MANCHESTER, N.H. (February 24, 2019) – A shorthanded and banged up team without its top-line center had a go of it on Sunday afternoon, but the third-seeded Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team could not find enough to get past top seed and host Saint Anselm in the title game of the New England Women's Hockey Alliance Tournament at Sullivan Arena. Second-period goals from junior forward Amanda Conger and freshman forward Erin Meyers held up, as Saint Anselm posted a 3-0 victory on home ice to claim the league crown.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce concludes its season at 20-10-1, matching the program record for wins. With the win, Saint Anselm claims its first NEWHA title and closes out the season at 25-3-1.
Franklin Pierce came out hot to start the first period, but Saint Anselm would battle back later, and the frame wound up relatively even, with the Hawks finishing with a 13-9 advantage in shots.
The best chances of the stanza came shortly after the midpoint of the frame. At the 11-minute mark, with the Ravens on the power play, sophomore forward Haley Parker (Londonderry, N.H.) found herself with a largely empty net on a rebound chance at the left post, but put her shot wide. Just over two minutes later, the Franklin Pierce defense lost track of freshman forward Erin Meyers out front, and she was left with a golden chance from below the hash marks, but freshman goaltender Emme Ostrander (Westborough, Mass.) came up with the save.
Not even 30 seconds after the Ostrander save, freshman forward Kiki Doucette (Bridgewater, Mass.) found some space for a rush down the left-wing side. She let her shot fly from the middle of the circle and cleanly beat Saint Anselm senior goaltender Maddie Scavotto, but the puck clanged off the joint of the left post and the cross bar and stayed out.
Saint Anselm nearly hit the intermission with the lead after a wild scramble in front of the Franklin Pierce net in the final two minutes of the frame. Ostrander came up with point-blank saves against junior forward Kaley Campbell and sophomore forward Madison Sprague in the sequence to keep the game scoreless through one.
The second period was all Saint Anselm. The Hawks rang up a 7-1 edge in shots and controlled the puck for the vast majority of the period. As a result, they had the frame's best chances, and put home the only two goals of the stanza. The first of the pair came at the 3:59 mark, after sophomore forward Katy Meehan wound up with the puck in the right circle, and she centered for junior forward Amanda Conger in the slot. The latter held for a moment to clear the defender and then put her shot between Ostrander's pads for her 13th goal of the season.
More than 10 minutes later, the Hawks made it 2-0 at the 15:04 mark. After a turnover deep in her own end by junior forward Kelsey Holmes (Warwick, R.I.), Meehan was left with the puck in the slot, below the hash marks. Meehan's shot was saved from close range by Ostrander, but Meyers was able to sweep the rebound inside the right post to cash in her seventh goal of the campaign.
The third period was back to a more even outcome statistically, as Franklin Pierce held an 11-8 advantage in shots on goal. The Ravens had an opportunity to cut into the 2-0 deficit early, as they earned a power play at the 5:48 mark, but ultimately came up empty. Amato had the best chance of the advantage, but put a rebound off the outside of the net at the right post at the 6:06 mark.
It would be the best opportunity of the third period for the Ravens. An empty-net tally by freshman forward Kelly Colini at 19:53 created the 3-0 final, as the Hawks came away with the title.
Ostrander (13-6-1) finished with 25 saves against 27 shots and suffered the loss in net for Franklin Pierce. Senior Maddie Scavotto (14-2-1) stopped all 21 shots she faced to post her fifth shutout of the season at the other end of the ice.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (https://www.fpuravens.com). 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 hockey apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (https://www.fpuravens.com/store).