of Southern New England raring for renewal in its fourth WHEA tournament bout in seven years.

In Beantown, gaping seeding and point differentials aside, you have two altogether green programs with plenty to prove. Though the Huskies have substantially benefited from the peerless goaltending tandem of Florence Schelling and Leah Sulyma –twice at the Friars’ grudging expense- they may want to make sure they aren’t still hurting from the loss of would-be scoring nucleus Chelsey Jones (an offseason transfer to Minnesota) if they are to play any hockey in March.

Or they might not need to take such a measure. The Terriers sculpted a hefty accumulation of 29 league points on the year, only one shy of BC in the chase for a first-round bye and a good 14 up on their other crosstown rival.

Then again, BU indulged in this year’s newfangled extra point shootout buffet more than any other conference cohabitant. While no other team resorted to more than two shootout points, the Terriers wrested four of them. What if this bout took a bonus round and Schelling assertively held out the Boston strike force long enough to pin counterpart Allyse Wilcox in a netminder’s starting contest?

Sulyma did that just fine in regulation towards a 2-0 win at Walter Brown Arena back on January 8.

Since then, the Terriers –who have heavily eclipsed the Huskies in the shooting gallery every time they converge- have clipped Northeastern, 2-1, in the Beanpot consolation game and just swept a home-and-home set by 3-0 and 8-1 differentials.

Looks like Dave Flint’s pupils were caught sleepskating just a touch in that finale, the same way Bob Deraney’s players did in last Friday’s 5-1 drawback versus BC. If there is any sort of pattern to that, NU will spring back this Saturday with refined rabidity, whether that amounts to an upset or not. Only once prior to this past Sunday had the Huskies authorized more than four goals in a game (November 1 at BC). And now that they’ve egregiously squandered their shot at an immediate playoff tone-setter, the next best thing is to verify Sunday’s flukiness in the “real deal.”

In a way, the Terriers have the same sort of vinegar to rinse off as they conduct their first postseason venture since a rapid 8-0 exile from last year’s semis by the almighty Wildcats. The matchup of incumbency and inexperience could not have been much plainer that afternoon.

That said, expect the protracted buildup to accurately translate to yet another obsessive-defensive tussle. It has been that way across the coast for the better part of the last five-plus weeks. And it can be that way again, provided Northeastern’s stopper drapes her show-stealing curtain (Friartownies, for one, need no further explanation).

Bottom line, one of the Hub Clubs is guaranteed to push up their evolution one unexpectedly extra stride.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Women's Hockey 2, Boston College 1 (SO)

Last-ditch deliverance
PC rallies to nip BC in shootout

Report based on Gametracker

Chestnut Hill, Mass.- Fictitious 19th century Londoner Sydney Carton; fictitious present-day cartoon Colorado grade-schooler Kenny McCormick; and the sometimes unimaginably real Providence College women’s hockey team.

Common trait: last-minute resurrection when all scenery and spirits appear as good as dead.

The Friars spent the bulk of their February laying out a pile of melancholy slivers, letting the long-craved promise they had sculpted at the last calendar Zamboni’s shift wilt. Between a 3-2 overtime overhaul of Northeastern two long weeks ago and their day trip to Conte Forum yesterday, they had let a not-so-shabby 16-11-2 record morph into 16-15-2. They submitted an aggregate 15-6 scoring deficit in those four losses, their worst slump in recent memory. And on Friday, they had just spilled their shot at a first-round bye to the forthcoming Hockey East playoffs and barely had two fingers laced around a bid for home ice in next weekend’s preliminary round.

But yesterday, at a bare minimum, Providence replenished its long-held persona of dangerous doggedness, abolishing a 1-0 deficit in the second period, then hanging tough en route to their first-ever shootout win at the expense of the exponentially mighty Boston College Eagles.

Starting centerpiece Ashley Cottrell, her stick gone cold for the first six games this month, inserted the first and only conversion of the deciding one-on-one chain. Fellow frosh Genevieve Lacasse subsequently took charge, stoning none other than Allie Thunstrom, Kelli Stack, and Mary Restuccia –who a day prior collaboratively obliterated Lacasse and associate Danielle Ciarletta- to seal the extra point and subdue 290 Superfans.

Now all Friartownies need to do is submit to sacrilege and root for New Hampshire to repress Connecticut today, and there will be an extra home date at Schneider Arena sometime next week.

Come what may, PC has guzzled a timely swig of sweetness to enjoy while they look ahead to their yet-undetermined playoff opener. Freshly removed from exiting an uncomfortably sauna-like home locker after Friday’s 5-1 letdown, they made meticulous haste to attain redemption upon yesterday’s puck-drop.

After mustering no more than eight shots on net in any of its previous nine periods, the fettered strike force broke loose and pelted BC stopper Molly Schaus 13 times in the opening frame. In observant, opportunistic accordance with the Eagles’ characteristic unruliness –which got them into penalty trouble on four occasions- the Friars charged up eight of those shots on the power play.

But, of course, they were heaving everything at a recently pronounced Patty Kazmaier candidate who is also emboldening a fast-track to Hockey East’s top goaltender prize. Schaus –who came in leading the league in goals-against average, save percentage, and win percentage- broke in her pads for the day by pushing away five stabs all in the midst of a 77-second five-on-three segment that was over by the 5:50 mark.

In recent weeks, Mari Pehkonen’s determination has arguably eclipsed that of all of her peers –as is reflected in her comparatively jutting offensive output. But right on the heels of seeing her second bid of the day kicked out by Schaus, she watched helplessly as BC’s leading sizzler, Stack, deposited the icebreaker at 7:34 on a fleeting counter gush.

And in the sixteenth minute, Becky Zavisza paid her second trip to the bin on the day, granting Providence its third full-length power play. But Schaus coolly zapped resultant shots from Erin Normore, Laura Veharanta, and Brittany Simpson to freeze the 1-0 difference at intermission.

On the whole, the two-way puckslinging sugar rush tapered off for the second, during which the Friars enhanced their lead on the shot clock from 13-10 to 23-15. Lacasse initially held out on the Eagles as they dealt five unanswered swings –two of them on a carry-over power play while Simpson did time for holding- in the first half of the stanza.

But after Alyse Ruff tested Schaus around the halfway mark, PC went on a patient, uninterrupted cyclone around the Eagles’ estate, dropping off 10 consecutive tries and finally drawing a 1-1 knot at 17:20 courtesy Erin Normore –who would lead the team with six regulation shots.

As Team Black and Team White each asserted that they’re both buckled down for the post-season, Team Black-And-White followed suit in the third. By the 12:11 mark, only a minute and 53 seconds of full strength action was played as Providence spiked its PIM bushel from eight to 10, Boston from 10 to 24.

But amidst that sleety flurry of whistles, the contesting defenses grated each other’s ammo to grant Lacasse and Schaus a digestible seven shots apiece, prolonging the game to a bonus round. Only Thunstrom and Normore would take a whack at the full win in overtime before they each had their try in the shootout.

And there, not unlike every last engagement they shall conduct, it was a plain matter of tipping the scale first. Cottrell did it, and Lacasse stopped the long-elusive momentum in place.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

Hockey Log

Cottrell takes next step in SO impact
Joins classmate Lacasse in heroic limelight

Chestnut Hill, Mass.- Friars’ freshman center Ashley Cottrell was spontaneously granted an early opportunity to prove her shootout worth in her third collegiate game when she was granted a penalty shot in the third period of an October 11 home bout with St. Lawrence.

Though ultimately foiled by Saints’ goaltender Brittony Chartier, she pressed on to the following afternoon, when she slugged home her first collegiate goal on a ballet breakaway, ultimately spelling the difference in a 6-2 knockout of Colgate.

Not so surprisingly, then, Cottrell has since been kept on deck for every meaningful shootout Providence has encountered in the tingling tiebreaker’s first year of usage in the WHEA. Her leadoff conversion against rigid stopper Molly Schaus would tip the scale in a virtual 2-1 triumph over Boston College at Conte Forum yesterday.

This coming after she had similarly singed Boston University’s Allyse Wilcox on November 1 in the third frame of the one-on-one period, a conversion that may have clinched a two-point package if not for Tara Watchorn’s subsequent equalizer and Erin Seman’s decider in favor of the Terriers.

This time, PC’s still-quite ostensible answer to Phil Kessel did her part and, in turn, watched with exhilaration as classmate Genevieve Lacasse went flawless in her first shootout. Associate Danielle Ciarletta had previously taken the fall at BU three weeks before she impeccably snuffed Niagara in an exhibition wrap-up to a 2-2 draw.

Ruff-ly more helpful
Defined primarily by her bloodhound’s nose for the corners, freight-based maneuverability, and knack for finishing productive net crashes since her arrival here, sophomore winger Alyse Ruff has been all about secondhand points this calendar year. Dating back to January 17 versus Vermont, each of her last six points have been assists, most recently on new linemate Erin Normore’s equalizer yesterday –which also granted defender Leigh Riley her third points on the season.

Ruff, who has brushed the scoresheet thrice in the last four games to give her a hand in three of PC’s last five goals, has equated her freshman bushel of 19 points, though with a 9-10-19 reading as opposed to the 14-5-19 transcript of last season. Her output yesterday also made her the fifth Friar with double digits under the “A” heading.

Perfect attendance
Freshmen Cottrell, Jennifer Friedman, and Laura Veharanta, sophomore Ruff, and seniors Normore and Brittany Simpson appeared in all 34 regular season contests this year. Apart from Simpson (two games missed in her sophomore year), all of the aforementioned have dressed for every game possible.

Deceptive first impressions
The Friars resurged to salvage a win/tie for the seventh time out of 16 occasions when admitting the first goal and the fourth time out of eight when trailing through the first 20 minutes this season.

UConn probably next, but where?
BU’s 3-0 victory at Northeastern renders the Terriers uncatchable for PC, but New Hampshire’s come-from-behind triumph at Connecticut means one of three specific playoff scenarios depending on how many points the Huskies extract in this afternoon’s finale at the Whittemore Center:

If UConn loses in regulation, thus remains tied with the Friars with 25 conference points, they will visit Schneider Arena next week in the 4-versus-5 preliminary matchup.

If UConn earns a single shootout point, or if BU simply wins to keep their distance, the Friars will visit them at Freitas Ice Forum.

If UConn wins and BU loses, which would technically tie the two clubs for third place, the Huskies would likely get priority by virtue of having more regulation wins in league play. This would mean a date at Walter Brown Arena for Providence. The Huskies and Terriers evenly split their season series, the first tie-breaking criterion under league legislation, and if they each finished with 13 league wins, BU’s heavy subsistence on shootouts could come back to dock them a slot.

Quick Feeds: The Friars squeaked out a 39-37 edge at the face-off dot yesterday, though the Eagles gallantly wrinkled an initial 18-8 deficit through the first period under that heading and a 26-21 PC lead through two stanzas…Head coach Bob Deraney utilized the exact same line configurations he had concocted to start Friday’s game, when he had improvised a few more tweaks on the fly…Sophomore defender Amber Yung was credited with two blocked shots in the early stages of the second period…BC’s top gun Kelli Stack, whose first period goal upped her regal totals to 22-32-54, hit the post for the second consecutive day when she unleashed a power play bid to commence the second…A grand total of 18 penalties and 47 PIM were handed out, including a hitting-from-behind major/10-minute misconduct to BC’s Shannon Webster. There were two cases of 4-on-4 play and a 5-on-3 for each team over the course of yesterday’s game…Owing chiefly to the rash of penalty calls and the bonus rounds beyond regulation, the game took a lengthy two hours and 37 minutes to complete.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com