• Check out the Free Press founder's new Rhode Island/New England sports blog
  • http://providencesportsscribe.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hockey Log

Friedman charges power surge

For only the second time since Halloween weekend, the PC women’s power play converted twice in a single game yesterday. Were it not for an extra five seconds last Sunday against Union, it would have been the third occasion and point-based puckslinger Jen Friedman would have had an integral role both times.

In last week’s 2-1 triumph, Friedman slugged home an insurance -strike-turned-decider with 12:21 to spare in the third period just as an opposing Marissa Gentile was coming back into the equation at the conclusion of her tripping minor. It was simply one of those old keep-the-swarm-going conversions.

Yesterday, from the same straightaway position, Friedman nailed a true 5-on-4 tally, granting the Friars a 3-2 lead with 16:30 remaining en route to a 4-2 victory over New Hampshire. It went down as her second consecutive game-clincher, her third goal in as many games, and her fifth power play point on the year, tying her for second on the team with Alyse Ruff and Nicole Anderson, all with 2-3-5 transcripts apiece.

“Jennifer Friedman, she and (fellow point patroller Ashley) Cottrell are really getting some chemistry back there and it’s really nice to see,” said head coach Bob Deraney. “I think we’re growing and that bodes really well for the future. Also, we’ve moved around a little personnel based on how people are developing, so I think we have a pretty good combination.”

Over the course of seven opportunities yesterday, the Providence power play brigade took nine registered stabs at New Hampshire goalie Kayley Herman. A leading three of those were off Friedman’s twig, which ties her with Corinne Buie for second on the team with 17 power play shots this season.

In all, Friedman has landed 35 SOG, eight of them coming just within her last two games and 15 coming in her last five. And after she had established herself as a long-distance playmaker to start her junior year with 10 helpers in her first 12 games, she is now pleasing her coach with suddenly broader horizons and more firsthand contributions in the attacking zone.

“She’s always been able to shoot it, we’ve always encouraged her to shoot it,” said Deraney. “Not only is she shooting it, but she’s shooting it intelligently, with some accuracy, and when you have that type of talent, the fact that she’s using it really excites me. She may not score every time from the point, but boy is she going to give our forwards a lot of wonderful opportunities to get some goals around the net.”

Fresh sheet for UConn matchup
This afternoon, PC alumna Heather Linstad’s pupils from Connecticut will make their first business trip to Schneider Arena since they dislodged the Friars from the 2010 Hockey East semifinals.

As is his custom, Deraney repelled any suggestion of icing a vengeance-minded pack in the rematch.

“We’re chasing something bigger than winning a hockey game,” he said. “We’re chasing a style of play, something that will be indicative of the type of team we are. The past has nothing to do with it. This is a different team with a different mentality and different ability.”

Still, the likes of Friedman admit that there is still some residual sting from last spring’s Husky-inflicted dog bite, regardless of how it factors in to the team’s 2010-11 endeavor.

“This is a new season, but yeah, we always remember what happened last season,” she said. “So we would like to get revenge. Looking back to last year, we always want to build off each season, but it’s a new team, new season, so we’re just going to go from where we are.”

Not unlike yesterday’s visitors from New Hampshire, the Huskies are on a startling slide. Yesterday’s 4-0 loss to Boston University docked them to 6-9-1 overall.

Charitable recognition

A pregame ceremony yesterday had the Friars’ coaches and captains presenting a $540 check to the Sojourner House in Providence, all compliments of the domestic violence awareness fundraiser that took place around the Oct. 23 game versus Princeton.

Quick Feeds: Ruff was credited with an assist on Laura Veharanta’s insurance strike, giving her a team-leading 13 helpers on the year and one in each of her last three games…Yesterday’s game was the 125th of Ruff’s college career. Defender Amber Yung will achieve the same milestone today…Sophomore Kristina Lavoie, one of the few sizzling specimens at New Hampshire, led her team with five shots on goal…The Friars and Wildcats split in the face-off department, winning 33 draws apiece…Goaltender Genevieve Lacasse notched her fourth assist of the season, setting up the rush that amounted to Kate Bacon’s second period equalizer. The Scarborough Save-ior now has seven helpers to her credit in 82 career games…Bacon grabbed a goal-assist value pack and drew four out of seven New Hampshire penalties, including each of the first three…Buie took the quick Crash Davis resort when asked about her playmaker hat trick. “My teammates did a really good job of finishing everything off,” she said.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com