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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Women's Hockey Post-season Player Reports

Nicole Anderson- Her acetylene stick from November lost a lot of heat after New Year’s, especially on the power play. Granted, she eventually perked up for two February goals, both of them executed in breakaway fashion, but Anderson should just as soon start looking forward to a more complete campaign as a sophomore next year.

Kate Bacon- One of the more admirable performers in PC’s season-ending loss to Connecticut, Bacon kicked plenty of ice chips on an iffy, injury-plagued first half to her sophomore season. After etching three goals and three helpers in her first 21 appearances, she closed up shop with a goal (in the semifinals, no less) and three assists in the last seven.

Jess Cohen- Clearly stricken by freshman frostbite throughout November and December, the Friars’ most-hyped rookie thawed back out once she was linked with Jean O’Neill and Alyse Ruff on the starting line. Not unlike Ashley Cottrell of the year before, though, she could stand to step up her firsthand productivity (six goals) to go along with her playmaking proficiency (13 assists).

Ashley Cottrell- While she was not quite as consistently productive in the latter phases of the season, Cottrell still finished as both the team’s scoring leader and face-off leader (.534 winning percentage). And as a testament to her two-way proficiency, she also made a fair number of Normorean, 200-foot rushes with the puck.

Lauren Covell- The ex-forward’s conversion to defense last autumn ultimately amounted to the following improvements: 14 more games played, nine more points (all assists), 17 more registered shots, and six steps up the plus/minus ladder.

Jackie Duncan- Duncan’s doggedness was self-evident as she played through her fourth consecutive injury-nibbled campaign. Though hardly prolific and sparsely utilized, she earned a regular spot as the fourth-line centerpiece and, after recovering from a preseason ailment in mid-November, saw action in 22 out of 23 possible ventures. Remarkably, that made for her smoothest ride since she was a freshman.

Christina England- Did not see action beyond about five minutes worth of firefighting duty way back in October during the Mayor’s Cup Mayhem. The hot hand in net simply belonged to Genevieve Lacasse this year, and the backup England was presumably a good sport about it.

Jen Friedman- Before the December deceleration, there were six occasions where Friedman did not log a single shot on goal. Afterwards, Friedman appeared in 15 games and had at least one (usually more than one) SOG in 14 of them.

Abby Gauthier- When the ice chips settled and the data evened out, the sophomore Gauthier was mostly the freshman Gauthier, reminding everyone that Hockey East is a long stride ahead from St. Mary’s of Lynn. She did muster a nice wraparound assist on Jean O’Neill’s deficit-cutting goal in the Hockey East semifinal, but only after going dry on the previous seven scoresheets. Then again, she has two more years to sharpen up.

Emily Groth- Not a whole lot to gauge in Groth’s nine sparsely distributed appearances, during which she simply supplemented the fourth line and went scoreless the whole way through.

Christie Jensen- A toe-curling, team-worst minus-8 at the midseason break, Jensen ultimately pulled even on that front and snuck in a few more points from her perch at the brim of the zone.

Genevieve Lacasse- She certainly does not have Connecticut’s number anymore. But apart from a couple of shaky –and in one case, very costly- bouts with the Huskies, plus three ghastly games spread out over the first half of the season, the Friars never trailed by more than one goal at any point of any contest. Maybe not so coincidentally, they had Lacasse in the cage for all 35 of those games, a testament not only to her durability but also her priceless composure.

Colleen Martin- Not unlike a few of her defensive understudies, Martin reverted to a stay-at-home state after briefly flaunting more daring tendencies in the early phases of the season. That didn’t exactly seem to have an adverse effect on the team’s resurgent second half, though. Looking ahead, the captain’s lasting influence might be judged based on the continued development of rising junior Jen Friedman, her first-pair partner for the duration of the season.

Pam McDevitt- With an unholy trinity of zeroes across her goal-assist-points transcript and limited ice time in each of her 31 games played, McDevitt has to resort to the intangibles to find satisfaction in her senior campaign. To that point, she did draw a fair number of opposing penalties, seemingly more than most of her peers did.

Jean O’Neill- O’Neill personified the Friars’ second half performance, wherein unwavering urgency translated to a surplus of success. As PC recompensed its 4-7-6 start with an 11-3-3 finish, O’Neill had at least one point in 12 of those latter 17 games. And even on nights when the rest of the team was wilting, such as a 2-1 home loss to Vermont in January or the fateful Hockey East semifinal, she was the one finding the net and stoking any hope that remained. There may be an MVP and/or C title in her near future.

Arianna Rigano- Rigano’s pleasantly surprising data makes her a sound candidate for the team’s Seventh Player Award at the team banquet later this month. She upped a 2-2-4 scoring log as a junior transfer to 7-7-14 as a senior and more impressively finished with the best plus/minus among all PC skaters at plus-10.

Leigh Riley- Though on the third D-unit, opposite Covell, Riley used the ice time she got to retain the best plus/minus among PC blueliners at a plus-7.

Alyse Ruff- Along with her dynamic complement O’Neill, Ruff has made tracks on her junior campaign with nothing but great expectations for her upcoming senior season. She has gradually grown to tame the tasks that come with being a center and has done her job on both sides of the special teams’ spectrum.

Laura Veharanta- The good news: Veharanta is only half-done with her college career. After missing the first two games of the New Year with a mild illness, the sophomore winger scraped out a mere two helpers in the homestretch and went pointless for the final eight games. Her cumulative bushel of 12 points was a harrowing 19-point drop from her radiant rookie year.

Jessie Vella- Vella only once went for more than two consecutive games without getting her name on the scoresheet. And after receiving a hooking citation in each of her first three appearances, she only took two more minor penalties in the 18 games that followed. That makes it tough for her and her associates not to look forward to next season, when she hopes to stay injury-free and to put more pucks on net (she had but 20 SOG, although five went in).

Amber Yung- As quiet a contributor on the ice as she is soft-spoken off of it, Yung can let a little hardware do most of her talking. She would finish second only to Connecticut’s Cristen Allen in the inaugural Hockey East best defender’s derby and last week was penned to the New England Hockey Writers all-star squad. All good signs as she transitions to her senior season, when she will be heavily leaned on to fill Colleen Martin’s leadership skates on the blue line.