Original O’Neill re-emerges
Report based on Gametracker
BOSTON- In her third game removed from a lower body injury that had sidelined her for three months, senior forward Jean O’Neill was back among the PC women’s top six for yesterday’s visit to Walter Brown Arena. She was back on the wings of her co-captain and former Princeton Tiger Lilies’ U19 teammate Alyse Ruff. She was back in the mix on the power play.
And, albeit in a losing cause as the host Boston University extracted a painstaking 4-3 decision, O’Neill asserted her return to normalcy. She connected for her first of two goals on the Friars’ second power play opportunity, drawing a 1-1 knot with a spot-on snapper from the slot only 10 seconds after opposing defender Catherine Ward had sat down for roughing.
O’Neill set the tone for the second period, taking a punctual shot at BU goalie Kerrin Sperry on the first shift of the stanza. Later on, in the sixth minute, the plucky forward had blocked a shot from Terriers’ blueliner Kaleigh Fratkin, effectively keeping a 2-1 deficit from swelling. Some seven minutes later, O’Neill struck once more, parking herself on the porch and thrusting the biscuit through the roof, for a 2-2 tally.
With yesterday’s output, O’Neill once again bestowed BU the nominal honor of being her most frequently victimized opponent with six goals and seven points in nine encounters. It was her second career multi-goal game and third multi-point performance at the Terriers’ expense. She previously inserted two pucks in a 4-3 win at Schneider Arena on Jan. 31, 2008, and snagged a goal-assist value pack in a 5-3 road loss Nov. 14, 2009.
For what five games are worth, O’Neill is still on pace to belatedly build upon her hat trick and four-point dolphin show on opening night against Robert Morris, the eve of her Oct. 2 injury. She is now subsisting on a 5-2-7 transcript, including three power play points.
At her rate, there is little else she can still ask for, except maybe to score in a winning effort. The Friars are 0-2-0 this season when O’Neill tunes the mesh.
Five to the second power
Two Friars and three Terriers logged a multi-point game yesterday. PC junior defender Christie Jensen assisted on both of O’Neill’s goals, doubling her total to four helpers on the year. BU’s Marie-Philip Poulin and Louise Warren likewise charged up two helpers each while Terrier captain Holly Lorms beat Friars’ goalie Nina Riley twice.
During the only power play segment of either the second or third period, with Jenn Wakefield off for bodychecking, BU forward Jill Cardella took two shorthanded hacks at Riley with 4:46 remaining in the third. An overaggressive follow-through landed Cardella her own two-minute minor for charging the goalie. A possible five-on-three for Providence was promptly negated, though, when towering blueliner Jen Friedman bought herself a citation for hitting after the whistle.
Quick feeds: BU senior forward Jillian Kirchner led all puckslingers with eight shots on goal. Starting linemates Corinne Buie and Ashley Cottrell led the Friars with four apiece…Poulin won 19 out of her 25 face-offs, including nine against Cottrell and seven against Ruff…Ruff and freshman defender Rebecca Morse, putting in her first appearance since the December deceleration, both recorded an assist…Abby Gauthier and Nicole Anderson were the only PC skaters to log a positive rating (plus-1)…The Friars now look ahead to a home-and-home series with New Hampshire, beginning Friday night at the Whittemore Center and shuffling back to Schneider Arena Saturday night. The mighty-have-fallen Wildcats opened their 2011 slate yesterday with a 4-2 home loss to Northeastern and have now dropped eight consecutive Hockey East games.
Al Daniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org