Sunday, January 18, 2009

Women's Hockey Log: Friedman Wakes Up On Offense

Freshman blueliner Jennifer Friedman charged up her first career point in the form of an assist to Laura Veharanta, breaking the ice en route to a 4-2 road knockout of Vermont on Oct. 19. That same afternoon, she doubled her young accumulation of penalty minutes from four to eight.

By the conclusion of her first month on the Divine Campus, Friedman had the archetypal readings of a stay-at-home laborer with the one assist through eight games. With it, she had the fairly conventional, understandable readings of a still-acclimating newbie with the 10 PIM.

Fast-forward to the conclusion of her latest encounter with the Catamounts, yesterday’s 3-0 home win. With fifteen additional games to her credit, Friedman boasts a 3-3-6 scoring transcript and has only sprinkled three more misdemeanors to her record –one of those, incidentally, was a checking infraction late in yesterday’s first period.

Leading up to her last three outings, Friedman was inseparably complemented by classmate Christie Jensen, with whom she chiefly shoveled off the remainders of opposing attacks and set up statistically uncredited breakouts. But lately, the two have each partnered with a veteran and are unmistakably feeding off of the more seasoned twigs.

Jensen, who has been paired with sophomore Leigh Riley, finally scraped out her first point in last Tuesday’s 7-3 falter at Dartmouth. Friedman, who has ascended to a starting position with captain Brittany Simpson, coincidentally has a three-game point streak in the works after not having so much as a shot on net in her previous four ventures.

Repeated resilience
Goaltender Genevieve Lacasse has been forked out of her cage early in two of her last four starts, but has shaken off both muddles in the form of subsequent shutouts. She had been unplugged after a three-goal, seven-shot crumble in Part I of a two-game stay at Cornell, giving Danielle Ciarletta the rest of the weekend’s workload, but turned around to blank New Hampshire on a 43-save dolphin show. Yesterday’s less strenuous triumph of Vermont promptly rinsed the vinegar from Tuesday’s career-worst shellacking at Dartmouth.

With her continual backstopping resolve, the Friars –now 12-9-2 overall- have consistently averted consecutive losses since their chin-clipping 0-3 start. Having enhanced their conference record to 7-2-1, they have leapfrogged UConn –which dealt with Mercyhurst both yesterday and Friday- for sole claim to second place in this morning’s standings.

Sticking around up frontBarring any future emergency voids in the defensive corps, two-way connoisseur Erin Normore seems affixed to her full-time, even-strength role as a forward. Naturally, the crafty senior was perched on one the points with understudy Amber Yung on the Friars’ decisive power play conversion. But meanwhile, she won six of her 10 face-offs on the day.

Normore and classmate Katy Beach swapped their spots on the depth chart yesterday, Normore winging Mari Pehkonen on the right side opposite Kate Bacon, Beach centering Jean O’Neill and Abby Gauthier.

Quick Feeds: Ashley Cottrell nailed her second game winning goal on the season, linking her up with linemates Alyse Ruff and Veharanta as the other Friars with multiple clinchers. Ruff, meantime, shared credit with Simpson on Friedman’s third period dagger…Cottrell, Friedman, Ruff, Simpson, and Veharanta all finished with a day’s rating of +2…With the lone assist on Cottrell’s goal, Amber Yung splashed a personal six-game scoring drought…Freshman winger Lauren Covell was reworked into the lineup after she was omitted the last two games, filling in Arianna Rigano’s normal spot with Pam McDevitt and Stephanie Morris on the fourth line…After PC finished killing Vermont’s third power play at 7:44 of the second, the game ran through strictly even-strength play for the next 24 minutes and 42 seconds. Beach’s ultimately harmless interference minor was the lone infraction on either side in the closing frame…The overall shortage of developments -34 aggregate shots, three goals, six minor penalties- amounted to the quickest finish (one hour, 50 minutes) to a Friars game this season.

Al Daniel can be reached at

This article originally appeared in the Friartown Free Press