WINCHENDON, Mass. (January 21, 2017) – In just its fifth season, the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team capped the signature weekend of its history thus far on Saturday afternoon with an exclamation mark at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. Hosting second-place Holy Cross in a New England Hockey Conference contest, the Ravens got power-play goals from freshman forward Kayla Trujillo (Pueblo, Colo.) and freshman defenseman Delaney Guimont (Bedford, N.H.) 2:42 apart in the second period to erase a 1-0 deficit and take a 2-1 lead they would hold the rest of the way.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 11-4-1 (7-3-0 NEHC) and has won three in a row, while Holy Cross falls to 15-3-0 (8-2-0 NEHC). The win allowed the Ravens to take four points from its toughest weekend of the schedule, after knocking off No. 3 Norwich on the road on Friday afternoon, 3-2.
Holy Cross would open the scoring on a rush up the ice in the waning minutes of the first period. Freshman defenseman Victoria Young sent a pass out of the defensive end, getting the puck to sophomore forward Sam Girard headed up the left wing, through the neutral zone. Girard would lead a 2-on-1 into the offensive end, but elected to take the shot herself. From the left circle, she snapped a shot to the top-left corner, cleanly beating Franklin Pierce junior goaltender Madison Murray (Berkley, Mich.) for her 12th goal of the season at the 18:32 mark.
Following the late first-period goal, the Ravens put together a strong team defensive effort throughout the rest of the afternoon, shutting down the Holy Cross attack from that point on. Franklin Pierce was outshot, 24-14, on the day, but impressively, the defense was credited with nearly as many blocked shots as it let through. The Ravens piled up 23 blocked shots in the game, including seven in the third period, while protecting a one-goal lead.
The Ravens, who had fended off three power plays against in the first 32 minutes of the game, got their first chance on the man-advantage at the 14:15 mark of the second, when Holy Cross freshman forward Sarah Stevens was sent off for slashing. Franklin Pierce needed just 17 seconds to capitalize, evening the game at 1-1 at the 14:32 mark. Amid a skirmish in front of the crease, junior forward Alex Brolsma (Bloomington, Minn.) got a touch to the puck, sending it softly to the left. Freshman forward Meg Gilbride (Braintree, Mass.) was there, also on top of the crease, and attempted to put it home, but could not strike the puck solidly. Trujillo was at the left post though, and was able to clean up the loose puck for her fifth goal of the season.
Franklin Pierce went back to the power play at the 17-minute mark, courtesy of a slashing call against Girard, who protested the infraction vociferously. This time, the Ravens needed just 14 seconds to convert, taking the lead at the 17:14 mark, with 2:46 to play in the second. With the puck in the left-wing corner, senior forward Marisa Ketterman (Palmer, Alaska) slipped a centering feed to junior forward Hailee Craig (Canton, Mich.). However, Craig could not get her stick to the puck, which instead deflected off the inside of her left skate and continued on to the right circle. Guimont was all alone near the faceoff dot and buried the loose puck into an all-but empty net before Holy Cross junior netminder Tessie Salatas could slide across the crease. It was Guimont's third goal of the campaign.
The second power-play marker would stand as the game-winner, and the final goal of the game as well, as 2-1 would be the final score. Franklin Pierce successfully killed a penalty near the midway point of the third period, which would wind up being Holy Cross' final significant opportunity to force the issue. Just as the game began to wind down to the point the Crusaders would want to pull Salatas for the extra attacker, Young was whistled for interference at 17:54, as she hauled down a Raven at the Holy Cross offensive blue line to prevent a potential breakaway the other way. With Young in the box, Holy Cross was left to pull Salatas just to even the manpower situation and, as a result, failed to significantly pressure the Franklin Pierce net in the final minute.
Murray (2-1-0) finished with 23 saves against 24 shots to pick up the win in front of the Franklin Pierce net. Salatas (7-3-0) made just 12 stops on 14 shots and suffered the loss between the pipes for Holy Cross.
The Ravens return to the ice on Friday, Jan. 27, when they remain home to host Plymouth State. Opening faceoff is set for 7:30 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).