This Week in D-I Hockey: October 23, 2009

Goal-goal-goal-goal-hanchuk

The week past sure gave us some eye-popping performances, n’est ce pas? Lets begin with BU sophomore Jenelle Kohanchuk’s enormous four-goal eruption against Wayne State on Saturday.

Such four-spots don’t occur every day … certainly not at BU, where it had never happened, and where only three Terriers had ever registered hat tricks.
None of those snipers were named Kohanchuk, who did have a two-goal game last year (at BC), when she ultimately netted 15 and led BU in scoring.

“I think that Jenelle’s season (last year) was fantastic,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “We felt that she was a real hard-working, honest, strong forward who I don’t think I realized was quite as adept as she is skill-wise.”

Kohanchuk gave an early hint that she might have something special for Wayne State up her sleeve.

She netted her first marker just 16 seconds into the contest, lashing in a nifty backhander past Warrior netminder Lindsay Park.

From then on, it was a Kohanchuk Klinik.

Kohanchuk on a rebound. Kohanchuk with a stuffer. Kohanchuk on a power play. Sort of like hockey’s version of the playground game of “H-O-R-S-E”.

“She has got fast hands,” said Durocher, checking off the items on Kohanchuk’s inventory of skills. “She’s a strong player and she’s got a softer touch than I thought around the net and was arguably our MVP last year.”

With five goals already in the young season – second only to the half-dozen potted by Clarkson’s Melissa Waldie and Sarah Erickson of Minnesota – she could well be BU’s MVP this year. Without the argument.

As it happens, Kohanchuk will have a chance to go head to head with Waldie, as the Terriers will make a North Country trek this weekend to St. Lawrence and Clarkson.

The puck-stoppers here

While Kohanchuk has been popping in shots at a dizzying pace, Hillary Pattenden, Mercyhurst’s sophomore netminder, has been stopping them at the same rate.

The Lakers – who maintained their No. 1 ranking this week – are known for their prolific offense: as Vicki Bendus and Jess Jones both leading the nation with two points per game, the rep is well deserved. However, Pattenden’s net work makes Mercyhurst all the more dangerous.

In two games at RPI last week, Pattenden saw a total of 56 shots and stopped all but one. And as any goalie worth her blocker will tell you, the goalie has to be the best penalty killer. She has been, which is how the Lakers managed to kill off all 16 power plays handed the Engineers during the weekend.

Matching Pattenden nearly save for save was Quinnipiac goalie Victoria Vigilanti, whose stellar work enabled the Bobcats to garner a 1-1 tie at Boston College and a 1-0 blanking of Northeastern at Matthews Arena. The Q School netted just two goal for the weekend, both of them scored by freshmen – Brittany Lyons and Heather Hughes – but with Vigilanti being so stingy, two were just about all the Bobcats needed.

Finn-tastic

Premier pucksters are known for their finishing touch, but last week in the WCHA, it was the Finnish touch that drew top billing.

All three of the league’s weekly awards were captured by daughters of Suomi, which means “Land of Many Vowels” (okay, not really).

Even so, sophomore forward Emmi Leinonen of Valkeoski and Minnesota State earned Offensive POW honors for her three-goal, four-point assault on North Dakota, which allowed the Mavs to exit the Ralph with three of a possible four points.
Freshman goalie Noora Raty (of Espoo) backstopped No. 2 Minnesota to a weekend sweep at home against No. 5 Duluth.

And while Raty could have copped Rookie of the Week laurels, too, those went instead to Ohio State forward Minti Tuominen (from Espoo, too), who notched three points in two games at Bemidji State.

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