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Faucher Strong, Women’s Ice Hockey Falls in Season Opener at No. 14/15 BC, 4-1

Suzette Faucher
Suzette Faucher covers the post at BC (photo credit: Matthew Janik).

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (September 24, 2022) -- For two periods on Saturday afternoon, the Franklin Pierce University women's ice hockey team held its own at Conte Forum. At the second intermission, the shots were 34-16 in favor of No. 14/15 nationally ranked Boston College, but the score was tied at 1-1. The home-standing Eagles struck three times in the third period, as the Ravens suffered a season-opening 4-1 loss against the strongest regular-season opponent the program has faced to-date. Junior Suzette Faucher (Middleton, Wis.) made a career-high 45 saves in front of the Franklin Pierce net in defeat.

With the loss, Franklin Pierce opens its 11th season at 0-1-0, while BC improves to 1-0-0.

After the first half of the game went scoreless, the two sides traded goals late in the second frame. Boston College struck first, at the 12:41 mark. Senior Hannah Bilka led a 3-on-2 rush across the line and into the offensive end on the left wing. It wound up as a 4-on-2 after a defender joined the play, and Bilka found the trailer. Senior Kayla Barnes took the feed just above the hash marks and snapped her shot inside the right post.

Franklin Pierce had the answer at 16:07. Senior Ava Kison (Eau Claire, Wis.) led a rush out of the defensive end on the left side, but ran into trouble near the BC blue line. Junior Jenna Ruiz (Webster, Wis.) kept the play alive, as she was able to tip the puck to sophomore Lucy Hanson (Medina, Minn.), who gained the zone. Hanson cut towards the middle and took a shot, as Kison rejoined the rush steaming down he left side. Hanson's shot was turned aside, but he rebound off the pad of BC graduate student goalkeeper Abigail Levy came right to Kison at the bottom of the left circle. The Badger State native had a yawning net from there to get the Ravens on the board.

The depth of BC shone through in the third period, as Franklin Pierce was outshot 15-2 over the final 20 minutes. The Eagles struck on either side of the midpoint of the third period to finally seize control of the game. First, freshman Kate Ham took a pass from sophomore Jenna Carpenter and barreled into the zone on the rush on the right wing. She powered around her defender and snapped a shot to the short side from the right faceoff dot, at 8:18.

Just 2:02 later, BC got a bounce, to make it 3-1. Bilka cut to the net through the right circle and was stripped by the defense, but the puck managed to ping-pong off the stick of junior Delaney Bonifacio (Traverse City, Mich.), then off the back of Faucher, and wound up in the back of the net.

A 2-on-0 down low created the 4-1 final at 14:54, as Barnes set up junior Gaby Roy for the one-time finish at the top of the crease.

Faucher (0-1-0) finished with a career-best 45 saves against 49 shots in the Franklin Pierce crease, as the Ravens were outshot 49-18 when all was said and done. It was Faucher's third career game of 40-plus saves. Levy (1-0-0) stopped 17 of 18 shots at the other end to pick up the win for BC.

The game featured only one penalty, a second-period tripping minor to Franklin Pierce freshman Grace Schuck (Bloomington, Minn.), which the Ravens killed off, courtesy of three saves by Faucher and a pair of blocked shots by graduate-student University of New Hampshire transfer Lindsey Dumond (Hampton, N.H.). Franklin Pierce piled up 18 blocked shots in the game.

The Ravens have an exhibition on the schedule next weekend, as they return home to the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena in Winchendon, Mass. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, against University of New Brunswick.