Thursday, February 16, 2012

Top 12 Highlights in PC Women’s Hockey Class of 2012’s Careers

The Providence College women’s hockey team will conduct its annual Senior Night on Friday with no assurance of bonus home ice for its seven seniors, one of the most touted and still one of the most unfulfilled bunches in the Bob Deraney era.

Still lacking a Hockey East pennant and concomitant bid to the NCAA tournament, next weekend will begin the class of 2012’s last call for a delectable topping on their college careers. But even if they whiff on their last swing, it will be hard to cast off the rest of the legacy of Kate Bacon, Ashley Cottrell, Jen Friedman, Abby Gauthier, Christie Jensen, Genevieve Lacasse and Laura Veharanta.

The six skaters have combined for 166 goals, 219 assists and 385 points in anywhere between 121 and 137 games-played. As a group, they have averaged 131 career appearances coupled with a 27-36-63 scoring transcript. The four forwards have collectively averaged 36 goals and 77 points.

Lacasse has pitched in nine helpers herself while raising new bars in her day job, turning away a program-record 3,289 shots and pitching a record 17 shutouts in a record 122 games and 7,282-played. Her career goals-against average (2.02) and save-percentage (.931) are both on pace to surpass those of Jana Bugden and Sara DeCosta.

Before the Friars try to extend their three-game guarantee for the balance of this class’ tenure, here is a brief backcheck to the 2012 graduates’ top 12 moments up to this point.

January 10, 2009
In the class’ first-ever tangle with New Hampshire’s Granite State Goddesses, Lacasse repelled 43 out of 43 shots-faced while 11 different skaters pen their name to the scoresheet for a 5-0 victory at Schneider Arena.

Bacon and Friedman chipped in a goal apiece, Cottrell notched and a playmaker and Veharanta charged up a playmaker hat trick to pilot PC’s first win over the Wildcats since Jan. 29, 2005.

February 6, 2009
In the first installment of the Lacasse-Florence Schelling rivalry, Providence deleted Northeastern’s 2-0 lead in a matter of 22 seconds around the halfway mark of regulation.

Gauthier set up Jean O’Neill’s equalizer and later collaborated with Cottrell to feed Mari Pehkonen for the clinching strike in overtime.

November 8, 2009
Although Cottrell’s icebreaker could not hold up, Lacasse and an unlikely scorer in Jensen would salvage the two-point package in a historic, 2-1 shootout decision versus Northeastern. The three-inning lightning round extended to 10 extra frames as Lacasse and Schelling each repelled 11 of the opposition’s first 12 bids, only slipping in the seventh stanza.

But in the bottom of the 13th, with three unused skaters left on the Friars’ injury-shortened bench, Jensen made a long swoop around the left lane and roofed the winner over Schelling’s left shoulder.

November 15, 2009
The besieged Friars were lacking a regulation win in eight consecutive outings before they unleashed their carbonation on Boston University in the backend of a home-and-home series.

Lacasse’s 41 saves and Cottrell’s playmaker hat trick were the prime highlights in a redressing, come-from-behind, 6-2 victory at Schneider. Cottrell and Veharanta set up then-rookie Nicole Anderson to complete her hat trick at 5:05 of the third period before Cottrell inserted her own dose of insurance for a four-point day.

October 29, 2010
Bacon capped off a breakout month to a breakout year (seven goals and 10 points in nine games) with a hand in both goals as part of a 2-2 tie with a celestial Boston University team.

Bacon and Gauthier collaborated to set up freshman Rebecca Morse’s icebreaker and Lacasse recovered from two unanswered Jenn Wakefield goals to repel the other 40 shots she faced while Bacon inserted the equalizer with 8:25 to spare in regulation.

November 26, 2010
Patrolling the straightaway point, Friedman slugged home the first equalizer before Bacon converted Gauthier’s feed to give Providence a 2-1 lead and Cottrell snapped a 2-2 knot in the final minute of regulation to take the Mayor’s Cup from Brown, 3-2, at Meehan Auditorium.

January 21, 2011
As part of a 51-save night, Lacasse swallowed 33 out of 33 shots-faced in the third period while Gauthier deleted a 1-0 deficit and turned the tables en route to a 3-1 home win over Boston College.

February 13, 2011
A member of the junior class accounted for every goal and seven of PC’s 11 points in a 4-3 win over Connecticut at Rentschler Field.

Friedman opened the scoring with a trademark slapper from the straightaway point, Cottrell expands the lead to 2-0 and Veharanta nails the last two strikes. In addition, Bacon amassed a playmaker hat trick.

March 5, 2011
Lacasse broke Schelling’s hours-old record for most saves in a WHEA postseason game and surpasses Bugden for the Friars’ career-saves lead in regulation. A power-play goal via Friedman (assist to Cottrell) and go-ahead strike by Gauthier briefly had the Friars leading Boston College, 2-1, although the Eagles rallied to render Lacasse’s valiant, 58-save day moot in a 3-2 overtime decision.

November 1, 2011
After a vinegary, 1-6-2 run in October, the Friars kickstarted a redemptive 5-0-1 unbeaten hustle with a 9-3 romp over Yale. Cottrell chipped in three points while Bacon and Veharanta tallied two goals apiece and Jensen logged a goal-assist value pack.

February 4, 2012
Fueled by Cottrell’s first career hat trick, the Friars averted a season-series sweep and potentially redressed their outlook in the Hockey East playoff landscape with a 6-2 road rout of Boston College, who is in a footrace with Northeastern for first in the league.

February 12, 2012
Lacasse joined four classmates on the scoresheet with the secondary assist on Corinne Buie’s eventual game-winner, finishing a two-game weekend sweep at New Hampshire and giving her class a 4-2-0 lifetime record at the once-notorious Whittemore Center.