WINCHENDON, Mass. (February 10, 2018) – Through two periods on Saturday afternoon, the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team struggled to generate anything in the way of offensive opportunities. The Ravens were able to open their game up more in the final stanza, but still could not find the net at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. Meanwhile, Holy Cross scored once in the first, twice in the second and thrice in the third to roll to a 6-0 road win in New England Women's Hockey Alliance play.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 12-11-2 (6-11-1 NEWHA) and has lost four in a row for the first time since the program's inaugural season of 2012-13, when it happened twice (Oct. 26-Nov. 10 and Jan. 5-16). With the win, Holy Cross improves to 15-6-3 (14-2-2 NEWHA) and finishes off the four-game season sweep of the Ravens.
Holy Cross scored the only goal it would need 6:44 into the proceedings on Saturday afternoon. Junior forward Maeve Reilly banged home a rebound at the left post for her eighth goal of the season, while senior forward Kara Violette and freshman defenseman Allison Attea picked up the assists.
The Crusaders made it a 2-0 lead just 13 seconds into the middle frame. The Franklin Pierce defense turned the puck over directly in front of its own net. Violette was on the scene to capitalize, as she quickly popped a shot into the top of the net for her 14th goal of the campaign, unassisted.
A power-play marker at the 12:05 mark made it a 3-0 Holy Cross lead. From the left point, junior defenseman Jackie Gellnar sent the puck to the right point for fellow junior defenseman Tori Messina. Messina sent the puck into the right circle for Reilly, who briefly held before returning the puck to Messina at the right point. Messina took a shot from there, which managed to thread its way through copious traffic and into the back of the net for her seventh goal of the year.
Holy Cross outshot Franklin Pierce 28-4 over the course of the first two periods.
The Crusaders tacked on three third-period goals to break the game open and create the 6-0 final. First, sophomore forward Maggie Hallisey used her skates to gain control of a loose puck in the slot. She sent a pass out to the point for freshman defenseman Antonia Matzka, who took a shot from the blue line. Matzka's shot was saved, but freshman forward Katie MacCuaig finished off the rebound at the left post at the 4:30 mark, for her 12th goal of the season.
Hallisey would strike for a goal of her own -- her fourth of the campaign -- after the midpoint of the final stanza. In the left-wing corner, sophomore defenseman Victoria Young and freshman forward Grace Peluso combined to work the puck to the front of the net. Hallisey was on the scene in front of the left post and was able to jam the puck past Franklin Pierce senior goalkeeper Madison Murray (Berkley, Mich.) at 11:29.
The Crusaders capped the scoring at the 18:10 mark. Messina took the initial shot from the right point, which was saved, but MacCuaig again cleaned up a rebound, this time from outside the right post. Junior forward Sam Girard added an assist as well, on MacCuaig's second goal of the day.
Murray (7-5-1) finished with 31 saves against 37 shots on goal and suffered the loss for Franklin Pierce. At the other end of the ice, sophomore netminder Marcia LaPlante (5-0-0) stopped all 15 shots she faced to post her fifth career shutout.
The Ravens return to the ice on Feb. 16-17, when they remain home to host Post in an NEWHA weekend series. Opening faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena.
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).