Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hockey Log: Bergland Another Welcome Matt For PC Men

In a nod to the current edition of The Hockey News (press date: October 28), wherein “Team Reports introduces some of the fresh faces expected to make an impact for each of the 30 NHL teams this season,” the Free Press offers the same report for PC:

Matt Bergland, men’s forward- One of only three freshmen to dress for both of last weekend’s icebreaking games, Bergland rabidly whipped up a 1-2-3 transcript in the Friars’ 4-3 tipover of Bowling Green last Saturday, spotting him sole initial lead on the team scoring charts. Charging up two of those points on the power play –an assist on full-time linemate John Cavanagh’s second period go-ahead and his own goal for the eventual clincher- Bergland has earned consideration to be churned into the PK posse down the road as well.
“He’s a very intelligent player, he’s very instinctive, (and) he’s very, very quick,” said head coach Tim Army. “He has a good feel for the game. He can play at a fast-pace, and he’s got a good stick and a good nose for the net. I think showed that on both Friday and Saturday.”
And then, of course, fans who love to snack on trivial empty calories are waiting for the day sophomore Matt Tommasiello returns from his injury (likely not until January) and links up with Bergland, Matt Germain, and Matt Taormina in a PK quartet.
David Brown, men’s defenseman- Brown’s bar was tinkering near the top to start the season, as evidenced by his assignment to complement proficient puckslinger Matt Taormina on the power play points. Though he has yet to post a shot on net in the small hours of the season, Brown bagged a helper on Bergland’s game winner versus Bowling Green.
Ashley Cottrell, women’s forward- Coach Bob Deraney, being the seasoned Division I skipper that he is, will not favor single constituents of the new class he tirelessly acclaims. And, so far, the stats won’t do that either. But Cottrell gets a few extra ogling points for the international experience she brings and Deraney’s call for her to step up to the top line in the middle of last weekend.
Genevieve Lacasse, women’s goaltender- Initially pronounced blocked by the incumbent crease trinity of Danielle Ciarletta, Jen Smith, and Christina England, Lacasse has made early good of her timely arrival, handling the entirety of four games and backstopping PC’s first two wins. She has confronted an individual game average of 33.5 shots and let a slim nine through –many of Deraney has attributed to meltdowns on the part of Lacasse’s praetorian guards. So long as any veterans are unavailable, Lacasse promises to act as a functional landing mat.
Shawn Tingley, men’s forward- The 20-year-old North Kingstown native and his EJHL-enriched resume are both in the cooler for the time being as he nurses a pre-season ankle sprain. By Army’s eager estimate, though, Tingley should join in on practice starting next week and will be phased in to a prominent sect of the depth chart.
Laura Veharanta, women’s forward- Going into this weekend, the season-long first-liner leads the Friars in the way of scoring (5 points) and shooting (22 registered stabs). And on the tactical front, Veharanta knows a thing or two about trying to help a program penetrate the national landscape: she is on the heels of piloting a first-year California Wave U19 program to last year’s USA Hockey national tournament –opposite classmate and PC blueliner Jennifer Friedman.
Women’s Hockey vs. Boston College quick hits
· The WHEA’s Catholic Clash rekindles for the first time since the closure of the 2007-08 regular season, when the Friars claimed the short half of a home-and-home wishbone (1 out of 4 allotted points), yet scraped out enough to claim a playoff berth at the Eagles expense.
· Assuming she is fit to return to action today, PC freshman Kate Bacon shall stare down former high school teammate Tracy Johnson, a junior blueliner for the Eagles. The two played together at Minnesota-based Benilde-St. Margaret’s from 2004-2006.
· Both PC senior Stephanie Morris and BC freshman Mary Restuccia are North American Hockey Academy alumnae.
· BC’s top scorers: Kelli Stack (5-3-8); Allie Thunstrom (2-3-5); Danielle Welch (2-3-5)
· Site: Schneider Arena; 2:00 face-off
· Media: Gametracker; US College Hockey Online’s Game of the Week
Men’s Hockey at Holy Cross quick hits
· Both late bloomers in terms of thawing out their respective schedules, a task they both carried out last week, the Friars and Crusaders tangle for the fourth time in recent memory, though PC will pay the program’s first visit to the Worcester since February 7, 1956. The Crusaders, who twelve months ago wrested their first triumph over the Friars in seven all-time tries through a 6-4 earthquake at Schneider Arena, are 1-0-1 after last weekend’s two-game set with conference cohabitant Canisius.
· HC’s top scorers: Dewey Thomson (1-2-3); Brodie Sheahan (2-0-2); Everett Sheen (1-1-2)
· Projected goaltending matchup: Justin Gates (PC) vs. Adam Roy (HC)
· Site: Hart Recreation Center (Worcester, Mass.); 7:00 face-off
· Media: Online audio streaming
Quick Feeds: The PC men’s 4-1 letdown in Lowell last night had precisely one jutting scrap of consolation in senior captain Kyle Laughlin’s first goal in 24 outings. Laughlin’s twig went infamously stiff in the latter half of last season, good for merely five sparse helpers after he had last struck the mesh personally against Union on December 7, 2007…Army reinserted Kyle MacKinnon into the lineup last night, letting him fill the centerpiece on the fourth line, bumping Andy Balysky to the wing, and letting Rob Maloney take a scratch night. All other attacking units were left unruffled from last week’s home win over Bowling Green…On the blue line last night, veteran Mark Fayne –assigned to the upper bowl last Saturday for his unsatisfactory output on opening night- was invited back into action, rotating David Cavanagh out…The USCHO broadcast crew, dropping in at the Schneider Arena booth for the second time this young season, will open its cyber doors to interested viewers at 1:45 today.
Al Daniel can be reached at
This article originally appeared in the Friartown Free Press

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Women's Hockey Log: Friars Change On The Fly

Providence head coach Bob Deraney fired a tricky, twirling wrist shot at the puck prophets by reinstating senior goaltender Danielle Ciarletta at Northeastern last Saturday.
When the Friars were previously seen in game time attire, freshman Genevieve Lacasse appeared to be to sole masked lady of momentum, having made three consecutive starts and backstopped the team’s first win over Colgate two Saturdays ago.
But, this being a game of constant resurfacing, Deraney’s appraisal changed before the team bus even flipped on the ignition. “I felt that they both deserved to play this weekend based on their performances in practice,” he said. “Both young ladies have been doing a good job battling for playing time.”
As fate would have it, Deraney’s move in the cage was merely the taster before a tempest of tweaks in his depth chart between Saturday’s bitter 1-0 falter to the Huskies and the subsequent excursion to Vermont on Sunday.
A few jutting highlights of those revisions: season-long first line forward Alyse Ruff partnered with fellow sophomore Jean O’Neill and junior Jackie Duncan –who were, incidentally, her offensive associates for the better part of the first half of last season. Freshman Ashley Cottrell plugged Ruff’s old spot opposite Mari Pehkonen and Laura Veharanta on the starting line. Two-way connoisseur Erin Normore inched up to center the third line with Abby Gauthier and Arianna Rigano for her first offensive assignment since last November.
Well, those tweaks worked well enough for an immediate dose of redemption –a 4-2 triumph with all of the day’s scoring compacted into the second period and a total of 10 Friars putting their names to the scoresheet.
In her stride along Memory Lane with O’Neill and Duncan, Ruff inserted the eventual game-clinching strike at 9:33 of the decisive middle frame, at that point nudging PC ahead, 3-1, and only 14 seconds after Chelsea Furlani put Vermont on the board with her first of two power play conversions on the day –both of which were assisted by ex-Friar Brittany Nelson.
Duncan, returning from an injury that had sidelined her throughout the previous weekend, collected a helper (as did O’Neill) to go with her goal (PC’s second of the day) at the 8:30 mark.
Only 90 seconds after she stepped out of the box early thanks to Furlani’s second power play tally at 18:19, Normore left a rebound for Rigano to bury, renewing the two-goal lead and ultimately solidifying the 4-2 upshot.
And in her prompt return to the cage, Lacasse handled the bulk of the Catamounts’ 27 stabs, including the last five unanswered in the stretch drive of the third period. It was a somewhat bookish reversal from the Friars’ venture to Northeastern the prior afternoon.
Providence, which besides the game lost senior A-captain Katy Beach to an upper body injury –Deraney’s proclaimed premise for the lineup changes- ran up a 31-20 edge in Saturday’s shooting gallery, sprinting rabidly ahead in the final fifteen minutes after Husky Ali Bielawski beat Ciarletta for the game’s only goal. Under the upgrade in urgency, the Friars authorized but one more shot at Ciarletta while heaving nine at Northeastern’s Florence Schelling, seven of them spaced over three power plays.
But the Huskies’ freshman phenom –who together with sophomore Leah Sulyma has now laid four goose eggs in six outings, including Sunday’s 3-0 knockout of Connecticut- held her ground for the day.
“That’s what happens with good goalies,” Deraney granted. “She got a couple of good breaks.”
And so, the Friars spilled their appetite over to Sunday in Burlington and bussed back to campus propitiated after shattering their scoring chrysalis and pulling even to a 1-1 record in their young Hockey East slate (2-4 overall).
“It’s really important that the girls get rewarded for their efforts,” Deraney offered. “When you only give up three goals on a weekend and score four, you usually expect to get more than just two points (in the standings).
“But we’re getting better every day,” he concluded. “We’re growing.”
Quick Feeds: For a portion of Saturday’s game, the Northeastern online stat tracker erroneously reported that defender Amber Yung had replaced Ciarletta in the crease…Veharanta potted PC’s first goal on Sunday, nudging her into a singular team lead with five points. All four of her goals have come on the power play…Reached via phone late Sunday night, Deraney made a point of crediting defender Leigh Riley’s productive output (1 shot and a +1 rating) at Vermont after she had been sidelined the previous two outings…Rookie forward Kate Bacon, injured all weekend, is “progressing” by Deraney’s account, as is the aforementioned Beach. No conclusive statuses were disclosed.
Al Daniel can be reached at
This article originally appeared in the Friartown Free Press