WINCHENDON, Mass. (February 17, 2018) – It may have been Senior Day in the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena on Saturday afternoon, but it was the freshmen who did the heavy lifting for the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team. Freshmen forwards Marissa Massaro (Brockton, Mass.) and Nicole Amato (Billerica, Mass.) piled up seven points apiece to lead the way in 10-1 win over Post in New England Women's Hockey Alliance play.
With the win, Franklin Pierce wraps up the regular season at 14-11-2 (8-11-1 NEWHA), while Post closes out its regular season at 2-26-2 (0-20-0 NEWHA). Fourth-seeded Franklin Pierce will remain home to host fifth-seeded Saint Michael's in the first round of the NEWHA Open Tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m. at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena.
Massaro finished with four goals and three assists to record her second career hat trick, with both coming against Post. For her part, Amato collected her seven points on two goals and five assists. The seven points were a career high for Massaro and matched a career best for Amato. Amato's first goal of the day was her 18th of the season, which established a new Franklin Pierce single-season record.
The duo put together the third and fourth seven-point performances in program history, and marked the first time in school history multiple players recorded seven points in the same game. Massaro had just the second four-goal outing in program history, while Massaro was the third Raven to dish out five assists in a game. Amato became the first player in program history to have multiple seven-point games in her career.
Not to be left out, senior forward Alex Brolsma (Bloomington, Minn.) scored twice on Senior Day to run her career point total to 120 (47-73-120). She is now just one point behind Karsyn Baker '16 for the school's all-time scoring record.
Franklin Pierce stepped on the accelerator in a hurry on Saturday afternoon, as the Ravens struck twice in the first minute of play. Brolsma popped the opener just 30 seconds into the proceedings, after sophomore defenseman Bridgette Prentiss (Buffalo, N.Y.) and freshman forward Kara Santoro (Wolcott, Conn.) combined to send the senior on a rush into the offensive end. Brolsma picked the top-right corner from the slot to tally her 14th goal of the season.
Just moments later, Amato forced a turnover at her defensive blue line and tore off down the left-wing side of the ice with the puck. In the offensive end, she cut to the front of the net, deked to the right post and finished for her 18th goal of the season, unassisted, at the 50-second mark.
The remainder of the first period went without further scoring, and then Post would cut the gap in half at 4:08 of the second frame. Sophomore forwards Julia Schatz and Sierra Alarid combined to win the puck in the left-wing corner, before the latter sent a centering pass out front. Sophomore forward and captain Kendall Fitzgerald was stationed in the slot and put a shot between the pads of senior goaltender Madison Murray (Berkley, Mich.) for her third goal of the campaign.
Franklin Pierce reclaimed the two-goal lead at 9:19. Amato provided the centering feed from the right-wing corner, as she hit Massaro cutting into the slot from the top of the right circle. Massaro held for a beat and then snapped home her 12th goal of the season, with sophomore forward Meg Gilbride (Braintree, Mass.) picking up the first of her three assists on the play as well.
The Ravens would firmly seize control of the game in the latter half of the middle stanza. The whole Gilbride-Massaro-Amato line got in on the act again at the 13:35 mark, to make it 4-1. After Gilbride and Amato had both had hacks at it, the loose puck wound up off to the left-wing side of the goal on the rebound. With Post freshman goaltender Danaée St-Germain sprawled on the ice in the crease, Massaro flipped her shot over St-Germain and into the upper reaches of the net for her second goal of the game.
Franklin Pierce then converted on the man-advantage twice in the final two minutes of the period, beginning with a 5-on-3 goal at 18:00. From the right point, senior defenseman Erin Pengeroth (Acton, Mass.) slipped a pass across the zone to Brolsma at the bottom of the left-wing circle. The latter quickly finished from there for her second goal of the day, while Amato tacked on an assist as well.
Just 87 seconds later, a standard, 5-on-4 power-play goal made it 6-1 heading into the second intermission. Sophomore defenseman Delaney Guimont (Bedford, N.H.) had the original shot on the play, from the high slot, but it was knocked down en route. Massaro was able to clean up the loose puck in the low slot to cap off her hat trick. Gilbride added the final of her three assists as well, at 19:27.
Four more goals in the latter half of the third period ballooned the final score to 10-1. First, Amato set up sophomore forward Alli Sugar (Canton, Conn.) for a quick shot from the bottom of the right circle at 11:02. Massaro picked up an assist as well, on Sugar's third goal of the year.
Santoro finished off her fifth of the season from right on top of the crease to make it 8-1 at 12:23. Massaro and freshman defenseman Hayley Doneghey (North Attleborough, Mass.) provided the helpers on the play.
Just over four minutes later, Amato swooped in from the left wing to help Massaro win a defensive-zone faceoff. Amato then took off with the puck and went coast-to-coast down the right-wing side. She ultimately snapped a shot into the top-right corner from the middle of the right circle for her second goal of the day, at 16:57.
Massaro rounded out the scoring at 19:17, with her fourth goal of the afternoon. Santoro and Amato combined to win the puck in the right-wing corner and work it out front to Massaro, who salted the puck away from the low slot to create the 10-1 final.
Murray (9-5-1) finished with 10 saves against 11 shots to pick up the win, as Franklin Pierce enjoyed a 58-11 advantage in shots over the course of the game. Meanwhile, St-Germain (0-9-2) piled up 48 saves, but also surrendered all 10 goals in the losing effort in the Post crease.
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).