Holmes nets third of season
WINCHENDON, Mass. (November 6, 2015) – Despite six power-play opportunities, the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team was able to muster just seven shots on goal through the first two periods on Friday night, as Saint Anselm locked things down defensively at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. With the game tied 1-1 late in the second, Saint Anselm junior forward Alison Butler put home the game-winning goal, as the Hawks picked up a 2-1 win in the inaugural New England Hockey Conference contest for both teams.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 2-1-0 (0-1-0 NEHC), while Saint Anselm opens its season at 1-0-0 (1-0-0 NEHC).
The two teams traded goals in the first 10 minutes of Friday's proceedings. Franklin Pierce got some early work on the power play, as back-to-back penalties to Saint Anselm at the 3:06 mark and 3:26 marks gave the Ravens an extended two-man advantage. The power-play unit cashed in on the 5-on-3 at the 4:02 mark, as sophomore forward Alex Brolsma (Bloomington, Minn.) and junior forward Marisa Ketterman (Palmer, Alaska) set up the third goal of the season for junior forward Michelle Holmes (Goffstown, N.H.).
Saint Anselm had the answer at the 9:26 mark, when a turnover allowed freshman forward Sara McNamara to send sophomore forward Kaitlin Spillane on a rush into the offensive end on the left-wing side. Spillane took a snap shot from the middle of the left circle and wired it to the top-right corner, over the shoulder of junior goaltender Shannon O'Neil (Tewksbury, Mass.) for her first goal of the season.
Both teams locked things down defensively the rest of the way, as only one further goal was scored on the night. It came at the 15:59 mark of the second period, after junior defenseman Martha Findley and sophomore defenseman Samantha Boyer combined to work the puck to Butler near the bottom of the left-wing circle. Butler scored her first of the season from there, as her shot beat O'Neil, rang off the post and wound up in the net. O'Neil's body language after the fact suggested she felt as if she should have gotten a piece of the shot.
Franklin Pierce's best chance to tie the game in the third period came near the middle of the stanza, after a turnover left Ketterman leading a 2-on-1 from the right-wing side of the attack zone. With her passing lane to Brolsma cut off, Ketterman took the shot herself, but was turned aside by Saint Anselm junior goaltender Hannah Synnott. Ketterman corralled the rebound and attempted to put a second shot on net from a sharp angle before the netminder could recover. However, Synnott was able to scramble back, make the second save as well, and then smother the puck.
O'Neil (1-1-0) made 24 saves against 26 shots on goal in net for Franklin Pierce. At the other end of the ice, Synnott (1-0-0) stopped 14 of 15 shots in the crease for Saint Anselm.
The Ravens return to the ice on Saturday, Nov. 7, when they travel to New England College for a New England Hockey Conference contest. Opening faceoff is set for 1 p.m. at Lee Clement Arena in Henniker, N.H.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce women's ice hockey apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).