Saturday, December 18, 2010

PC Women's Hockey Midseason Player Reports

Nicole Anderson- At one point, the towering winger had a team-leading 2-3-5 transcript on the power play, which cooled off over November along with her. A last-minute perk-up before the break, however, could bode well for the second half.

Kate Bacon- In her third full season, and first injury-free, Bacon is using her turbine blades without fail to charge up a rapid career year and a team-best 14 goals, 20 points, and 92 shots on net. One only wishes that “opposing penalties drawn” could be adopted as an official statistic, for she would facilely be a team, if not league or even national leader in that category.

Corinne Buie- Not much more can be asked of Buie in the second half, except of course that she not let her self-enhancing profile get to her head and self-destruct. If she stays on pace, she ought to finish with roughly 24 points for the second-best rookie campaign by a Friar in the Hockey East era, trailing only Veharanta’s 2008-09 output.

Jess Cohen
- Her insipid numbers –two goals and no helpers on 23 shots on net- are symptomatic of last year’s Laura Veharanta syndrome. She along with classmates and linemates Anderson and Jessie Vella ought to be the making the most vocal New Year’s pledges in the PC Skating Sorority.

Ashley Cottrell
- While not quite on the same productive pace (seven goals, 12 points) as her sizzling sophomore season, Cottrell is still of doubtless value and playing a routine role in the clutch. She has scored three game-winning goals, assisted on another two, and had a hand in two critical equalizers, both of which immediately preceded game-clinchers for the Friars.

Lauren Covell- After flexibly hopping between positions on demand, the junior grinder can expect to assume a full-time forward assignment once Jean O’Neill comes back, giving PC a long-awaited quorum of 12 forwards.

Jen Friedman- Now beyond the halfway mark of her career, the towering defender has established herself as a prototypical point-based puckslinger. With a 4-10-14 transcript, including 2-3-5 on the power play, she is worth emulating to her blue line colleagues.

Abby Gauthier- Has fed off a resolute regimen of summer training and the contagious seasoning of her linemates. Not only has Gauthier joined in on the career year crowd with a 4-8-12 scoring transcript. She has inserted three power play goals in 19 games on the year after going without anything of the sort in a combined 67 contests her first two seasons.

Emily Groth
- More than anything, the sophomore center is pining for a full-time pair of linemates, which should be coming on the other side of the break.

Christie Jensen- Had a booming finale to the calendar year by posting a plus-4 rating during the recent three-game homestand, which liberated her from the red in that category.

Genevieve Lacasse- The nation’s leader in cumulative minutes played (1147:57) and a not-too-distant No. 3 in terms of aggregate saves with 555. Only Ohio State’s Lisa Steffes (559) and Sacred Heart’s Alexius Schutt (558) have repelled more rubber, although they have also authorized more goals. The Cyclopean task thus left to Christina England and/or Nina Riley for the first three games of January speaks for itself. But once Lacasse is back from the MLP Cup, she will be one start-to-finish game away from 5,000 career minutes, which would place her second on the Friars’ all-time leaderboard ahead of Sara Decosta.

Rebecca Morse- The rookie blueliner, playing under Friedman’s wing on the second unit, is anything but shy about pinching in the offensive zone and has scraped out a respectable six points as a result.

Jean O’Neill- O’Neill has barely had a full regular season game to set the tone for her finale, but it was a promising pledge as evidenced by her opening night hat trick. Her probable reinsertion the first weekend of January will essentially follow a miniature summer of replenishing her game, which ought to let her lend a ration of genuine depth without delay.

Maggie Pendleton- Compared to the majority of her peers, Pendleton has more progress to make. Then again, this was only her first semester. The aforementioned Jensen should be tasked with continuing to help hone her young defensive partner.

Leigh Riley- Riley has never seen much of her name on either side of the scoresheet in her first three seasons. This year, though, she is sneaking in to the scoring half a little more with four assists, but her game remains Lady Byng-like with only two minor infractions.

Alyse Ruff- The senior co-captain has eclipsed an otherwise curious dip in goal frequency with a team-best 13 assists and a league-best plus-19 rating, the latter stat a plain testament to her two-way value. And not unlike her fellow top-six center Cottrell, she is regularly on the scoresheet when the decision is made, nailing three game-clinchers and setting up another two.

Laura Veharanta- Has patently regained her confidence, as evidenced by her already exceeding her 2009-10 output under the goal (three last year, six this year) and shot (57 last year, 65 this year) headings.

Jessie Vella- Defensive efficiency has earned her substantial time on the penalty kill, but is not exactly reflected in her plus/minus, owing entirely to a modicum of offensive output.

Amber Yung- The Friars’ leading blueliner, like her partner Riley, has continued to demonstrate commendable discipline with only two minor penalties in the first 19 games. It’s also hard to gripe over her plus-12 rating, a sign that she is filling Colleen Martin’s skates.

Al Daniel can be reached at

This article originally appeared in the Friartown Free Press

Friday, December 17, 2010

Brief backcheck: Remembering the Providence-Charlotte hockey alliance

Not surprisingly, but nonetheless disappointingly, the seasoned and accredited Rhode Island media passed over yet another intriguing Providence Bruins’ story. Tonight, the P-Bruins will host the fifth incarnation of the Charlotte Checkers, who entered the AHL this autumn as the Carolina Hurricanes’ new feeder club.

One may recall that a previous version of the Checkers –who also played in the defunct Eastern League from 1956-73 and the bygone Southern League from 1973-77- were Boston’s Double-A affiliate from their inception in the ECHL in 1993 until 1998, when their auspices shuffled over to the New York Rangers.

During the Checkers’ five-year partnership with the Spokespeople, the following 30 players saw action in both Providence and Charlotte:

Howie Rosenblatt, RW (both teams 1993-95)
Sergei Berdnikov, LW (Providence 1993-94, Charlotte 1993-95)
Roman Gorev, F (Providence 1993-94, Charlotte 1993-95)
Derek Eberle, D (Providence 1993-95, Charlotte 1993-94)
Matt Robbins, F (Providence 1993-94, Charlotte 1993-97)
Scott Lindsay, RW (Providence 1993-94, Charlotte 1993-95)
Scott Bailey, G (Providence 1993-97, Charlotte 1993-94)
Andre Bashrikov, RW (Providence 1993-94, Charlotte 1993-95)
Dominic Amodeo, C (Both teams 1993-94)
Scott Meehan, D (Providence 1993-94, Charlotte 1993-96)
Kurt Seher, D (Providence 1992-95, Charlotte 1993-2003)
Evgeni Ryabchikov, G (Providence 1994-97, Charlotte 1995-97)
Rob Tallas, G (Providence 1994-98, Charlotte 1994-95)
Steve Norton, D (Both teams 1994-95)
Bill McCauley, D (Providence 1995-98, Charlotte 1996-98)
Andre Roy, LW (Providence 1995-98, Charlotte 1997-98)
Milt Mastad, D (Providence 1995-96, Charlotte 1996-98)
Scott Kirton, RW (Providence 1995-96, Charlotte 1995-97)
Charles Paquette, D (Both teams 1995-98)
Joe Crowley, LW (Charlotte 1994-95, Providence 1995-96)
Shawn Wheeler, LW (Charlotte 1994-97, Providence 1995-96)
Brad Konik, C (Both teams 1996-97)
Justin Gould, D (Providence 1996-97, Charlotte 1996-98)
Paxton Schafer, G (Providence 1996-99, Charlotte 1996-98)
P.C. Drouin, LW (Providence 1996-98, Charlotte 1997-98)
Andrei Yakhanov, D (Both teams 1997-98)
Kimbi Daniels, C (Charlotte 1995-97, Providence 1997-98)
Antti Laaksonen, LW (Providence 1997-00, Charlotte 1997-98)
Eric Naud, LW (Both teams 1997-98)
Richard Uniake, C (Both teams 1997-98)

Quick feeds: Goaltender David Brumby also dressed for the P-Bruins and Checkers in the 1998-99 season, though the alliance had officially ended by then. Brumby and Laaksonen both exulted in the Spoked-Ps 1999 Calder Cup championship…Five other players –Kirton, Meehan, Paquette Seher, and Wheeler- partook in Charlotte’s Kelly Cup title in 1996…Of the 30 players listed, Laaksonen saw the most cumulative action with the P-Bruins, appearing in 144 games and charging up 85 points…Robbins is the ECHL Checkers’ second all-time leading scorer with 340 points in 256 career games…Seher played in Charlotte from 1993-2003, overlapping the teams’ affiliations with Boston and the Rangers, and logged a franchise-high 593 games played…Bailey, Drouin, Laaksonen, Roy, Schafer, and Tallas all garnered a few ice chips of regular season action in Boston.