November 22, 2012

Women's Journal: Friars' Frade enjoying sophomore surge

By Kat Hasenauer Cornetta

After a quiet freshman year, Providence College’s Haley Frade (Marion, Mass.) has become a bigger contributor thus far this season, both on the score sheet and off.

Frade goes into the Thanksgiving holiday third on the Friars in points, having netted six goals and five assists through fifteen games. She needs only one more point to reach her point total for all of her freshman season (12.) Her increased contributions have been noticed by several, as she is tied for the lead in earning Hockey East Three Stars of the Game nods.

What spurred on the Tabor Academy alumna’s increased output and better play? Working on her focus and playing a full sixty minutes.

“I was looking to improve my overall game,” explained Frade. “I am trying to not breakdown on plays at all, and stay focused on the ice.”

There was no magic key to that improvement, but the guidance of the Providence coaching staff helped Frade. “In the offseason, I just followed the strength and conditioning plan and got out there on the ice.”

Frade’s personal improvement launched her onto a line with fellow sophomore Brooke Simpson (Boxboro, Mass.) and freshman Molly Illkainen. The line has performed well enough to get the nod in a few games as the Friars’ top line, including this past Friday against Boston University.

Frade says that despite the line’s relative youth, they have found a good vibe. “I think that we work well together. We communicate if there is anything that one of us is not doing right. We help each other out.”

The power play has been an area of the game where Frade has found some of her most success this season. She is second on the Providence roster with three power-play goals, including two in a 5-1 win against Maine on Nov. 3. Frade lists that game as her favorite of the season thus far.

“We followed our game plan,” said Frade of that game. “Overall we played a really good game and had fun. I think there were still things we could have worked on, but everything just clicked.”

Frade also stepped up big in Providence’s Nov. 18 tie against the University of Vermont, where she scored the game-tying goal in the third period.

Despite some losses of late against some of Hockey East’s top teams (Boston University and Boston College), Frade and her Friars teammates believe they can be in the thick of things at the end of the season, just like they were last year, where they made it to the Hockey East championship game. “We need to just keep up what we’re doing. We are coming together as a team. We want to play every game as well as we can.

Providence faces the ECAC’s Brown University in the Mayor’s Cup on Friday, and hosts Union on Sunday afternoon before jumping back into Hockey East play with a home and home series against Boston University November 30th and December 1st.

Player of the Week

Melissa Bizzari (Stowe, Vermont), Boston College

The junior forward had five points during Boston College’s two win weekend against Northeastern. Three of those points were on goals, including the game winning goal in the Eagles’ 4-3 Sunday win. Before that game, she had only notched one point in the previous nine games.

D3 Note of the Week

Elmira College transfer Tori Charron is having a noteworthy first few games for Norwich of the ECAC East. She has eight goals in eight games so far for the Cadets, as well as six assists. The junior has last year's national runner-up off to a 5-1-2 start, with their only loss thus far being a 4-3 overtime battle this past Saturday against Saint Anselm.

Game of the Week

Minnesota at New Hampshire, Saturday and Sunday afternoon

New Hampshire has won or tied their last four games after a string of six losses through the latter part of October and early November. Can New Hampshire keep the turnaround going against an undefeated Minnesota squad, who leads the WCHA and the nation with a 14-0-0 record?

Power Rankings

1) Boston College (6-3-1 overall, 5-2-1 Hockey East) - The noteworthy play of freshman Haley Skarupa is boosting an Eagles offense that is gaining steam. The Eagles were able to hold off the strong Northeastern offense, which is a promising sign for their defense.

2) Boston University (9-3-1 overall, 4-2-1 Hockey East) - After a tough two weeks with two losses and a tie, the Terriers bounced back with a two win weekend against Providence and Harvard. Limiting the Crimson offense to a mere goal is notable for a defense that had given up 18 in that two losses and a tie stretch. The defense stepped up in front of goalie Kerrin Sperry (North Reading, Mass.), making 28 blocks on the weekend.

3) Harvard (4-1-0 overall, 4-0-0 ECAC) - The Crimson had gotten themselves pumped for another matchup against Boston University, wanting revenge after losing in the first round of last season’s Beanpot. In their most frustrating offensive game of the season, Harvard was limited to only 20 shots on goal after notching totals of 38 and 48 in their two previous games. But a full week of practice with head coach Katey Stone (who game back from her Four Nations Cup responsibilities last week) should get Harvard back on track for home matchups this weekend against league foes Colgate and Cornell.

4) Northeastern (8-3-2 overall, 4-3-1 Hockey East) - Dropping two games against Boston College was not what the Huskies wanted. Casey Pickett was a bright spot again for Northeastern, stepping up when the Eagles were able to limit Kendall Coyne’s shots.

5) Providence (7-5-3 overall, 5-2-2 Hockey East) - Providence still leads the league standings, but can’t have lapses like they did this past weekend with a tie against an increasingly healthy Vermont. Nicole Anderson’s scoring seems to be the barometer for how this Providence team will do – she was left scoreless in their most recent tie against UNH and loss against Boston University.

Kat Hasenauer Cornetta can be reached at feedback@hockeyjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter at@sportsgirlkat.