RINDGE, N.H. (November 3, 2018) – A two-goal first-period deficit proved to be too big a hole for the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team to climb out of on Saturday night at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. The Ravens scored twice in the second period, but a second-period power-play marker by junior defenseman Megan Klaus would stand as the game-winner, as visiting Saint Anselm picked up a 5-2 win in New England Women's Hockey Alliance play. Junior forward Amanda Conger had two goals and an assist in the victory for the Hawks.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 4-2-0 (2-2-0 NEWHA), while Saint Anselm improves to 4-0-1 (3-0-1 NEWHA). The victory marked the 200th career win for Saint Anselm head coach Kerstin Matthews, who is in her 11th season at the helm of the Hawks. The two teams will meet again on Dec. 4 at Saint Anselm and Jan. 18 at Franklin Pierce to wrap up their four-game season series.
Saint Anselm jumped out front just 2:04 into the proceedings on Saturday night. Conger had the backhand finish near the right post for her fourth goal of the season, while freshman forward Erin Meyers and senior forward Caley Mueller provided the assists.
The Hawks struck again at 10:27 and would maintain the 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Sophomore forward Jayden Young took control of the puck in her own end and weaved her way through the neutral zone, then into the offensive end. Once there, she dished the puck into the left-wing circle for sophomore forward Katy Meehan. The latter sniped the top-left corner from the middle of the circle for her sixth goal of the campaign.
Franklin Pierce cut the deficit in half 3:53 into the second period. Sophomore forward Marissa Massaro (Brockton, Mass.) led a 2-on-1 into the offensive end with the puck on the right side. She was able to slip a feed across to sophomore forward Haley Parker (Londonderry, N.H.), who finished off the rush with her sixth goal of the year.
Each team had five power-play chances on the night, including a 5-on-3 apiece, but the only power-play goal of the game came at 8:33 of the second, and would serve as the game-winner for Saint Anselm. Junior forward Kaley Campbell carried the puck into the zone and left it for Conger on the right-wing side. Conger cut to the top of the right circle and sent the puck to Klaus at the left point. Klaus put her shot through traffic and it found its way untouched to the back of the net for her second goal of the season.
Franklin Pierce again cut the deficit to one, at 3-2, at 11:10. Junior defenseman Delaney Guimont (Bedford, N.H.) put a shot through traffic and home from the middle of the blue line for her second goal of the year. Massaro notched her second assist of the night, while junior forward Meg Gilbride (Braintree, Mass.) added an assist as well.
The remainder of the second, as well as the first half of the third period, went without further scoring, before Saint Anselm picked up an important insurance tally at the 12:57 mark. Sophomore defenseman Kathleen LeFebre put the puck towards the net from the left point. It was deflected near the hash marks by freshman forward Amanda Nylander, who picked up her first collegiate goal. Saint Anselm would go on to record a 14-3 advantage in shots in the third period.
An empty net tally at 19:38 created the 5-2 final. Conger forced a turnover inside her own blue line and was able to gain possession into the neutral zone. She carried just across the offensive blue line before snapping her second of the night into the yawning goal.
Junior goaltender Jessica Strack (Reading, Mass.) finished with 34 saves against 38 shots on goal and suffered the loss (2-1-0) in net for Franklin Pierce. Junior netminder Michaela Kane (4-0-0) stopped 21 of 23 shots to pick up the win for Saint Anselm.
The Ravens return to the ice on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10, for a two-game NEWHA weekend series at home against Saint Michael's. Opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena.
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).