WINCHENDON, Mass. (October 20, 2017) – Opening the season against a team which already had seven games -- exhibitions included -- under its belt, the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team held its own for most of Friday night at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. Senior goaltender Madison Murray (Berkley, Mich.) finished with 29 saves, but ultimately, three different goal scorers conspired to give Holy Cross a 3-1 win and spoil the Ravens' home opener.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce opens the campaign at 0-1-0, while Holy Cross improves to 1-2-1.
Holy Cross put home one goal in each of the three periods on Friday night. In the first period, the Crusaders converted on their third of four power-play opportunities in the stanza, with sophomore defenseman Victoria Young eventually jamming home her first goal of the season. Holy Cross worked the puck to the right-wing halfboards for junior forward Maeve Reilly, who sent a pass across to the left point for sophomore defenseman Hannah Gillis. Gillis took a shot from there, which Murray saved. Young was stationed out front to corral the rebound, and ultimately stuffed it past Murray's pad at the 12:12 mark.
Holy Cross doubled the lead to 2-0 at the 14:15 mark of the second period, immediately off of a faceoff in the right-wing circle. Junior forward Julie Matthias won the draw off to her right, towards junior forward Danielle Doherty, who touched it back to freshman defenseman Allison Attea at the right point. Attea somehow put her shot untouched through all kinds of faceoff traffic, and the puck found the back of the net for her first collegiate goal.
Franklin Pierce cut the deficit in half with an early third-period goal, at 3:17. In her own defensive end, freshman forward Marissa Massaro (Brockton, Mass.) forced a turnover and took off down the left-wing side. She ultimately circled behind the Holy Cross net and dished the puck off to the bottom of the right-wing circle for fellow freshman forward Nicole Amato (Billerica, Mass.). Amato curled away from the net, higher into the circle, spun and fired a shot inside the right post from near the faceoff dot. It was her first career goal, while Massaro picked up her first collegiate point with the assist.
The Crusaders pushed the lead out to the 3-1 final just over three minutes later, when they turned a faceoff win in their own end into a rush up the ice. Off the draw, Holy Cross worked the puck behind its own net to freshman defenseman Antonia Matzka, who sent a pass up the right wing and into the neutral zone for junior forward Sam Girard. Girard had freshman forward Katie MacCuaig on the outlet rush with her, and slipped a pass to MacCuaig as the latter approached the blue line on the left side. Sprung on a partial breakaway, MacCuaig snapped a shot from the top of the left circle and cleanly beat Murray for her second goal of the year, at 6:35.
Murray (0-1-0) finished with 29 saves against 32 shots on goal and suffered the loss in net for Franklin Pierce. Freshman goaltender Julie Pelletier (1-0-1) stopped 14 of 15 shots to pick up the win at the other end of the ice for Holy Cross.
The Ravens return to the ice on Wednesday, Oct. 25, when they travel to Holy Cross for the back end of the season-opening home-and-home. Opening faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m. at Hart Center in Worcester, 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).