Game Notes vs. Northeastern
The Friars return to Hockey East play with a home-and-home series against Northeastern this weekend. Providence hosts Northeastern on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 2:00 p.m. for its annual Skating Strides game. Sunday’s game is at Northeastern, also at 2:00 p.m.
Scouting the Friars
The Friars are off to a 4-2-2 start to the season and a 1-0-0 start in Hockey East. Last weekend, Providence drew with Princeton twice. Both games were comeback ties for the Friars and ended 2-2 in overtime. On Friday, Christina Putigna (Grimsby, Ontario) notched the team’s first short-handed goal of the season. Whitney Dove (Port Moody, British Columbia) had the game-tying goal. Cassidy MacPherson (Oakville, Ontario) and Blair Parent (Blaine, Minn.) picked up the assists. MacPherson notched both goals in Saturday’s game. Putigna and Brooke Boquist (Thunder Bay, Ontario) earned assists on her first goal. Chloe Gonsalves (Toronto, Ontario) grabbed her second career assist on the second goal.
Junior Christina Putigna leads the team offensively. She has 11 points, from three goals and eight assists. MacPherson is second on the team with seven points. Meaghan Rickard (Coventry, R.I.) and Boquist each have five points on three goals and two assists. Dove leads the defensemen in scoring with three goals. Of the 19 different skaters who have dressed so far this season, 17 have recorded at least a point. Within those 17 players, 15 have multiple points. Madison Myers (Colchester, Vt.) has played all eight games in net, holds a .920 save percentage and a 1.84 goals against average.
Killing Off Penalties
So far this season, the Friars have been strong on the penalty kill. Providence has stymied 26/29 of their opponents’ chances. They currently hold a 89.7% success rate on the kill and rank 10th nationally.
Power Play Struggles
In the weekend series against Princeton, the Friars had 10 power play opportunities. Providence went 0/5 in each game, for an 0/10 weekend. This dropped the team’s power play percentage down to 10.5% (4/38). Brooke Boquist leads the team with two power play goals.
Putigna on the Leaderboards
Putigna is currently third in Hockey East point scoring. Her 11 points in eight games give her 1.38 points per game. She is also tied for first in Hockey East with eight assists. Nationally, Putigna is 24th in points per game and tied for 10th in assists per game (1.00).
Building Off Boquist
Brooke Boquist has scored in three out of the Friars’ eight games so far this season. Not only is she tied for the team-lead in goals, but the team is 3-0-0 when she scores.
The Friars are off to a hot start in scoring. Providence has averaged 3.00 goals per game through the first eight games. The team is currently tied for 11th in the nation in scoring offense. Additionally, the Friars are tied for 11th in goals against, giving up just 1.88 goals per game.
Offense from the D
The Friars have had excellent offensive production from their defensemen so far this season. All six players who have dressed on defense have recorded at least a point. Whitney Dove has scored three goals. Kate Friesen (Altona, Manitoba) leads the defense with four points on a goal and three assists. Additionally, Avery Fransoo (North Battleford, Saskatchewan) has three points off of three assists.
The Friars welcome seven newcomers to the 2017-18 roster. The three new forwards are Maureen Murphy (Buffalo, N.Y.), Camryn Tait (Toronto, Ontario) and Hayley Lunny (Bedford, N.Y.). Giana Savastano (Mapleville, R.I.), Ariane Julien (Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec) and Chloe Gonsalves join the Friars’ defensive unit. Sandra Abstreiter (Erding, Germany) rounds out the freshman class and is a goaltender. In the Friars’ opening weekend, Murphy and Lunny notched their first collegiate goals. Julien tallied her first career assist. Against Quinnipiac on Oct. 6, Gonsalves grabbed her first career point with an assist.
The Friars finished the 2016-17 season with a 17-17-3 overall record. In Hockey East, Providence finished in fourth place, with an 11-10-3 record. The Friars hosted the best-of-three Hockey East Quarterfinals against Vermont, eventually falling in three games. It marked the team’s first time hosting a playoff series since the 2011-12 season. During the season, Bob Deraney reached the 300 win-mark and also became the winningest coach in Hockey East with his 155th win against Merrimack on Feb. 12. A highlight of the season came on Senior Day, when the Friars defeated then-ranked No. 6 Boston College, 4-1. The Friars earned 17 wins for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
Five Friar sophomores played in all 37 games last season as freshman. Meghan Rickard (Coventry, R.I.), Rachel Rockwell (Broadview Heights, Ohio), Avery Fransoo, Kathleen McHugh (Billerica, Mass.) and Neve Van Pelt (Mitchell, Ontario) did not miss a single game in 2016-17. Combined with Dove, who only missed one game, the sophomore class brings a wealth of experience into this season. These six Friars combined for 27 goals and 71 assists.
Hockey East Award Winners
In the first week of the season, Whitney Dove was recognized as Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week. She recorded two goals, two points and 13 shots on goal in Providence’s opening weekend. Last season, Dove was a unanimous selection to the Pro-Ambitions All-Rookie Team. She was also named the Hockey East Rookie of the Year and became the first defenseman in league history to win the award.
Hockey East Preseason Poll
The Friars were picked to finish fourth in the Hockey East Preseason poll, which was released on Sept. 26. Providence received 41 points and was picked to finish behind Boston College (63), Northeastern (56) and Boston University (51).
Scouting the Huskies
Most recently, the No. 7 Huskies defeated New Hampshire, 4-1, in a mid-week game (Oct. 25). Last weekend, they swept Syracuse, with two 5-1 wins, in back-to-back road games. Senior Denisa Krizove and junior Kasidy Anderson each scored twice in the victory over UNH. McKenna Brand and Veronika Pettey each scored two goals in last Friday’s win. On Saturday, five different Huskies scored in the win. Northeastern’s other two Hockey East wins came against Boston University. Overall, the Huskies are averaging 3.00 goals per game with 2.44 goals against. They have a 27.8% (10/36) conversion rate on the power play and a 65.6 (21/32) penalty kill percentage.
Who to Watch
Freshman Veronika Pettey and junior Kasidy Anderson are the Huskies’ main offensive threats. Pettey has nine points on four goals and five assists, while Anderson leads the team in goals with five. She has also chipped in four assists to bring her point total to nine. McKenna Brand also has five goals so far this season, including three on the power play. In net, Brittany Bugalski holds a .911 save percentage and a 2.44 goals against average. She has made 215 saves through nine games.
All-Time Series with the Huskies
The Friars are 61-57-11 all-time against the Huskies, but have lost the last ten contests. The last time Providence beat Northeastern was on Nov. 15, 2014. In the stretch of ten losses, two have come in overtime including the last time the two teams met in 2016-17.
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