MANCHESTER, N.H. (October 28, 2016) – Special teams was the name of the game in the second period on Friday night, as the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team opened its 2016-17 season with a trip to Saint Anselm and Sullivan Arena. Each team scored twice in the frame, and the two sides combined for three power-play goals in the stanza. After the raucous second gave way to a quiet third, Saint Anselm's lone first-period goal would stand as the difference, as the Hawks pulled out a 3-2 win in New England Hockey Conference play.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce opens its season at 0-1-0 (0-1-0 NEHC), while Saint Anselm begins the campaign at 1-0-0 (1-0-0 NEHC).
Saint Anselm would score the only goal of the first period on Friday night, nearly midway through the stanza. Junior forward Ashley Moran flipped a shot towards the net from the left point, through traffic. Franklin Pierce senior goaltender Shannon O'Neil (Tewksbury, Mass.) got a piece of the shot, but not enough to keep it out of the net, as the Hawks jumped to a 1-0 lead. Senior defenseman Martha Findley picked up the lone assist on the play.
Franklin Pierce had a golden opportunity to draw even in the final two minutes of the period, as senior forward Marisa Ketterman (Palmer, Alaska) led a 2-on-1 rush in the offensive end. Steaming down the left side, Ketterman slipped a pass to the top of the crease for her freshman linemate, Alli Sugar (Canton, Conn.). The latter would put a one-time shot on net, but would also see it snared out of midair by the glove hand of Saint Anselm senior goaltender Hannah Synnott, preserving the 1-0 Hawks lead heading into the first intermission.
The goals came early and often in the second period, starting with the Ravens pulling into a 1-1 tie with a power-play marker just 28 seconds in. Freshman defenseman Bridgette Prentiss (Buffalo, N.Y.) picked up her first collegiate goal with a long shot through traffic which found its way to the back of the net. Senior forward Michelle Holmes (Goffstown, N.H.) picked up her first of two assists on the night on the play.
Saint Anselm reclaimed the lead at 2-1 at the 5:05 mark, with a power-play strike of its own. After taking a feed from senior forward Alison Butler from the right-wing corner, senior forward Alex Starzyk picked the top-right corner of the net from the bottom of the right circle to break the tie. Senior forward Alison Quinn picked up an assist on the play as well, as the whole line got in on the act.
Franklin Pierce had the answer just 48 seconds later, at the 5:53 mark, to tie the game at 2-2. Ketterman had the finish from just outside the top of the crease, with Holmes again chipping in the lone assist.
At the 10:22 mark, senior forward Lanie Matsumoto (Fort Collins, Colo.) was whistled for hooking, as she hauled down the Saint Anselm forward she was pursuing behind the net. It took the Hawks just 13 seconds to capitalize on the man-advantage and strike for what would stand as the game-winning goal. Sophomore forward Sara McNamara had the initial shot on the play, from the right side, which was stopped by O'Neil. Moran was able to corral the rebound in front of the right post though, and slipped the puck across the goalmouth to sophomore forward Caley Mueller, who had an easy, one-time finish at the left post.
O'Neil (0-1-0) finished with 36 saves against 39 shots on goal in net for Franklin Pierce. At the other end of the ice, Synnott (1-0-0) collected 16 saves against 18 shots for Saint Anselm.
The Ravens return to the ice on Saturday, Oct. 29, when they return home to host Becker in a non-conference contest. Opening faceoff is set for 8:30 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).