May 7, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
Some of the greatest players to suit up for Providence College women's ice hockey were in attendance Sunday, helping the current edition of the Friars announce its team awards during the End-of-Year banquet at the Providence Marriott Downtown.
The program began with Head Coach Bob Deraney and his coaching staff honoring the seven members of the graduating class of 2012. The seven seniors include forwards Kate Bacon (Chanhassen, Minn.), Ashley Cottrell (Sterling Heights, Mich.), Abby Gauthier (Lynn, Mass.), and Laura Veharanta (La Verne, Calif.), defensemen Christie Jensen (Delta, B.C.) and co-captain Jennifer Friedman (San Gabriel, Calif.), and goaltender and co-captain Genevieve Lacasse (Kingston, Ontario).
Also in attendance were several members of the first Providence College women's ice hockey team, the 1974-75 Friars, and their coaching staff, including the first head coach of the program, Tom Palamara. The Friar seniors presented bouquets to the "original Friars" and thanked them for laying the foundation for the program's success.
Seven team awards, including six voted on by the players and one by the coaching staff, were then presented by former Friar greats:
Cindy Curley '85, third on the Friars all-time scoring list with 225 points and a member of four US World Championship teams, presented the Captains' Awards to Friedman and Lacasse in appreciation for their service to the team.
Providence Assistant Coach and US Olympic silver medalist Karen Thatcher '06 presented the Academic Award to junior Jessica Cohen (Anchorage, Alaska), in recognition for her exceptional Grade Point Average as a double major.
Heidi Kenny, one of the original Friars responsible for building the program and creating opportunities for future success, announced the Most Improved Award winner. This year, it was earned by freshman Brooke Simpson (Boxboro, Mass.).
Another US national team alum presented the Coaches' Award. Wendy Cofran '94, a member of three consecutive ECAC championship teams, presented Friedman with the coaching staff's recognition of the player who excelled beyond expectations at her position. Friedman finished her career with a plus/minus rating of +30 and was a conference Honorable Mention All-Star.
The Unsung Hero Award was presented by one of the first scholarship athletes of the program and a former three-sport star. Kathy Lenahan Hurley '81, still among career leaders in every major offensive statistical category, recognized Gauthier with the honor that goes to a student-athlete who consistently contributed to the team's success but did not necessarily receive the recognition she deserved. Gauthier overcame injury to lead the 2011-12 Friars in scoring with 29 points.
There was a tie for the next award. Former Friar All-American Krisitin Gigliotti '07 handed off the Seventh Player Award, signifying the player(s) who performed above and beyond expectations, to defensemen Cohen and Maggie Pendleton (Woodbury, Minn.). Pendleton contributed a career-best 12 points while Cohen switched positions from her natural forward when the blue line was affected by injuries.
Sara DeCosta Hayes `00, an Olympic gold medal-winning goalie and the Friars' first All-American, revealed the team's MVP award was going to Lacasse for the third year in a row. Lacasse earned the honor after breaking every major goaltending record within the program, as well as several Hockey East marks. She also played over 179 minutes of shutout hockey throughout the tournament in leading the Friars to within 7.7 seconds of their fourth Hockey East Championship.
The banquet completed a full weekend for the program. On Saturday, May 5, the team hosted its annual golf tournament. The event was sponsored by The Rinx and held at the beautiful Cranston Country Club.
- Go Friars -