DURHAM, N.H. (September 29, 2019) – The Franklin Pierce University women’s ice hockey team took its first step into a bold new era on Sunday afternoon at the Whittemore Center, as the Ravens made their Division I debut with a trip to take on New Hampshire. The Ravens held their own in the first and third periods, but a five-goal second proved to be their undoing, as the Wildcats posted a 6-0 victory in the non-conference affair. Sophomore goaltender Emme Ostrander (Westborough, Mass.) made a program-record 53 saves in front of the Franklin Pierce net.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce opens its season at 0-1-0, while New Hampshire gets out of the gate at 1-0-0. The game marked only the eighth time in the history of the program -- which is beginning its eighth season -- the team gave up six or more goals in a game.
Despite a 13-4 shots deficit, Franklin Pierce nearly made it out of the first period unscathed, but a power-play marker from UNH at the 19:11 mark got the Wildcats on the board. From behind the net, senior forward Meghara McManus slipped a pass out in front of the cage on the left-wing side and found fellow senior forward Taylor Wenczkowski crashing hard towards the left post. The UNH tri-captain did not miss from there, as she put a one-time shot over the shoulder of Ostrander and into the top-right corner to open the scoring.
The floodgates opened for the Wildcats in the second period, as UNH poured in five goals on 29 shots to open up a 6-0 lead. Senior forward Carlee Turner got things started with a power-play marker just 42 seconds into the frame, as she redirected the puck home out front. McManus notched her second assist of the day, as she threw the puck towards the net from the left-wing boards, while Wenczkowski added a helper as well.
Just 36 seconds later, at the 1:18 mark, the Wildcats picked up their first even-strength goal of the afternoon, as senior forward Nicole Dunbar found the net, off of assists from junior forward Grace Middleton and sophomore defenseman Talli Warren. Another 43 seconds after the 3-0 goal, sophomore forward Paige Rynne made it 4-0 at the 2:01 mark, to make it four goals in a span of 2:50 for UNH, dating back to the end of the first period.
McManus picked up a goal to go with her two assists at the 10:38 mark, as she had the one-time finish out front off of a feed from Turner. Sophomore forward Lauren Martin rounded out the middle stanza's scoring, and ultimately the game's scoring, at the 19-minute mark, as she finished off a loose puck at the right post, while Rynne and freshman Tamara Thiérus collected the assists.
Ostrander (0-1-0) had already set a new career high with 36 saves through two periods of play, and then stood tall in the third period as well. She turned aside all 17 shots on her goal in the final frame to finish with 53 saves, which established a new program high-water mark. It was the first 50-save performance in program history.
At the other end of the ice, sophomore goaltender Ava Boutilier (1-0-0) stopped all 14 shots on her goal to post her second career shutout.
The Ravens have an open weekend next week, but will return to the ice on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11-12, when they host Post in a two-game series to open New England Women's Hockey Alliance season. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena in Winchendon, Mass.
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 ice hockey apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' brand new online store (https://www.shopfpuravens.com).