Baker closes in on 100 career points
WINCHENDON, Mass. (November 21, 2015) – Senior forward Karsyn Baker (Detroit, Mich.) scored twice while senior forward Colleen Doucette (Wakefield, Mass.) had the game-winning goal and an assist on Saturday afternoon, as the goals came in bunches at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. The Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team built a 4-0 lead early in the third period before surrendering three third-period goals, but still escaped with a 5-3 win over University of New England in New England Hockey Conference play.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 6-2-0 (4-2-0 NEHC), while Univ. of New England falls to 1-4-1 (1-4-1 NEHC).
The first period on Saturday went without a goal, though not without pucks entering the net. The Ravens nearly opened the scoring at the 15:06 mark, but the goal was washed out after it was ruled Baker had kicked the puck into the net.
After a first period which looked sluggish at times, Franklin Pierce came out hot in the second period, striking twice in the opening four minutes of the stanza. First, senior defenseman Sarah Sheils (Pittsburgh, Pa.) forced a turnover in the neutral zone and chipped the puck ahead off the boards on the left side. The feed found Baker behind the defense, and she was left with a breakaway from the left point in, on UNE junior goalkeeper Sydney Helmbrecht. Helmbrecht made the initial save on the rush, but Baker stuffed home her own rebound at the 1:13 mark for her fifth goal of the season.
Baker picked up another rebound goal at the 3:39 mark, this one amid more conventional offensive-zone play. Doucette had the initial shot on the play, from the slot, and picked up the lone assist on the play after Baker finished things off.
The Ravens made it 3-0 heading into the second intermission with a goal at the 15:45 mark. Sheils got the puck to sophomore forward Alex Brolsma (Bloomington, Minn.), and the latter worked her way into the middle of the right circle. Brolsma sent a pass across the slot for senior forward Bryana Harron (Woburn, Mass.), who was all alone at the left post for the one-time finish on her seventh goal of the campaign.
Things got wild in the third period, as the two teams combined for five goals in the frame, including four in the opening nine minutes. First, Franklin Pierce stretched the lead to 4-0 at the 3:15 mark. Doucette jammed home her third of the year, and the eventual game-winner, amid a scramble in front of the crease, while Baker and junior forward Lanie Matsumoto (Fort Collins, Colo.) had the assists. For Baker, the three-point game (2-1-3) moved her to 98 career points (48-50-98) and put her on the verge of becoming the first 100-point scorer in program history.
The Nor'easters finally got on the board at the 5:36 mark, cutting the gap to 4-1. Sophomore defenseman Kierra Wright took the initial shot on the play from the left point, though it was knocked down by the defense. The rebound came to junior forward Abby Kinens for a quick shot in the slot, which resulted in her first goal of the season.
Franklin Pierce answered just 16 seconds later, on the first rush into the offensive end off the ensuing faceoff. Senior defenseman Hayley Arnold (Barre, Vt.) set up junior forward Michelle Holmes (Goffstown, N.H.) on a partial breakaway, and the latter finished off her sixth of the year.
UNE again cut the cap to three goals, this time at 5-2, at the 8:42 mark. Again, the impetus for the goal came from the left point, as junior defenseman Mary Wirth wound and fired. Kinens got her stick to the shot en route and tallied her second goal of the day on the deflection.
The game would settle down from there, with Franklin Pierce holding the three-goal lead into the final minute of play. UNE picked up one final goal at the 19:32 mark to create the 5-3 final. Senior forward Marissa Clifford-Biederman read a play well in the defensive end and broke out of the zone as possession changed. Junior forward Gabby Crugnale gained possession and split the Franklin Pierce defense with a pass that sprung Clifford-Biederman on a clear breakaway for her first goal of the season.
Junior goaltender Shannon O'Neil (Tewksbury, Mass.) made 12 saves against 15 shots on goal to pick up the win (4-2-0) in net for Franklin Pierce. Helmbrecht (1-4-1) made 41 saves against 46 shots at the other end for UNE.
The Ravens return to the ice on Saturday, Dec. 5, when they remain home to host Sacred Heart in a non-conference contest. Opening faceoff is set for 2:30 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).