Ravens look to send seniors out on top versus Post amid rebuilding season

By Andrew Hoenig

The women’s ice hockey team is looking to cap their season off with two key wins. The Ravens will have two matchups versus Post on Friday, February 16 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, February 17 at 3 pm.

The two division rivals faced off at Post University on January 12 and 13. The Ravens won both matchups by a total of 17-2, absolutely destroying the Eagles. Freshman forward Nicole Amato scored four goals combined in both matchups and three in the first match, a 9-1 Ravens win.

Franklin Pierce and Post will duel it out on the ice to end the season (Photo: Andrew Hoenig)

Coach David Stockdale talked about the focus as the team head into its last two games. “I don’t think [it] changes regardless of who we are playing,” said Stockdale. “We will try to prepare our team for certain looks they might get against a given opponent, but we don’t try to reinvent the wheel. We have an identity regardless of the opponent.”

Amato leads the Ravens this season with 14 goals and 12 assists in the team’s 25 games. The Ravens record currently stands at 12-11-2 going into the matchups and the team has already secured a playoff berth. “This season has been one with some crazy results so I wouldn’t be surprised if Post comes out and tries to get a few wins under their belt,” said Amato.

The Ravens’ place in the standings is not likely to change as Saint Anselm, Holy Cross, and Sacred Heart are all above them by a large margin. The same goes for Post University which so far has gone 2-24-2 this season, ranking dead last in their division. These last two games can decide, however, whether the Ravens play at home or on the road in their first playoff matchup.

“Every game is important as we look toward the playoffs because it provides us another opportunity to try and bring our game to the highest level and find the consistency that we’ll need from shift to shift to be able to make a run during the postseason,” said Stockdale.

This year has not gone quite the way the Ravens had hoped as losses have mounted against rivals such as Sacred Heart and Saint Anselm. Both Stockdale and Amato said the same has happened to Post and they are not judging the their opponent based solely on their record.

“Every game is a chance to learn no matter who you are playing against whether it’s Holy Cross or a building-team like Post,” Amato said. “If you are unable to do the simple things right and work as a team, the results will never be clear.”

The Ravens have gone through a rebuilding year though their record does not quite reflect it. Stockdale said, “We are an extraordinarily young team. Of 19 players on the roster, 16 of them are freshman and sophomores, so the beginning of the year was a big learning experience.”

Amato said the Ravens have really focused on repetition of drills in practice all season as the new players still adapt to the system in place in Stockdale’s fifth season with the team. This translated to a 9-5-2 record in their last 16 games after a rough 3-6 start to the year.

“There have been a lot of new personalities coming into the group over the last two seasons, and while that’s not a bad thing at all, it has at times been challenging to mesh everyone together and find our peak chemistry,” said Stockdale. “As our team continues to grow and gain experience together, the cohesiveness will help build and maintain the high levels of success we expect of ourselves.”

Senior forward Alex Brolsma is the second leading goal-scorer on the team behind Amato with 13 goals and 11 assists. “We are a completely different team than we were at the beginning of the season,” said Brolsma. “We’ve learned how to work with each of our teammates and our younger players have gained more experience.”

The Ravens have a chance to put themselves in a good position heading into the postseason in these last two games against Post and said they’d be more than happy to see fans and fellow classmates come enjoy the action.
Stockdale said, “We always appreciate having the support of everyone at Franklin Pierce. The energy that fans can provide helps to create an outstanding game environment and can certainly give our team an extra boost as we head into the playoffs.”

Amato reflected her coach’s attitude and said these last two games are especially important for the seniors on the team. “These are our last home games for them and they deserve the support for all their hard work and dedication they have put into this program to make it what it is today. I owe a lot of my success this season to them and my other linemates,” Amato said.

Brolsma echoed the sentiments of her teammate and said she would love to have everyone attend the games. “Our senior game is Saturday so it would be great to have people come help the other seniors and I celebrate the success of our past four years,” said Brolsma.

With some added energy, Stockdale made one final push to urge fans to help sendoff the seniors with a show of support.

Stockdale shouted, “These [seniors] have brought so much to the team and the University over the last four years and I know they would appreciate the kind of sendoff that Raven Nation can provide!”

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