Integrating  freshman into an established lineup can be a daunting task for coaches.  Finding personnel that can immediately make an impact on the blue line is often a particularly difficult exercise. The following newcomers have stepped into their respective defensemen roles in a big way.

Kendall Appelbaum, Oswego:  The 5-foot-9-inch Eden, N.Y., native, a graduate of the North American Hockey Academy, is tied for the team lead in power-play goals with three, and is  among the top scorers on the Lakers with 3-2-5 numbers. Coach Diane Dillon’s  squad currently ranks second in the nation with a goals-per-game-against average of 1.00. Appelbaum has meshed well with established defensemen, seniors Leslie Jarvis and Chelsea Hunt. Appelbaum was among three immediate contributors to the class of  2017 that includes forwards Ashley Lyman and Bridget Hamlin. Lyman is quite familiar with Appelbaum’s level of play, as both skated for the Buffalo Bisons of the NAHA. Oswego finished off 2013 winning five of its last six. Appelbaum registered her first career game-winning goal in a win over Canton on Dec. 7.

Paige Johnson, Wisconsin-River Falls:  The Falcons have adequate offense to be competitive (4.08 points per game), which frees up Johnson to defend the fort. In that capacity, the Marshfield, Wis., defenseman has been a pleasant surprise for Joe Cranston’s 17th ranked defense. Johnson has just nine shots on goal through a dozen games, but has a plus-minus of plus-7, to go along with her six assists and one power-play score. Johnson has shown an early penchant to be front and center  in high level contests. In the Falcons final game before the semester break, a 3-0 victory over No. 5 Gustavus Adolphus, Johnson was a plus-2 and added an assist on the insurance goal, while aiding in the Ashley Kuechle’s third  shutout of 2013.

Jane Pagano and Cassie Hunter, Connecticut College: The departure of senior defenseman Molly Murphy, who suited up for 93 career games, was a significant loss to the Camels heading into the 2013-14 season, but head coach Kristen Steele, now in her 13th year in New London, received a double dose of skill in Pagano and Hunter, who have combined for five goals and three assists in eight games. Both players are tied for third in overall team scoring. The pair have recorded 11 penalties for 22 minutes to go along with one game-winning goal and a power-play goal apiece.

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  • Hockey Fan

    who would ever disabuse you, Paula?

    • sparty4life

      Someone who actually knows hockey and points out all her countless mistakes. Guess it is really hard to proof read or edit, its sad really.

      • FirePW

        That would be true, but pointing out facts is not disabusing someone. If she’s saying that we have been disabusing her she’s saying that our facts are not enough to persuade her. This can only mean that she views facts as irrelevant , which by doing so proves that she is clearly a person who does not support the use of logic in an argument. Thus, she has again proven to be completely illogical and incapable of fact based statements. *Disclaimer*: USCHO mods this was merely a critique of the writer’s horribly written mistake filled article and is in no way a personal attack, and is by no means a violation of your policy.

        • Hockey Fan

          Actually bud, one of the many definitions of the word ‘disabuse’ is “to set right.” So pointing out erroneous facts would actually be considered “disabusing” her. Paula-1…Fire PW- 0
          *Disclaimer* I am not trying to personally attack Mr. FirePW. I am just making sure that all posts are 100% accurate.

          • FirePW

            Oh how sweet of you to defender Hockey Fan, you see I was using the exact definition from the Mac dictionary which for every other word has any secondary meaning in the definition. Oddly enough disabuse does not have your definition of the word in it. None the less seeing as your argument makes the point moot Paula would still be scoreless. Now if you kept up with my other posts you would actually know that it is FirePW 6 Paula 0. Not to mention I didn’t see your name on the roster for her team, so that would disallow her goal anyway and in turn give me a penalty shot. OH NO look at that I just scored again. FirePW-7 Paula-0

          • FirePW

            *defend her* Unlike some people I make sure to fix my mistakes. Fire PW 8 Paula – 0

          • Vrapattack

            I fixing that mistake must have been so hard. That must by why Paula doesn’t do it!

          • Hockey Fan

            If Jerry Kuhn was in goal you would not score on that penalty shot lol.

            I apologize. I did not realize that you were using the Mac dictionary. I’d like to take this time to point out some flaws in your post above.

            The first sentence is atrocious. The more I read it, the more I am confused. If you want to take Paula’s place you are going to need to tidy up that syntax! (and yes, I assumed you were trying to sound intelligent) The comma should come before ‘Hockey Fan’ since you were addressing me directly. Next, you should use a period to avoid that awkward sounding run-on sentence. Honestly, I could be here all day editing your post.

            Yes I am defending Paula. Although she does make blatant mistakes in facts and figures, her job is not that simple. She has to juggle thousands of statistics every week. Yes the editing should be better and yes she should be more careful, but give the lady a break. FirePW is quick to point out the mistakes, but he/she can’t even write a coherent critique.

          • Anonymous

            You should have a comma after yes in the first sentence of your last paragraph. I actually thought his/her critique was quite coherent, unlike some of Paula’s articles.

          • Hockey Fan

            The comma is optional in that case. I probably should have used one for emphasis though. This is good. Constructive criticism is key.

          • Anonymous

            Well aren’t we just the little grammar nazi. Maybe you should help Paula proof read her articles. Paula’s job is to teach writing, so she has no excuse to have not just factual but grammatical and syntax error filled articles. Oddly enough, Hockey Fan, you don’t seem to critique her syntax or grammar, but you’re more than willing to go after others. You have your own errors as well. What do you mean by “This is good.” What does “This” stand for? “Constructive criticism is key.” That would be a fragment my dear friend, you forgot to state what constructive criticism is key to. I know I probably made grammar or syntax errors in this, but I don’t get off on finding errors that common people make in their writing. I especially don’t go after people’s comments, but there is no excuse for a staff writer who is also a writing professor to have blatant factual, grammatical, and syntax errors week in and week out. Right now, Hockey Fan, you’re the pot calling the kettle black while creating a double standard that favors Paula.

          • Notanerd

            Ya’ll are a bunch of nerds. Lets play some hockey!!

  • Guest

    Alaska sophomore forward Adam Henderson…played 27 games with the Spartans in 2008-09

    Err, what?