WINCHENDON, Mass. (November 1, 2019) – Finally!
After seven years and 22 meetings, the 23rd time was the charm for the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team against intrastate rival Saint Anselm. The Ravens popped a pair of power-play goals in the first period on Friday afternoon and ultimately rolled to a 3-0 win over the visiting Hawks in New England Women's Hockey Alliance play at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. Junior forward Nicole Amato (Billerica, Mass.) scored twice in the win for the Ravens, while sophomore goaltender Emme Ostrander (Westborough, Mass.) put together a 34-save shutout.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 3-1-0 (3-0-0 NEWHA), while Saint Anselm falls to 4-3-0 (4-3-0 NEWHA). The two teams will meet again on Saturday at Saint Anselm to wrap up the home-and-home series. Opening faceoff is set for 1 p.m. at Sullivan Rink in Manchester, N.H.
The Ravens used just a combined 13 seconds to cash in their first two power-play opportunities of the afternoon and build a 2-0 lead in the first period. The first came at 4:04, just six seconds into a man-advantage and directly off of a faceoff in the right-wing circle. Junior forward Marissa Massaro (Brockton, Mass.) won the draw back to the right wing for senior defenseman Bridgette Prentiss (Buffalo, N.Y.), who sent a pass to freshman defenseman Stefanie Caban (Fitchburg, Mass.) at the middle of the blue line. Caban put a shot through traffic from there and picked the top-left corner for her second goal of the season.
Franklin Pierce doubled the lead at 15:10, just seven seconds into the team's second power-play chance of the night, once again immediately off of a faceoff in the right-wing circle. Amato won the faceoff back to the right point for freshman defenseman Bethany Ross (Canton, Mich.), who sent it over to the left point for junior forward Haley Parker (Londonderry, N.H.). Parker sent a return pass to Ross, now at the center of the blue line, and Ross sent a shot into traffic from there. The puck deflected off the leg of Amato at the top of the crease and found the back of the net for her third goal of the campaign.
Amato would add an insurance marker in a more conventional manner in the second period to cap her multiple-goal day and cap the game's scoring as well. While headed out of the defensive zone, freshman forward Becca Kniss (Eden Prairie, Minn.) dropped a pass to Caban, who immediately fired the puck ahead into the neutral zone. Caban's pass found Amato, who was now leading a 2-on-1 with Kniss as the pair steamed across the attacking blue line. Amato used her speed to turn the 2-on-1 into a partial breakaway once she gained the line. She ultimately flipped her shot over the glove hand of Saint Anselm junior goaltender Kia Castonguay and into the top-right corner at 8:02 to create the 3-0 final.
Saint Anselm never seriously threatened to come back after Franklin Pierce's two early power-play goals, thanks to the work of Ostrander (2-1-0) at the other end of the ice. She finished with 34 saves, including 17 in a high-flying second period, to notch her second shutout of the season and the 10th of her career. Just one month into her sophomore season, Ostrander is only four shutouts behind the program's all-time record of 14, held by Shannon O'Neil '17.
Castonguay (1-2-0) made 18 saves against 21 shots in a losing effort for Saint Anselm.
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).