Baker dishes out pair of assists
RUTLAND, Vt. (November 13, 2015) – Senior defenseman Samantha Pion scored twice on Friday afternoon to build a 2-0 lead for Castleton State, before the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team tried to pull off a third-period comeback at Spartan Arena. The Ravens scored twice in the final frame, but also ceded a third goal to the Spartans, who came away with a 3-2 win in New England Hockey Conference play.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 3-2-0 (1-2-0 NEHC), while Castleton State improves to 5-0-0 (3-0-0 NEHC).
Trailing 2-0 through 40 minutes, the Franklin Pierce offense came to life in the third period on Friday afternoon. At the 6:04 mark of the period, Castleton State junior defenseman Sabrina Hosner took a tripping penalty while neutralizing a partial breakaway, resulting in Franklin Pierce's third power play of the day. With the man-advantage winding down, at the 8-minute mark, senior forwards Bryana Harron (Woburn, Mass.) and Karsyn Baker (Detroit, Mich.) worked the puck to the middle of the blue line for senior defenseman Hayley Arnold (Barre, Vt.). Arnold had room to step into her shot and did so, powering a slapshot up under the crossbar for her first goal of the season to cut the gap to 2-1.
Castleton State would immediately reclaim the two-goal deficit, only six seconds later, at 8:06. Off the center-ice faceoff, the Spartans pushed forward, with sophomore forward Hannah Rose throwing the puck on net from the high slot. Junior goaltender Shannon O'Neil (Tewksbury, Mass.) got a big piece of the shot with her stick, but then had the puck roll up her stick, slip over her shoulder and wind up in the net to make it 3-1. Senior forward Rachel Bombardier had the lone assist on Rose's third goal of the campaign.
The Ravens brought O'Neil to the bench in favor of the extra attacker for the final 1:33 on Friday afternoon. Franklin Pierce was able to strike once with the extra attacker, at the 18:48 mark. After an Arnold shot from the left point rang off the post, the puck wound up in the right-wing corner. Ultimately, Baker won possession and threw the puck out front. Though there was nobody in the goalmouth, the feed found senior forward Colleen Doucette (Wakefield, Mass.) in the high slot, and she put a quick shot inside the right post for her first goal of the year. Franklin Pierce called its timeout after the goal to try to draw up the game-tying goal, but the Spartans held the lead for the final 72 seconds to finish off the 3-2 win.
Earlier in the day, Pion scored late in the first period and early in the second frame to build the 2-0 lead for Castleton State. In the first period, Pion and the Franklin Pierce defense clashed for a loose puck in the high slot in front of O'Neil's net. Pion was the first to find the disc with her stick and took a quick snap shot, which she was able to wire to the top-left corner for her first goal of the season. Sophomore forward Brianna Keats and senior forward Taylor Steadman had the assists at the 17:16 mark.
In the second period, after the Spartans had already put pressure on the Franklin Pierce net, the puck came free to Pion in the high slot and she stepped into a quick follow-up shot through traffic from there. The shot was deflected by the defense en route and re-directed between the pads of a screened O'Neil for Pion's second goal of the game. Senior forward Anna Daniels and Rose had the helpers at 3:48.
O'Neil (1-2-0) finished with 22 saves against 25 shots on goal in net for Franklin Pierce. Senior goaltender Jess Cameron (5-0-0) stopped 31 of 33 shots in the crease for Castleton State.
The Ravens return to the ice on Saturday, Nov. 14, when they return home to host Holy Cross in a New England Hockey Conference contest. Opening faceoff is set for 4 p.m. at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena in Winchendon, Mass.
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).