WINCHENDON, Mass. (November 10, 2018) – A pair of first-period power-play goals against put the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team behind early after a sluggish start on Saturday afternoon at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. The Ravens would eventually pop home a pair of third-period power-play goals of their own, but could never dig out of the early hole, as visiting Saint Michael's notched a 5-2 victory to force a split of the two-game weekend series. Sophomore defenseman Courtney Kelly scored twice, including the game-winner, and added an assist as well in the win for Saint Michael's.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 5-3-0 (3-3-0 NEWHA), while Saint Michael's improves to 3-3-0 (2-2-0 NEWHA). The two teams will meet for a two-game series at Saint Michael's to conclude their four-game season series on Jan. 25-26.
It marked the first win for the Purple Knights against Franklin Pierce since Feb. 9, 2013, snapping a run of 18 straight wins for the Ravens in the series. It was also the first win for Saint Michael's in 11 tries at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. Franklin Pierce holds a 19-2-0 all-time record in 21 games against the Purple Knights.
Saint Michael's struck twice on the power play in the first period and would never lead by less than two thereafter. The opener came in a delayed-penalty situation, with an extra attacker, at the 11:18 mark. Junior defenseman Arianna Boscia took control behind her own net and set off the other way. In the neutral zone, she got the puck to sophomore forward Maddie Gervais, who brought it into the offensive end. Gervais gave the puck to junior forward Jordan Monbouquette, who put a shot through Franklin Pierce junior goaltender Jessica Strack (Reading, Mass.) from the top of the right circle for her fourth goal of the season.
Less than four minutes later, the Purple Knights made it 2-0 at the 15:05 mark, with another power-play tally. Senior forward Madison Nichols put a long shot untouched through traffic from the left point to tally her third goal of the season, all of which came in the two games against the Ravens. Freshman forward Jenna Harrison and Kelly picked up the assists on the play.
Saint Michael's tallied the only goal of the second period to push the lead to 3-0. Along the left-wing half boards, sophomore forward Krista Ferrari got her stick in to poke the puck away from a Raven and deflect it to Monbouquette. Monbouquette quickly slipped a pass across to Kelly in the middle of the right circle. Kelly was all alone on the right side of the zone and put her shot into the roof of the net from there to tally her first goal of the campaign.
Franklin Pierce got on the board with a power-play marker at 12:49 of the third period. Down by three and with a two-man advantage, the Ravens pulled Strack in favor of an extra attacker to try to spark something. They would find the net just seconds after the first penalty expired. From the left point, junior defenseman Katie Neuburger (Fayetteville, N.Y.) sent the puck to the right point for sophomore defenseman Carolyn Drowne (Bridgewater, Mass.). Drowne's initial shot was knocked down by her own teammate, junior forward Alli Sugar (Canton, Mass.), but the put came right back to Drowne. Drowne buried the rebound for her first goal of the year.
The Ravens would go back on the power play at 13:06 and pulled the goaltender again, but this time, Saint Michael's was able to kill the penalty. Just seconds before the penalty expired, Ferrari won a faceoff in her own end, to get the puck to Boscia. Boscia flipped the puck the length of the ice, and Gervais was the first one down the rink. Gervais collected the puck on the left-wing side and fired it into the empty net at 15:10 to make it a 4-1 game.
Franklin Pierce notched a power-play goal at 18:09 to cut the gap to 4-2. From the right point, sophomore forward Nicole Amato (Billerica, Mass.) sent the puck to the left point for junior defenseman Bridgette Prentiss (Buffalo, N.Y.). Prentiss sent the puck back against the grain, to sophomore forward Marisa Massaro (Brockton, Mass.) for the one-time finish at the bottom of the right circle. It was Massaro's fourth goal of the year.
Back within two goals, the Ravens pulled Strack for the extra attacker again, but would succeed only in surrendering another empty-net goal. In her own defensive end, Harrison won a faceoff back to Kelly. Kelly sent the puck the length of the ice and into the vacant net to create the 5-2 final, at 19:05.
Strack (2-2-0) finished with just 14 saves against 17 shots and suffered the loss in front of the Franklin Pierce net. At the other end of the ice, junior goaltender Vika Simons (2-2-0) stopped 35 of 37 shots to pick up the win for Saint Michael's.
The Ravens return to the ice on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16-17, when they travel to Sacred Heart for a two-game, NEWHA weekend series. Opening faceoff is set for 4 p.m. both days at Sports Center of Connecticut in Milford, Conn.
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).