posted on: Thursday October 28, 2010
Al Daniel ’11 / Sports Staff
She did not declare it outright, but odds are Abby Gauthier ’12 was the tensest individual in Schneider Arena last Saturday when her goal was placed under video review.
Gauthier assumed she had just put the Women’s Hockey Team ahead of Princeton, 2-0, with 1:58 gone in the third period, but she may have done so with an illicit high stick. As referees Bill Doiron and Robert Tisi studied the replay, Friars Head Coach Bob Deraney huddled all of his students at the bench.
“I said to them, no matter what happens, if they call the goal back, it doesn’t matter. Just continue to compete,” he said. “And that’s what I was most proud of. For 60 minutes, we were able to compete as hard as we did from start to finish. Much different than Friday night.”
Indeed, Gauthier’s goal passed muster after all. And in the 18:02 that remained, the Friars paced themselves to a 4-0 triumph, promptly rinsing out the residual vinegar of a fall-from-ahead, 3-2 overtime loss to Rensselaer the previous night.
Gauthier, more than any Friar, personified the sense of redemption. On Friday, she had spawned a 1-0 lead over the RPI Engineers, then helped augment that lead to 2-0 by setting up Kate Bacon ’12 in the second. But by the closing frame, it became apparent that Providence was more interested in casually celebrating its recent five-game winning streak rather than protecting it.
When the streak wilted before their eyes on Engineer Taylor Horton’s walkoff goal in overtime, the Friars rekindled their cutthroat spirit some 19 hours in advance of their faceoff with Princeton.
The result was a rapid return to so many of the elements that have characterized the program’s best month of October (6-2-0 record) in Deraney’s 12-year tenure. PC tamed the Tigers by discharging double-digit shot counts in two out of three periods, padding its lead with a couple of power play goals, and receiving a tangible contribution from at least one member of every forward line.
“It was really nice because we all played together,” Gauthier said. “(On Friday), we were playing really individualistic, but Saturday we played together and my goals came from all my teammates. It just shows you can’t do it alone.”
One day removed from crumbling at the slightest loss of momentum —RPI had scored twice within 59 seconds to delete their 2-0 deficit in Friday’s third period—the Friars gratefully switched roles against Princeton. Only 31 seconds after Ashley Cottrell ’12 broke the ice at 6:24 of the second period, Julie Johnson was called for tripping and from there the Tigers committed four more infractions as opposed to two calls against Providence.
“I guess it was a momentum builder,” said Cottrell. “We always talk about keeping our feet moving, using our speed to our advantage, and if we use our speed, take them wide. That draws penalties and it always works to our advantage.”
Never more so than when Bacon, pursuing her own rebound behind the opposing cage, drew a five-minute hitting-from-behind major on Rose Alleva with 2:34 left before the second intermission. PC carried the remaining 2:26 of its all-you-can-score buffet power play to a fresh sheet and Gauthier capitalized for the first dose of insurance.
Three power plays later, defender Jen Friedman ’12 made it 3-0, absorbing a feed from Lauren Covell ’12 off the draw and slugging a point shot over the glove of goaltender Cassie Seguin.
The Friars’ Jessie Vella ’13, guilty of bodychecking with 5:29 to go, would be the last player to be sent to the box and feel shame on Saturday. But upon her release, she accepted Cottrell’s shipment into the neutral zone and buried a facile empty netter, as well as any notion of the RPI debacle leading to a collective slump.
“It was really good,” said PC goaltender Genevieve Lacasse ’12, who repelled all 35 Princeton shots en route to her 11th career shutout, second of the season. “We played great defense,” she continued. “All over the ice, we were really quick. First period, we dominated. We just started off way better than Friday. That game wasn’t us at all. Saturday, we came out and showed who we really were.”