Sunday, January 18, 2009

Women's Hockey 3, Vermont 0: Friars Best Catamounts With Low Shooting Sustenance

Report based on Gametracker
Though the former’s statistical spreadsheet reflects near-regality while that of the latter underscores what would be found in a catalog of rag-based fashions, Genevieve Lacasse would have little incentive to sympathize with Kristen Olychuck. At least not in terms of measuring up one another’s labor loads.

Olychuck, a junior and Vermont’s established starter two years running since she transferred from Sacred Heart, entered yesterday’s confrontation having faced 360 cumulative shots in 14 appearances. Lacasse, the Friars’ freshman phenom, came in having dealt with 499 opposing bids over 16 games played. Her latest swing: a most forgettable seven-goal dismantling via Dartmouth on Tuesday.

All that aside, Lacasse has had a far more expansive assortment of luxuries to indulge in this season and she gratefully accepted a quite facile end of her bargain yesterday, helping PC to paste a 3-0 victory at Schneider Arena with a slim 16 saves necessary. While Olychuck’s disconcerting stature at the bottom of all major goaltending categories in Hockey East deepened a touch, Lacasse submitted her fourth shutout overall and third in as many intraleague home contests.

Her puckslinging partners, conversely, had to crack a stubborn Catamount code to get to the brittle Olychuck, but ultimately mustered three strikes –two off the stick of the suddenly radiant rookie defender Jennifer Friedman- on a game total of 18 shots. Classmate Ashley Cottrell tagged along on the multi-point club, inserting the game winner and adding her team-best 14th helper on the year.

Although, with the mutual rigidity at each blue line border, the Friars’ connectivity took time to upload. In a rather hurried first period that hardly took a half hour to raze off the game clock, PC mustered a featherweight 6-5 shooting edge as the primal ranges of both attacking zones gained about as little outside admittance as the ongoing Extreme Makeover site at Slavin Center.

The Friars slogged out five of the game’s first six registered stabs in the first thirteen minutes before Vermont pelted Lacasse on four quick tours, including a carry-over checking penalty issued to Friedman with 21 seconds till break.

On the heels of clearing that kill to start the second, Lacasse warding off two shots in the process, Providence landed Channing Ahbe in the Vermont bin for body-checking for their second power play and circumvented the Catamount garrison for a nimble conversion. Amber Yung set up Cottrell for their lone stab of the player-up onslaught, which the freshman centerpiece converted for the icebreaker at 3:46.

Neither party had so much as broken double-digits under the SOG heading until after the halfway mark of the game. But at just that point, on PC’s next marked visit to the zone, Cottrell lassoed the remnants of Brittany Simpson’s whiff and handed things over to Friedman, who scorched home her second collegiate goal and third point in as many ventures with 10:24 gone.

Vermont’s stick rack thawed out afterwards, if only briefly, charging up five of the period’s remaining seven shots even as the Friars persistently broke up their protracted swarms with a fleeting wake-up gush at Olychuk.

The Catamounts would carry a slight, shallow, and altogether trivial 13-12 upper hand in the shooting gallery to the next new sheet. Friedman, however, carried in a still-unfulfilled twig and potted her second goal on three personal stabs 34 seconds into the closing frame, solidifying the 3-0 final.

Vermont’s offensive tanks would give out after merely three far-between retaliatory tries at Lacasse. After an utterly uneventful power play –their fourth on the day- passed with 5:34 to spare, the Friars upped their tone in the killing process. They spent the bulk of what time remained in Olychuck’s vicinity, winning four of the last five face-offs and discharging the last six shot attempts, three of which the keeper played.

Al Daniel can be reached at

This article originally appeared in the Friartown Free Press