O'Neil notches first shutout of season
WINCHENDON, Mass. (November 20, 2015) – The drama was gone by the time the first period ended on Friday night, but the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team continued to pile on goals through two more frames at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. By the time all was said and done, junior forward Michelle Holmes (Goffstown, N.H.) and sophomore forward Alex Brolsma (Bloomington, Minn.) had scored twice each, as the Ravens rolled up a 7-0 win over visiting Saint Michael's in New England Hockey Conference play.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 5-2-0 (3-2-0 NEHC), while Saint Michael's falls to 1-5-1 (1-4-0 NEHC).
Franklin Pierce asserted itself in the first period, putting home three goals and taking much of the suspense out of the contest early on. At the 7:33 mark, senior forward Colleen Doucette (Wakefield, Mass.) got the only goal the Ravens would need, as she finished a feed from senior forward Karsyn Baker (Detroit, Mich.) in the slot, for the former's second goal of the season.
Two goals just 22 seconds apart after the midway point of the stanza pushed the lead to 3-0. First, senior defenseman Hayley Arnold (Barre, Vt.) chipped the puck out of her own end along the glass on the left-wing side. A Saint Michael's defender was the first to the puck, at her own blue line, but lost her footing. The slip allowed Holmes to swoop in, collect the puck and lead a breakaway from the left point. Holmes beat Saint Michael's junior goaltender Abby Burke for her fourth goal of the campaign at 13:09. Senior forward Bryana Harron (Woburn, Mass.) followed with her sixth of the year at the 13:31 mark, finishing from the slot, off a feed from senior defenseman Sarah Sheils (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
Franklin Pierce tacked on the second period's only goal to make it a 4-0 game. Harron took a faceoff for the Ravens in the left-wing circle, but neither team won the draw cleanly. The scramble for the puck made its way between the hash marks, where Holmes was the first to get her stick to the puck. Holmes turned, threw the puck towards the net and wound up with her second goal of the night at the 13:01 mark.
The Ravens tacked on three more goals in the third period to create the 7-0 final. Just 72 seconds into the frame, Brolsma notched her second of the season when she slipped a shot between the pads of Burke from the middle of the left circle. Junior defenseman Katie Flynn (Sandwich, Mass.) picked up the lone assist at the 1:12 mark.
Just past the midpoint of the final frame, senior forward Haylea Barbieri (Plainville, Mass.) took an offensive-zone faceoff in the left-wing circle and won it cleanly back to the left point for Arnold. Arnold wound and fired from there, wiring her shot into the top-right corner of the net for her second goal of the season, at the 10:15 mark.
Brolsma capped the scoring at the 15:25 mark, as she jammed home the rebound of a shot by Holmes to tally her second goal of the night.
Junior goaltender Shannon O'Neil (Tewksbury, Mass.) stopped all 18 shots on her goal to pick up the win (3-2-0) in net for Franklin Pierce. It was O'Neil's first shutout of the season, as well as the fourth of her career. Burke (1-5-1) played the opening 50:15 in net for Saint Michael's and took the loss, after making 29 stops against 35 shots. After the Arnold goal, Burke ceded the crease to junior Erica Ragazzo, who made seven saves against eight shots over the final 9:45.
The Ravens return to the ice on Saturday, Nov. 21, when they remain home to host University of New England in a New England Hockey Conference contest. Opening faceoff is set for 3 p.m. at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena.
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).