Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Women's Hockey Log: Prolific Playmaker Jen Friedman Happy To Help The Friars

In the PC women’s hockey team’s first six games, not a single defender has scored a goal. Given the surprise blizzard of 26 team strikes divided among 10 different contributors, that revelation is almost material for one of Lewis Black’s “I will repeat that” bits.

Still, five of the six designated blueliners has at least one assist to her credit. In all, the backline brigade has combined for 17 of the 39 helpers. That translates to 43.5 percent of the assists, 26.2 percent of the total points, and repels any pressure to unleash an old fashioned scorcher from the point.

“I think scoring is coming from everyone on the team, which is really good,” said junior Jen Friedman, whose four assists over the weekend spiked her to the team lead with nine on the year. That also ties her for tops in the nation in that category with Quinnipiac freshman forward Kelly Babstock and she leads all NCAA defenders in scoring.

She added, paraphrasing the Crash Davis Guidebook, “I think just everyone is doing their own job has been working well to help the team.”

In her first two seasons with the Friars, Friedman took at least five games to etch her first point. She had no more than three before January, which has customarily been her most productive month.

Until this year, anyway. Two more points and she will have already cemented a career year with 11 and counting.

With 27 games yet to come, and a horde of her allies on similarly revolutionary paces, it is all but assured that Friedman will pioneer a plethora of individual bar-raisers in Friartown’s Skating Sorority this winter.

“Just the experience I’ve had over the years has helped,” she granted. “And also the team is doing well overall, so that helps a lot. When the team as a whole does better, everybody gets better.”

Friedman has also pushed light-years ahead of schedule in the way of power play productivity. After finishing with back-to-back 2-2-4 transcripts on the advantage, she has already pitched in three assists, the most recent being on Nicole Anderson’s equalizer in Saturday’s 2-1 triumph at Colgate.

Over the last four games, one PC point patroller –whether it be Friedman or senior Amber Yung- has had a hand in all five of the Friars power play conversions. Knowing that –along with the fact that the Friars have yet to surrender a shortie- it is all the more likely that the new umbrella formation, with four attackers digging deep and leaving one lone ranger on the straightaway point, is here to stay.

Which is all good by the likes of Friedman.

“I really like it, and I trust my forwards to get back if there’s a breakdown,” she said. “I know that they’ll backcheck and be able to help me. But I really like the formation. It puts us in a good position to score goals.”

Quick feeds: Despite the elongated winning streak, the Friars failed to reenter USCHO’s top 10 leaderboard yesterday. With 20 points, they were one notch behind No. 10 Ohio State, which is one of five WCHA teams formally ranked this week…Goaltender Genevieve Lacasse, who pushed away 61 of 63 shots faced during the two-day New York excursion, was named the league’s defensive player of the week yesterday…Starting center Alyse Ruff is one of only three Hockey Easterners to already have two game-winning goals on the year, joined by Boston University flamethrower Jenn Wakefield and New Hampshire sophomore Kristina Lavoie.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

This article originally appeared in the Friartown Free Press