WINCHENDON, Mass. (October 28, 2018) – Sophomore forward Nicole Amato (Billerica, Mass.) made the most of the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team's home opener on Sunday afternoon. She scored three times, including the game-winner, to post her third career hat trick, as the Ravens rolled to a 6-1 win over visiting Becker in non-conference play at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. It marked the 100th victory in program history.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 4-0-0, while Becker falls to 0-2-0. In the midst of its seventh season, Franklin Pierce now holds a 100-51-8 record in 159 all-time games (.654 winning percentage). The Ravens are 51-21-2 in 74 all-time games on home ice (.703).
The Ravens jumped out front early on Sunday, with three goals in the first period, including a pair of power-play goals to open the scoring. The first goal came in a delayed-penalty situation as well, as junior defenseman Katie Neuburger (Fayetteville, N.Y.) set up junior forward Meg Gilbride (Braintree, Mass.) in the left-wing circle. The latter snapped home her first of the season from there at the 9:16 mark.
Amato converted 60 seconds into the ensuing power play, to make it 2-0 at 10:16. Junior defenseman Bridgette Prentiss (Buffalo, N.Y.) sent the initial salvo towards the net from the middle of the blue line. In the following skirmish in front of the net, sophomore forward Marissa Massaro (Brockton, Mass.) was able to poke the puck to Amato, who jammed it in near the right post for her third goal of the campaign.
Junior forward Alli Sugar (Canton, Conn.) finished off an odd-man rush at 18:34 with her third of the year to cap the first-period scoring. Neuburger notched her second assist of the day, as she sent the puck ahead to sophomore forward Emily Kramer (Rockville, Md.), who led a 2-on-1 into the offensive end on the left side. Kramer drew the defender and slipped a pass into the middle for Sugar, who had the finish from the slot.
Becker cut the gap to 3-1 just 67 seconds into the second period. Senior forward Bailey Coons led a rush into the offensive end on the left-wing side and snapped home her first goal of the season from the middle of the circle. Senior forward Michaela Martin and senior defenseman Nikolle Storey provided the assists. The goal snapped Franklin Pierce's season-opening shutout streak at 201:07.
Amato finished off her hat trick with the second period's remaining two goals. Her second of the day came in a delayed-penalty situation at the 7:20 mark. Sophomore forward Ann Margaret DiSciscio (Litchfield, N.H.) had the puck with some space to maneuver in the high slot. She was able to find Amato at the left post for the deflection finish.
Amato capped the hat trick with a great individual effort, which led to her fifth goal of the season at 19:25. She took possession at the blue line and went on an exotic voyage of dangles through the offensive end. Amato beat one Becker player at the line, deked around another inside the zone and finally beat senior goaltender Julia Johnson to the right post to finish things off.
The Ravens created the 6-1 final with one more tally in the third period. Sophomore forward Haley Parker (Londonderry, N.H.) had the finish from just outside the right post for her fifth of the year at 6:08. Gilbride and Massaro provided the assists, as the whole line got in on the action.
Junior goaltender Jessica Strack (Reading, Mass.) finished with 16 saves against 17 shots on goal to pick up the win (2-0-0) in net for Franklin Pierce. Johnson (0-1-0) collected 32 saves against 38 shots and suffered the loss for Becker.
The Ravens return to the ice on Friday, Nov. 2, when they travel to Saint Anselm for a New England Women's Hockey Alliance contest. Opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m. at Sullivan Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.
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).