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Saturday, June 13, 2009

PC Hockey Log

Reversions and revisions on schedule
Reigning Canadian, American champs among slated visitors

The PC women’s 2009-2010 itinerary was pasted for public viewing on the team’s official website early yesterday morning with at least three standout deviations from the procedures of recent memory:

1. The Friars will return to the practice of scrimmaging a Canadian Interuniversity squad rather than a younger Provincial Women’s League team, as they had done for each of the last five seasons. And ironically, McGill University, the last Northern collegiate program to help PC tune up back in 2003, is on tap to stop by on Saturday, September 26. Only 15 more weeks until face-off with the two-time defending CIS champion Martlets…

2. The interleague portion of the schedule has doubled the WCHA content from two games to four. Of all people, the defending national champion Wisconsin Badgers will bus over here for a two-night stay immediately after Thanksgiving, and right after New Year’s, the Friars will venture to Minnesota to visit both Minnesota State-Mankato and St. Cloud State (assistant coach: 2002 alumna Jennifer Kranz). The westward venture will be head coach Bob Deraney’s first business trip to the State of Hockey since the landmark NCAA tournament bout with the Golden Gophers in 2005.

3. The Mayor’s Cup will fall remarkably earlier than usual: Brown comes over for a 2:00 tussle on Sunday, October 25, effectively snapping a seven-year-old habit of conducting the Divine City Dance during Thanksgiving week.

Not unlike this past season, though, the Friars will waste next to no time transitioning from the customary preseason exhibition to the real deal competition. They will commence the regular season with a two-game hosting to Maine, Friday-Saturday, October 2-3.

From there, they will make an excursion to upstate New York, visiting Clarkson and St. Lawrence, before returning to polish off the month with a five-game homestand, meaning seven out of the 18 prescheduled home dates will have already been consumed by the time the calendar Zamboni brings about November. And by the December deceleration, PC will have had four more home dates, meaning only five will remain, along with eight away games, in January and February 2010.

Newfangled adversary Syracuse, entering its second year as a Division I program and dropping in on October 17, will be the lone College Hockey America on the schedule.

A January 30 day trip to Harvard shall mark PC’s first visit to Cambridge since December 9, 2006 and the programs’ first meeting since December 8, 2007

Other direct returnees to the nonconference schedule from last year:
October 16 vs. Colgate- This will be the Raiders second consecutive trip to Schneider Arena and fourth over the last five seasons.

October 23 vs. Yale- The yearly site-alternating pattern as old as the Women’s Hockey East Association continues.

January 8-9 vs. Cornell- The Big Red return the favor after the two played a pair at Lynah Rink in the first full week of 2009.

Robert Morris is out of the picture for the first time since 2005-06, Mercyhurst for the first time since 2002-03, and both Dartmouth and Niagara for the first time since they were still ECAC cohabitants.

The two most jutting items on the conference schedule: Sunday, November 1, at Connecticut and Saturday, December 5, at New Hampshire, the two playoff rematches from 2009.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

Home games
: 18 (10 Hockey East, eight nonconference)
Road games: 16 (11 Hockey East, five nonconference)
Weeknights: 1 (Thursday, December 10 at Boston College)
Friday nights: 9 (6 home, 3 road)
Saturday afternoons: 13 (6 home, 7 road)
Saturday nights: 2 (1 home, 1 road)
Sundays: 9 (5 home, 4 road)
Match-ups with 2009 NCAA tournament participants: 9 (St. Lawrence, Wisconsin, UNH, BC)
Post-season: Conference quarterfinals Saturday, February 27; conference semifinals/championship March 6-7; NCAA quarterfinals Saturday, March 13; Frozen Four March 19-21

The Divine Season: Ten Years Later

The then and now of the 1998-99 Providence Bruins

To this day, they remain the statistical sovereigns of the American Hockey League history books. They were quick to kick sound ice chips over a toe-curling 19-54-7 season by consuming a record 56 regular season wins and 120 points. They made the tone radically clear when they scored 10 goals within the first 20 minutes in an eventual 14-2 blowaway of the Syracuse Crunch in November and a month later whistled through a 16-game unbeaten tear.

And a full decade ago tonight, the 1998-99 Providence Bruins put the Sharpie-strong stamp on their run, securing the Calder Cup championship with a 5-1 Game 5 triumph over the Rochester Americans. Ocean State hockey devotees hardly had time to thank Saint Peter Laviolette for reviving the seven-year-old franchise’s viability, and now they were reveling in the city’s first AHL crown since the hardly-forgotten Reds snagged their last banner in 1956.

Not unlike the legacy of the Reds, that of the gold-fingered installment of the P-Bruins is infallibly moth resistant. To signify that, here is a highlight packet of each player and coach credited with a share in the title:

Peter Laviolette, head coach- Who but the old Captain Bruin and Captain America (1994 Lillehammer Olympics), native to Franklin, Mass. a mere 18 miles away and with four rich playing seasons here, to correct the 1997-98 hodgepodge left by Tom McVie? Laviolette, two years removed from the dual role of player/assistant coach under Bob Francis and one year removed from his first ECHL gig in Wheeling, wasted no time winning back the fans. The results –including his personal distinction as AHL Coach of the Year- speak for themselves. He arguably should have repeated that honor the way he handled the 1999-2000 season, which was characterized by constant injury and transaction but still culminated in a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals. In any case, Laviolette did effectively earn the honor of an assistant job in Boston, followed by six-plus seasons between the New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes. Oh yeah, there was also 2006, where he called the shots for Team USA in Torino then met Lord Stanley with the Canes.

Bill Armstrong, assistant coach- Bet you don’t remember that Armstrong, who played two stints with the Spoked-Ps from 1993-95 and again from 1996-98 slowly decelerated his career with six appearances early in the 98-99 run. Once settled into a full-time tutoring role, he remained Laviolette’s sidekick until the latter’s promotion, and filled the vacancy for the next two seasons. It didn’t transpire so gloriously. Armstrong was nudged out the door in 2002 after Providence faltered in the first round.

Elias Abrahamsson, D- The second-year enforcer put in a mere four appearances in the post-season, but had solidified recognition chiefly for the 184 penalty minutes he consumed over 75 regular season contests. Returning for portions of the next two seasons (a split stint sandwiching time in Hamilton with Edmonton’s farm team), Abrahamsson proceeded to finish his brief hockey trek in Sweden from 2002-04.

Johnathan Aitken, D- A 1996 first-round NHL draftee fresh from the major junior ranks at the start of the season, the budding blueliner’s regular season scoring transcript of 2-9-11 ironically matched that of the aforementioned Abrahamsson. He would see action in 13 playoff games and spend the bulk of the following year here, coupled with a sprinkling of three games in Boston, before he was turned loose. Aitken would ultimately wrap things up in Austria over the 2006-07 season.

Steve Bancroft, D- Acquired from the Calgary organization early on in the year, Bancroft had already seen action with 12 AHL and IHL teams (including the Maine Mariners, who would morph into the P-Bruins in 1992) in a span of eight pro seasons. His one-year cup of coffee at the future Dunkin Donuts Center was complete with 62 regular season games, a 7-34-41 scoring log, and 15 playoff games. From there, he hastily went on to slurp ice time with eight more pro teams, culminating with the now-defunct Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights in 2006.

Bob Beers, D- No loyal followers could forget that this was Beers’ first of two seasons as a full-time color analyst with WBZ and part-time player in Providence. After the parent club was abolished from the Stanley Cup bracket by Buffalo, Beers was integrated into five postseason games, including the Cup clincher. A year later, he partook in all 14 playoff games as the Bruins went back to the conference final in his final gig as a player. It would also be the last AHL run ever called by Beers’ soon-to-be radio batterymate, Dave Goucher. The two linked up when Goucher got his break in 2000 and have been a Ninth Floor fixture ever since.

Jeremy Brown, RW- The mid-season acquisition appeared in all 19 playoff contests, pitching in six goals and seven helpers, and defied the laws of minor league nature by staying strictly put for each of the next two seasons. And times were so different that in 2000-01, he contributed a regular first-person diary, “View From The Ice,” to the Providence Journal. But by the next season, he had played 17 games apiece with ECHL Wheeling and AHL Saint John before hanging up the blades.

David Brumby, G- Granted, he was credited with but three appearances in a span of two seasons, and apart from 17 games with the IHL’s Cleveland Lumberjacks, all his post-Providence mileage came from a protracted tour through the ECHL, but mere availability on the part of any backup goalie is an invaluable contribution.

Dan Ceman, C- Three regular season games and two playoff appearances barely cut it for Cup credit. Although, for him individually, Game 2 of the first-round series versus Worcester was effectively Ceman’s last day of work on North American ice. He has split the last 10 seasons with an array of teams in Great Britain, France, and most recently Denmark.

Aaron Downey, RW- The Killer Carlson of the club played all 19 post-season games and just noticeably toned down his penalty minute rate in the process. His lone assist in the span happened to be on Joel Prpic’s clincher in Game 5 of the Finals. Downey would stick around for another year, charged up reckonable NHL seasoning with four different organizations, and then make a pleasant surprise return in 2006-07. He was last seen with Detroit’s feeder club in Grand Rapids this spring.

Peter Ferraro, RW- Primarily an NHLer once acquired by Boston, Ferraro slugged home 25 points in a mere 16 regular season games, then churned furiously through the full length of the post-season with a 9-12-21 transcript, good for dibs on the Jack Butterfield Trophy as playoff MVP. Over two more years under Black and Gold auspices, he similarly anchored two return trips to the AHL Eastern Conference Finals. Eight years and nine different teams later, he has just wrapped up his second full season with the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers. For a portion of last season in Sin City, he teamed up with freshly-graduated Friars’ goalie Tyler Sims.

Jay Henderson, LW- After a full campaign with the WHL’s Edmonton Ice, Henderson arrived amid the carnage of 1997-98 with enough time to partake in 11 games. He would subsequently see action in 55 regular season and two playoff bouts to share championship credit and could hardly stay away afterward. He remained Boston property until 2003, saw slivers of action in Hartford, Houston, and Milwaukee, then came back here for a good 72 regular season and 17 playoff appearances in 2004-05. Since then, he has taken his ambitions overseas to Germany and Austria.

John Grahame, G- The Junior Spokespeople’s most accomplished netminder, complete with a 37-9-1 regular season transcript and 15-4 showing in the gold-fingered playoff run, hung about for an additional two seasons, chiefly backstopping two return trips to the Eastern Conference Final and taking what he could get in Boston whilst waiting for a permanent promotion. Not long after he got that, though, the son of Ron Grahame was dealt to Tampa Bay, where he would reunite with former Providence teammate Andre Roy (from 1997-98) and serve as Nikolai Khabibulin’s stand-in en route to the 2004 Stanley Cup.

Steven King, RW- The East Greenwich native and 1991 Brown University alumnus came late in the year from, of all adversaries, the Western Conference titans from Rochester. All went according to plan when the AHL’s unmistakable heavyweights locked twigs for the Cup, and King wasted no time making a telling difference in the series. He would insert two goals in a 4-2 Game 1 triumph, snag a goal-assist value pack as part of a 6-0 victory in Game 2, and posted the triple-OT clincher in Game 3.

Antti Laaksonen, LW- The 1997 Boston draftee, who turned pro months after his selection, pitched in nine points in 19 playoff appearances, equated that output during the 2000 spring, then took off upon being claimed by the Minnesota Wild in the expansion draft. An iron man who played all 82 games over his first three Minnesota seasons, Laaksonen ultimately receded back to the minors in 2006-07 and was last season playing in his native Finland.

Cameron Mann, RW- A Game 2 hat trick in the final series permeated Mann’s celestial stature on the team, as if 34 games (including one playoff) in Boston didn’t do that enough. By the time he was dealt to the Dallas organization, Mann had seen considerable action at both levels in four seasons (1997-01) with the Bruins. His grand totals: 90 games, 14 goals, 10 assists in Boston; 182 regular season games, 73 goals, 90 assists in Providence; 22 playoff games, 13 goals, and 14 assists with Providence.

Marquis Mathieu, C- Native to, of all places, Hartford, Mathieu had more than secured the reverence of Rhode Island puckheads by the time he spotted a goal and assist in Game 5 of the Finals, upping his postseason output to 4-7-11 in 19 games. Released after 2001, he nearly got close with Calder once more in 2004, when his Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fell short to the Milwaukee Admirals. In the five years since then, he has played primarily in the Quebec-based Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey (translation: North American Hockey League).

Roger Maxwell, RW- Maxwell, who left too soon to indulge in an eventual title with the Hershey Bears in 1997, had better timing in his third pro season, which he initially spent with Louisiana IceGators of the ECHL. Once fastened to the Providence roster, he earned credit for seven playoff games. More recently, much like the aforementioned Mathieu, he has been fastened to the LNAH over the last five seasons.

Jason McBain, D- The ex-Hartford Whaler and Springfield Falcon returned to the AHL after nearly two full years in the IHL in time to play the length of the post-season, contributing a goal and eight assists along the way. That was strangely the last the Bruins saw of him as he was back in the “I” the subsequent autumn. He retired in 2005 as a Las Vegas Wrangler.

Eric Nickulas, RW- Two years removed from the University of New Hampshire when obtained by Boston, Nickulas played in all but one post-season game in 1999 and tied Randy Robitaille for second on the team scoring charts with 20 points. His 12 assists knotted him with Ferraro and Terry Virtue for the lead under that heading. For each of the next two seasons, Nickulas again pitched in as the P-Bruins went deep and savored slivers of action in Boston. He would return to the organization in 2005-06 after a detour through St. Louis and Chicago, though he has since settled in Germany.

Joel Prpic, C- Forty percent of Prpic’s 10 playoff points happened to fall in the Finals, including three on Clinch Night, game clincher, two insurance helpers, and all. Prpic stuck around for the bulk of the title defense season, but didn’t have much going for him afterwards. By 2003, after a one-year gig in Japan, he had packed it in.

Randy Robitaille, C- The league’s regular season MVP with 102 points, five of which were goals in that ice-shattering 14-2 blowaway of the Syracuse Crunch one night before Thanksgiving, Robitaille hardly let up in the playoffs, charging up a good 20 points

Andre Savage, C- Fresh from another black-and-gold society at Michigan Tech University, Savage was another one of those who propped up the three golden springs between 1999 and 2001. He was a distant #2 in regular season scoring behind Robitaille with 69 points, though he saw action in only five postseason contests. For the next two years, he enjoyed 49 NHL bouts and 31 more Calder Cup games. Not to mention, Savage momentarily returned in 2003-04 as part of a deal with Philadelphia and merely topped the regular season scoring charts with 46 points in 63 games.

Brandon Smith, D- Yet another player who was here precisely from beginning to end of those three exhilarating ventures to the AHL’s final four. The puckslinging defenseman pitched in 16 goals and 62 points over the regular season and followed up with 10 playoff points. Since his departure in 2001, Smith has seen action in Cleveland, Bridgeport, Rochester, and most recently spent the past two seasons with the Berlin Polar Bears.

John Spoltore, C- A latter day Mel “Sudden Death” Hill? Pretty much. Spoltore, who had played the entire regular season with Maxwell’s IceGators, charged up two multi-goal games in the second round versus Hartford. In both cases, Goal #2 put an instant end to a 5-4 OT victory. And that was his legacy here. Spoltore lasted five games in the turbulent 1999-2000 campaign and proceeded to migrate through Springfield, San Diego, parts of Germany, and finally the United League, from which he retired in 2007.

Dennis Vaske, D- Vaske’s penultimate career point was a helper on King’s triple-OT strike in Game 3. And fittingly, the captain collaborated with Prpic to set up Mann’s empty netter with but 38 ticks to wait out before the corks could come off. The clinching game would effectively be it for Vaske, who spent but one savory season with the Bruins after devoting the preceding eight years of his pro career to the New York Islanders.

Terry Virtue, D- Unfortunately, this productive point patroller, who had just come the preceding autumn after spending all of the previous four seasons with rival Worcester, is better remembered here for an infamous feat in 2000. Swapped to the Rangers after the title was clinched, Virtue would insert the sudden death decider for Hartford in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, precisely two weeks before he indulged in another title with the Wolf Pack. That’s as may be, he did pitch in an invaluable 14 points over 17 games for the 1999 champions. Nothing can revoke that.

Landon Wilson, RW- To paraphrase Billy Joel, he didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since the Black and Gold Machine had been churning (i.e. November 1998). Nevertheless, Wilson did set the overwhelming tone on Clinch Night, spawning a 1-0 lead five seconds into a power play at 5:48 of the opening frame. He would be one of 10 Bruins with a point to speak of that evening and cement his 1999 post-season transcript at 11 games, seven goals, and eight points. Technically the longest-tenured Baby B at the time, having been acquired from the Colorado system on November 22, 1996, Wilson went elsewhere after the 2000 run. But having played 27 games in Dallas this past season, he is one of the few who can still be seen in action on this continent.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hockey Log Extra

Magnificent eleven
PC women land record roll call to All-Academic team

Eleven names –five first-timers included- are under the Providence College heading in the freshly released WHEA All-Academic roster, marking the first time a double-digit quantity of Friars have met the scholarly criteria since this post-season practice began in 2000-01.

Previously, PC’s program record stood at nine honored student-athletes, a rung they had reached in both 2003-04 and 2006-07. For the rest of the young Hockey East era, they had never sent more than six of their own and were regularly dwarfed by the output of a few conference cohabitants.

Not so this time around. Only Boston College and Maine (tied for first with 15) along with “second-place” Northeastern (14) have charged up more scholars. And for their part, the Friar honorees constitute an altogether sizeable 12 percent of the league’s roll call of 92 All-Academic players (itself a Hockey East record) and an even 44-percent of their own 25-player roster.

Four of the program’s six newly graduated seniors –Katy Beach, Danielle Ciarletta, Mari Pehkonen, and Brittany Simpson- plus sophomore Alyse Ruff are the veteran returnees in this department. In that sense, what with 2008 alumna Kelli Doolin inevitably out of the equation, a perfect renewal was achieved.

But this year’s honor roll has also been saturated by the presence of team MVP Erin Normore, sophomore blueliner Amber Yung, and four rookies in Lauren Covell, Christie Jensen, Arianna Rigano, and Breanna Schwarz.

Ciarletta, Pehkonen, and Simpson will each depart with the tri-star distinction of landing three consecutive appearances, an internal feat matched only by 2006 graduate Karen Thatcher and 2007 alumna Kristin Gigliotti. Meantime, Ruff, Covell, Jensen, and Schwarz are effectively in the running to become PC’s first Distinguished Scholar –i.e. a four-time honoree.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hockey Log: Sunday Edition

Brown can be his break
Crosstown coaching vacancy should call for ex-Friar Lassonde

At this rate, if hired to any collegiate hockey head coaching post at all, David Lassonde would be the equivalent of a 22-year-old freshman who graduated from high school, made a three-year development detour through the junior ranks, and subsequently red-shirted for his first year on campus.

A one-game wonder in his days as a Friar –having consumed precisely 60 minutes, 32 shots faced, and 29 saves worth of crease time in the 1981-82 season- Lassonde has kicked countless ice chips over that mediocre legacy as a career Division I assistant. As of this summer, he has amassed two full decades worth of feeding off the wisdom of head coaches such as Bob Kullen (New Hampshire, 1989-90), Jeff Sauer (Wisconsin, 1991-94), Mark Mazzoleni (Miami, 1994-97), and Dick Umile (UNH, 1990-91, 1997-present).

On paper, that ought to have him hovering near, if not right at, the top of the list of candidates to replace program founder Mike Kemp at the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s head coaching position. Yet by all counts, the choices standing out in the talks are Mike Hastings –once a 14-year foreman in the United States League- and current Boston University sidekick David Quinn, primarily owing to the Omaha suitcase stickers they have each collected through either the Mavericks or the USHL Lancers.

Let it be. For in the wake of Roger Grillo’s resignation from the head post at Brown University this week, a much more accessible and fitting opening is calling for Lassonde.

An even dozen years have passed since Grillo became the man of the ice house on Hope Street while Lassonde returned to New England to kindle a longer lasting gig in Umile’s office. By each program’s standards, those twelve years –especially the ones freshest in memory- are tricky to describe in gentle terms.

Although Lassonde has pitched in an effort to steer the citizens of Lake Whittemore to six first place finishes in Hockey East, two Lamoriello Trophies, 11 NCAA tournaments, and four Frozen Fours, the ultimate goal has cruelly eluded the Wildcats. And lately, the futility has grown bolder seeing as UNH is going on seven years with neither a Hockey East playoff crown nor a trip to the NCAA’s final frontier.

Meantime, the Bears –wholly bereft of ECAC hardware in their history and without a national bracket berth since 1993- just rounded out their sixth single-digit win season under Grillo and eighth such finish in 14 years. Who better to anchor a sensible stride up from the bottom-feeder than a man who could use a chance to take a little more control of his students and a less sultry pressure cooker?

Of course, Lassonde is hardly a lock here, either. One cannot help but evoke the ornate ECAC resume of Friars’ assistant Stan Moore, who as the top skipper at Union and Colgate garnered conference coach of the year honors in 1997 and 2004 respectively. Perhaps Moore is on the Pat Burns path to replenishing decency and winning that top coach accolade with yet a third team.

Then again, especially considering PC boss Tim Army’s firm reminder this week that he is staying true to his protracted contract, there is next-to-no indication that he will allow his staff to disintegrate. Conversely, in wake of the Omaha notation, Lassonde is fair game to bolt Umile’s administration for a second time.

Furthermore, both parties concerned –even if not openly- are itching for a clean sheet. The Bears are already destined to get that with Grillo already settling in to his new position with USA Hockey. And sooner or later, Lassonde is going to have to get his break.

And, hey, if it happens, by the time the puck drops on the 2011-2012 edition of the Mayor’s Cup, he will have officially coached more regulation minutes in Schneider Arena than he ever played there.

Similar stock, different approach?
Well, the Tim Army Corps has officially surpassed its own year-old record. With the formal confirmation of six additional incoming freshman this week, the program that commenced training camp for the 2008-09 season with an overloaded 31-man roster anticipates dressing 32 players at the next captain’s practice.

Losses from the last class picked by Paul Pooley & Staff: four forwards in Kyle Laughlin, Nick Mazzolini, John Mori, and Pierce Norton; one puckslinging defenseman in Matt Taormina; and one goaltender in Chris Mannix.

Gains stemming from the bushel of newbies: six forwards, two backliners, and one stopper.

The immediate upshot: Army will have a grand total of 21 forwards (yet another new record, besting the 20 he started off with about nine months ago), seven defenders, and four goalies at his disposal. In other words, there shall be up to seven forward lines, one spare body on the blue line, and two substitutes for the cage.

The long-term upshot looks fuzzy at best. After all, the general dysfunction and abysmal transcript that highlighted the 2008-09 campaign can be largely attributed to the natural difficulty carrying such a populous dressing room. Even with the self-deletion of forward Chad Johnson and defenders Bryce Aneloski and Joe Lavin and the all but season-long injuries to Ryan Simpson, Shawn Tingley, and Matt Tommasiello, there still looked to be a little internal competition that ultimately diverted everyone from the external competition.

How many times have we heard educational reform advocates stressing the value of smaller class size? Based on recent history, the same concept applies to the men’s wing at Schneider Arena.

But perhaps this time around, the open-to-adjustments Army will have learned the intangible value of the redshirt.

Five-ring binder
As expected, PC 2006 alumna Karen Thatcher is still standing –opposite nine fellow Minnesota Whitecaps, 13 fellow U.S. national veterans, and 16 aspirant newbies- for tomorrow’s start of the Olympic team’s National Performance Evaluation Camp.

Other notable names relevant to east coast followers, and most all-too-familiar to Friartownies: Chanda Gunn (Northeastern alumna); Kacey Bellamy (freshly graduated from UNH); Molly Schaus and Kelli Stack (each rising BC seniors); Sarah Parsons (rising Dartmouth senior); Helen Resor (fresh out of Yale); and Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass., but a priceless gift to the banner-hoisting Badgers of Wisconsin).

Just a few floors down, BC skipper Katie King has been tabbed to teach next year’s installment of the national U18 team, with assistance from Shelley Looney of Nagano medal-clinching-goal fame and Catherine Hansen, Jackie Barto’s longtime sidekick behind the Ohio State bench.

Odd couple honored
Natural competitors during business hours and clear-cut Commonwealth comrades the rest of the time, BC skipper Jerry York and BU puck professor Jack Parker will be dually honored with this year’s Special Achievement Award at the Boston Sports Museum. The Museum’s eighth annual “Tradition” ceremony –featuring fellow honorees Troy Brown, Ken Hodge, Sam Jones, Nancy Kerrigan, and Curt Schilling- will be conducted two weeks from this Wednesday, some 96 nights since they last formally got together at the Garden for their 66th chess match in 15 years.

Quick Feeds: Plattsburgh State women’s head coach Kevin Houle has offered confirmation that would-be PC junior goaltender Jen Smith has transferred to his Division III program for the coming autumn. With no legitimate doubt, the Friars will seek to plug the resultant void in their now two-member goalie guild sometime within the next three months. Please stand by…The St. Lawrence women have already unveiled their 2009-10 game schedule, including a visit from the Friars for Saturday, October 10, at 4:00 p.m.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com