PC Women Icers Struggle

When the women's hockey team dropped a 3-2 decision at Yale last Wednesday night they dropped to 3-5-0 at what is essentially the quarter pole of the season. The loss though extended the current losing streak to 4 games. At this point in the season it looks like the women have one of the same problems the men's team has, a lack of goal scoring.

PC dropped their opener 2-1 to St Lawrence at home. That game saw another of PC's major problems from the past come up, taking too many penalties. In the game they played short handed 9 times. Both of St Lawrence's goals came on the power play, while PC came up empty during their chances. PC's star was 5th year senior Jana Bugden. Bugden, who has played more games in her career then any other PC netminder, came up strong, blocking 33 of St. Lawrence's 35 shots. PC did manage 30 shots on net but many of them were fairly harmless. PC's lone goal came on a good individual effort by sophomore Katy Beach.

The Friars rebounded the next day against Colgate defeating the Red Raiders 5-2. PC had to overcome an early 5 minute major to last season's leading goal scorer, Sonny Watrous which led to an early Colgate goal. PC however rebounded when transfer Sarah Feldman scored her first 2 goals as a Friar, transfer Mari Pehkonen scored her first and PC's best offensive defenseman Kristin Gigliotti scored two more. Another transfer, goalie Danielle Ciarletta, stopped 24 of 26 shots.

The streak grew to three wins in a row when the Friars routed Northeastern twice within a week, 4-1 at home and 5-1 at NU's Matthews Arena. Once again Jana Bugden played a key role in locking up the two wins. In game one the Friars were out shot 37-34 but Bugden save 36 of 37 shots. In the following game the Huskies were stopped 27 of 28 times by Bugden. In the first game the Friars jumped off to a quick 3-0 lead against their former back up goalie, Stacy Scott. Kelli Doolin, Catlin Malboeuf and Gigliotti all scored for PC. In the second period PC's offense stagnated when they took a series of penalties giving NU multiple chances to break through. Before NU did score however Gigliotti would score her 4th goal of the season.

When the two teams met again at Northeastern PC again raced off to a quick lead, this time knocking their former teammate Scott out of the game in 12 minutes. Providence scored 4 goals including 3 power play tallies in the first period. The charge was led by goals from Feldman, Pehkonen and Beach along with Erin Normore's initial goal of the season. Pehkonen would finish off the scoring with her second goal of the game before NU again broke up Bugden's shutout bid with a third period goal.

The winning streak was stopped when the Friars dropped a home league game to the UConn Huskies. The Huskies have gotten off to a strong start with the win being their 5th of the season. As any 1-0 game would indicate this was a defensive battle. For PC again the star was Jana Bugden as she stopped several Connecticut breakaways. However early in the game she did let up one goal when the PC defense broke down in their defensive zone.

The losing streak continued when PC faced their second top 4 foe of the season (St Lawrence was the other). On their trip to Erie Pennsylvania the Friars came up empty dropping the opening contest 4-3 and being shutout the next day 3-0. In game one the highlight for PC was the play of Danielle Ciarletta who stopped 45 of 49 shots. The Friars came out of the first period tied at one as Sonny Watrous answered an early Laker goal with her first of the season. In the second a Mari Pehkonen goal put PC out in front. However the lead did not last for long as PC surrendered not only the lead but 3 goals before the period was out. Gigliotti notched her 5th goal of the season to bring it back to a one goal game just before the period's final buzzer.

The following day in a very physical contest the Friars were unable to find any offense. The Mercyhurst defense limited them to 26 shots and PC suffered their second shutout in three games.

In their most recent outing PC's offense again betrayed them. Despite out shooting Yale 34-33 PC managed only 2 goals. Both the Friars goals came on the power play and were scored by Kristin Gigliotti as she notched her 6th and 7th goals of the season on blasts from the point. However Yale broke the 2-2 tie with a goal with just over 6 minutes to play.

The Friars will look to break their losing streak when they head north to Orono Maine to face the Black Bears of Maine. Maine just came off a pair of wins over North Dakota to raise their record to 3-7-0. In their last 4 games the Bears have scored 16 goals, so once again one key for PC will be for the goaltending to step up and for the defense to tighten up. Another key would be for several other players step up to help Gigliotti with the goal scoring.

At the present time PC is 2-1-0 in league play, Maine is 0-4-0. Providence is tied with BU for the 4th spot with a game in hand on the Terriers. The following week the Friars travel to BU for their first meeting of the year in another game that is shaping up to be critical to PC's playoff hopes.

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