WINCHENDON, Mass. (January 7, 2018) – Three goals in the opening 21 minutes, including a pair of power-play tallies, set the tone early on Sunday afternoon at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. Despite a hiccup in the middle of the third period, the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team collected a 46-12 advantage in shots on goal on the way to a 4-2 win over visiting Johnson & Wales to open the season's second half. It was the first-ever meeting between the two teams, as JWU is in just its third season as a varsity program.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 8-6-1, has won four in a row and is unbeaten in its last six (5-0-1). Johnson & Wales fell to 4-8-3 with the loss.
Franklin Pierce struck for a pair of goals in a 70-second span near the middle of the first period to jump to a 2-0 lead. With the Ravens already on the power play, the first goal came with the goaltender pulled for an extra attacker in a delayed-penalty situation as well. The play started at the right point with sophomore defenseman Katie Neuburger (Fayetteville, N.Y.), who fed sophomore forward Meg Gilbride (Braintree, Mass.) for the shot, as the latter was cutting across the slot. JWU senior goaltender Kami Weiner turned aside Gilbride's initial shot, but senior forward Alex Brolsma (Bloomington, Minn.) was on hand to bang home the rebound from the top of the crease to start her three-point afternoon (2-1-3) at the 7:14 mark.
The Ravens followed up in a 4-on-4 situation at 8:24. From the left side, freshman forward Kelsey Ryan (Burlington, Mass.) sent the puck up high to sophomore defenseman Bridgette Prentiss (Buffalo, N.Y.), who sent it on the right side for sophomore defenseman Delaney Guimont (Bedford, N.H.). Guimont collected and then sent the puck back to the left point for Prentiss. The latter stepped into her shot from there and put her second goal of the season into the top-right corner.
Brolsma struck again on the power play just 59 seconds into the second period to push the lead out to 3-0. With the assistance of Neuburger and freshman defenseman Carolyn Drowne (Bridgewater, Mass.), Brolsma collected the puck in the neutral zone and curled into the attacking end on the right-wing side. She dangled her way around a defenseman at the top of the faceoff circle and cut out front. Suddenly with just Weiner to beat, Brolsma deked to her backhand and finished at the left post to salt away her team-leading eighth goal of the season.
The Ravens stretched the lead as high as 4-0 early in the third period, after Brolsma took a feed from Prentiss on the left-wing side. While making her way towards the net, Brolsma spotted freshman forward Haley Parker (Londonderry, N.H.) cutting down the slot towards the right post and slipped a pass across the top of the crease. Parker did not miss on the finish and easily put away her fifth goal of the campaign at 3:22.
Johnson & Wales struck twice in a span of just 64 seconds near the middle of the third period to cut the final margin of victory to 4-2. First, junior forward Kathy Ensor cleared the defensive zone and sent the puck ahead to sophomore forward Kathryn Mason, who led a rush down the right-wing side. Mason had sophomore forward Cassie Wakefield with her on the charge and the former set up the latter's first goal of the season with a pass across the low slot from right to left. Wakefield had the easy finish near the left post at 8:40.
Shortly thereafter, sophomore defenseman Taylor Davis gained control of the puck deep in her own end and worked it ahead on the left-wing side for sophomore forward Samantha Kawejsza. Kawejsza then chipped the puck off the glass, around a Franklin Pierce defender, to sophomore forward Julia Martinsson, who had a head of steam and space in front of her into the offensive end. From the middle of the left-wing circle, Martinsson picked the top-left corner of the net with a snap shot at 9:44, for her third goal of the year.
Franklin Pierce head coach David Stockdale was audibly upset with his squad after the breakdown and laid into the team on the bench as play continued after the second Johnson & Wales goal. Just a few minutes later, after further lackluster play, he would call his timeout to attempt to settle things down. The Ravens were able to clean up some of their play defensively from there on out to finish off the 4-2 victory.
Freshman goaltender Kelly Turney (Fort Gratiot, Mich.) finished with 10 saves against 12 shots on goal to pick up the win (3-3-1) in front of the net for Franklin Pierce. At the other end of the ice, Weiner (4-8-3) piled up 42 saves against 46 shots in a losing effort for Johnson & Wales. It was her third 40-save outing of the season.
The Ravens return to the ice on Jan. 12-13, when they travel to Post for a two-game weekend series. Opening faceoff is set for 4:45 p.m. on Friday and 2:15 p.m. on Saturday at Sports Center of Connecticut in Shelton, Conn.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). 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 women's ice hockey apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).