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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hockey Log

Buie feeling immediate power

The greater of the two opening statements is tough to judge. First, PC women’s rookie winger Corinne Buie nailed three goals over her first weekend of NCAA competition, including a dirty-nosed power play strike in Friday’s near-miss rally.

And then, yesterday, her numbers earned her a Hockey East rookie of the week laurel, ahead of even Boston University crowd-puller Marie-Philip Poulin, who stamped a 3-1-4 transcript (including two shorties) in her team’s set with North Dakota.

Come what may, the Friars’ third-liner does not deny, and vigorously appreciates, her rapid acclimation here.

“Coming into this week, I’m just excited to keep going at this level,” she offered. “Obviously, I feel a little more comfortable having put one in the net and now I’m just ready for this weekend’s tough games against St. Lawrence and Clarkson.”

Buie, who totaled seven shots on the weekend, hatched her goose-egg with 4:26 to spare in Friday’s 5-4 loss to Robert Morris, whittling a 5-2 deficit to 5-3 on PC’s second power play goal of the game.

The next day, shortly past the halfway mark of the third period, she was churning around the Colonials zone on a unit featuring the likes of Anderson, Ashley Cottrell, Alyse Ruff, and defender Jen Friedman dotting the umbrella. Just as RMU’s Jamie Joslin was being released from her two-minute sentence, Friedman imported a pass from Ruff and pelted goaltender Daneca Butterfield.

Buie was on the porch to bury the soapy rebound within six seconds of the power play’s expiration, expanding PC’s lead to 4-1 en route to a 5-2 triumph, which she sealed herself with an empty netter.

So no extra credit for that second strike, but enough credit for her nonetheless

“I’m really happy to be on the power play when I can be,” Buie acknowledged. “We’re still getting used to everything, but I think we’re developing it more and it should get better as we go.”

Although she has yet to collaborate on the scoresheet with her full-time, even-strength associates, Buie credited the likes of her fellow young-ins, sophomores Jessie Vella and Nicole Anderson, with helping her ease in to the college ranks.

“I really like working with them,” she said. “Vella is a really hard-working person, good defensively. Anderson has such a good shot and a long stick that when I pass to her she can always catch the puck.

“I just like them as people, too. Other than playing with them, they’re really nice and encouraging.”

O’Neill still supportive
No timetable has been determined for the return of Jean O’Neill, injured late in Saturday’s game after inserting a hat trick the previous night. Odds are she will be out for a while, missing the forthcoming home dates with St. Lawrence and Clarkson at the very least.

That aside, the senior co-captain graciously offered her take on this weekend’s importance for the Friars, who in the Saints and Golden Knights will confront the two most potent interleague rivals on their schedule.

“You want to go into every weekend with the same mentality,” O’Neill said yesterday. “Every game is important, whether it be a Hockey East game or any other team, so I think it’s just a matter of working hard in practice all week and doing the little things right and improving on what we did wrong the previous weekend and carrying over the good things we did. We had a good momentum-changer Saturday with the win, so I think that’ll help carry over.”

Forecasting firestorms
Counting the two McGill exhibitions, the Friars so far have launched no fewer than 39 shots on goal in a single game. The slimmest advantage they have had in a given shooting gallery was a plus-10 (41-31) in last Friday’s loss at Robert Morris.

It’s no coincidence, head coach Bob Deraney said whilst tumbling into a temporary clichĂ© trap.

“Great offense comes from great defense and that’s what we’re all about. Our defense is what resulted in so many shots at the other end. So yeah, I think that shot differential will continue. That’s when we know we’re playing our type of hockey.”

Quick feeds: The Friars dropped just a few strides out of uscho.com’s revised poll this week, retaining one vote…Friedman, along with Maine’s Chloe Tinkler and Mercyhurst’s Pam Zgoda, are currently tied among all of the nation’s defenders with a median of 1.5 points per game…PC will resume practice today after taking a breather yesterday.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com