THE BYE WEEK IS OVER HALLELUJAH. Seriously. I hate the bye week so bad.
If UVM is going to squeak into home ice this year or avoid a team like BC in the playoffs, this is a must-win conference series coming up. Providence is fairly weak and has done worse than UVM in their mutual matchups, and struggled against the Cats last season. The Cats will be boosted with the return of Saana Valkama, who missed the UNH/Maine road swing on international duty with Finland.
Right now the Friars are 5-7, with two wins against teams the Cats have faced (Union and Maine). They’ve lost to BU (a team UVM beat) and twice to Robert Morris (a team UVM drew once). Rounding out the schedule was two wins over RIT along with a W against Merrimack, along with Ls to Princeton (twice), UNH, and Northeastern.
In the crease, Providence has the duty split an even 50/50 between senior Alanna Serviss and sophomore Madison Myers. Serviss has more Ws than Myers, but the sophomore has posted the better numbers; I’d expect to see them split duty this weekend.
The defense has shown that the future is very bright for Friar women’s hockey, as the top contributors are no older than sophomore. Leading the pack is Kate Friesen, a sophomore with ten points (second in the nation among defenders behind Colgate’s Lauren Wildfang). Freshman Whitney Dove has eight points and classmate Rachel Rockewell has seven. They can turn defense into offense quickly and that will keep the Cats on their toes.
Up front, Providence boasts a solid top line of senior Cassidy Carels (12 points), sophomore Christina Putigna (12 points), and junior Brooke Boquist (10 points). The problem there is a lack of depth after this trio and the second line of Blair Parent, Madison Sansone, and Cassidy MacPherson: nobody else has more than 5 points. If you can slow down line one, the Friars lines two through four make them a much more predictable team and easier to beat.
Obviously the Friars have threats. But this is a team we need to beat in order to boost our chances of hosting a playoff game or even just avoid a top, top team in the first round of playoffs.