PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Providence College women's hockey Head Coach Bob Deraney announced the program's seven-member incoming class set to begin play this fall for the Friars.
Coming off a fourth-place finish in Hockey East and a 17-17-3 overall record, the Friars welcome back 17 players from last season's roster, including four of the top-five scorers Brooke Boquist, Christina Putigna, Kate Friesen, and Cassidy MacPherson.
"We are excited to announce our incoming 2021 class for the 2017-18 season," Deraney said. "These seven players will add talent, skill, competitiveness, and depth to our talented group of returning players at all positions. Besides being outstanding hockey players, this group excels in the classroom and are outstanding young women dedicated and motivated to make us better. I expect them to compete for playing time immediately, but most importantly make us a team worthy of competing for championships."
Three forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender comprise the Class of 2021 for the Friars.
Sandra Abstreiter | 5-11 | Goaltender | Erding, Germany
Abstreiter has played with club teams HTI Stars, ESC Planegg, and TSV Erding over the previous four seasons where she was a part of four German championship squads. She also appeared in one game for Team Germany at the Under-18 World Junior Championships in 2015-16.
Deraney: "Sandra brings a physical presence to our goaltending position that we have not had in a long time. She possesses outstanding size, athleticism, and unlimited potential that every team is looking for at this position. She is a tremendous skater for her size and plays the puck extremely well. Her international and German National Team experience is really going to expedite her transition to NCAA Division I college hockey. Our goaltending position has never had more quality depth and talent which is pivotal to every successful team."
Chloe Gonsalves | 5-4 | Defense | Toronto, Ontario
Gonsalves played for the Toronto Leaside Junior Wildcats of the Provincial Women's Hockey League (PWHL) from 2015-17 where she helped lead the Wildcats to their first-ever PWHL quarterfinal appearance. Gonsalves earned the 2016 Junior Female Athlete of the Year Award and posted two goals and nine assists for the Wildcats during the 2016-17 season. Gonsalves competed for Team Ontario Blue at the 2016 Canadian Under-18 National Championships.
Deraney: "Chloe is a quintessential student-athlete with a second-to-none commitment and dedication to hockey and her academics. As a defenseman, Chloe plays bigger than she is. She is quick and agile, especially with the puck on her stick. This type of ability will allow her to fit in perfectly with the way we play and give us additional offense from the defense position."
Ariane Julien | 5-8 | Defense | Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec
Julien played for the Stanstead College Spartans from 2014-17, notching seven goals and 10 assists during the 2016-17 season. She also played for the East Coast Select Q team from 2012-15, capturing the Beantown Tournament three times for the Select Q Team. Julien won the silver medal with Team Quebec in the 2016 Canadian Under-18 National Championships.
Deraney: "Arie is a big, strong, steady defender who will complement the talented defensemen we have returning. Her size and strength alone will give us balance that we need and she will be looked upon to provide a lot of it. She has an offensive skillset that we look to develop over time, but are very excited about what she is going to bring right off the bat."
Hayley Lunny | 5-4 | Forward | Bedford, N.Y.
Lunny played three seasons with the North American Hockey Academy Winterhawks from 2014-17, totaling 36 goals and 25 assists during the 2016-17 season. Lunny led the Winterhawks with 11 game-winning goals last season and was the leading scorer at the 2016 USA Hockey National Development Camp with five goals in four games.
Deraney: "Hayley is as honest a player as you will find. She has the scoring touch but what is just as valuable is the fact that she plays the complete shift. She is a very good two-way player who refuses to be outworked, all while having the ability to produce goals and points while not giving them up."
Maureen Murphy | 5-4 | Forward | Buffalo, N.Y.
Murphy played three seasons with Shattuck St. Mary's, including a 2016-17 campaign in which she led the team with 48 goals and 43 assists. Shattuck captured national championships in all three seasons during Murphy's duration on the team. This past year, Murphy helped Team USA take home the gold medal at the 2017 Under-18 World Championships in the Czech Republic. Academically, she was her class' valedictorian at Shattuck St. Mary's.
Deraney: "Maureen is another quintessential student-athlete. Her work ethic, dedication, and commitment to being the best she can be is second-to-none on the ice and in the classroom. Her international experience is going to serve her and us very well as she makes the transition to Division I college hockey. Murphy's on-ice skill and intelligence on both sides of the puck is already at a very high level, which allows us to possibly see her playing in all situations as the season goes on."
Giana Savastano | 5-6 | Defense | Mapleville, R.I.
Savastano has played three seasons with the Winchendon School and the Islanders Hockey Club, as well as five seasons with the East Coast Selects '99 club. Savastano also participated in the U.S. Select 66 Camp in 2016.
Deraney: "Giana is a versatile player that can play defense and forward. With her ability, we see a very dynamic offensive defenseman that other teams will have a hard time keeping track of. She adds size, untapped speed, and terrific instincts that cannot be taught. She has the personality that every team needs especially if they want to be successful at the end of the season, which is our next step."
Camryn Tait | 5-8 | Forward | Toronto, Ontario
Tait played two seasons with the Toronto Aeros of the Provincial Women's Hockey League (PWHL), earning Player of the Game honors in the championship game in 2016. She totaled 10 goals and 22 assists over two seasons with the Aeros. Tait won gold for Team Ontario Red at the 2016 Canadian Under-18 National Championships.
Deraney: "Camryn is going to add high-level size, skill, compete, and natural athletic instincts to our talented group of returning forwards. She has the potential to be one of the best power forwards, not only in our league, but in the country over her four years with us. I'm excited to get it started and watch Camryn grow into the dominant player we feel she is capable of becoming."
The Friars open the 2017-18 regular season on Sept. 29 at Union College before returning back to Schneider Arena for the home opener against Vermont on Oct. 1.
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