For the Oswego State women’s ice hockey program, this season has been the best in their five -year history. The Lakers overall record is 9-8-3, putting them over .500 this late in the season for the first time in program history. With 20 games played so far and only five to go in the regular season, the Lakers are in line to make the playoffs for the first time. Before they can think about that, however, they will be faced with two tough games against Rochester Institute of Technology, who currently sits at the top of the ECAC West standings. Despite what happens in those games, this season as a whole will still be a tremendous success for Oswego State women’s hockey.
The season has certainly had its ups and downs. Oswego State began its season on a high note with a tie against seventh-ranked Elmira College, in its first conference game. Tying Elmira, who beat the Lakers 9-0 the year before, showed the rest of the conference that Oswego State could give the top- ranked teams a run for their money. After Elmira, the Lakers hit a slight bump in the road when they tied ninth-place SUNY Cortland twice in two games and lost two against Utica the following weekend. The Lakers turned it around and went on Thanksgiving break with a win against Hamilton College.
Between Thanksgiving and winter break, Oswego State went on a win streak. The Lakers beat Potsdam State and Sacred Heart University two times each.
Since being back from winter break, The Lakers have had mixed results. They split a series against Neumann University in their first weekend back, losing the first game 3-1 and winning the second by the same score. They suffered a loss to Hamilton College, 7-4, who they had previously beaten. The second weekend, they beat Chatham in two games, 6-0 and 6-2, giving the Lakers two important conference wins. Last weekend, Oswego State lost to SUNY Plattsburgh, currently third in the ECAC west, in both games.
One of the goals the team had for this season was to make the postseason, and it appears they are going to reach that goal. Oswego State currently stands in fifth place with 13 points in the ECAC West standings. The top six teams make the playoffs and there currently is a four-point gap between the sixth place team, Utica, who has 12 points, and the seventh place team, SUNY Potsdam, who has eight. With so few games left to play, this gap gives the Lakers a very good chance of making the playoffs.
This weekend, Oswego State will play a two-game series at home against Buffalo State. They face-off Friday night at 7 p.m., and Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. These two games are important for a few reasons. First, since Buffalo State is also in the ECAC West, wins would provide the Lakers with the points they need to guarantee themselves a spot in the postseason. On Saturday, the Lakers have their Senior Day. A win on Senior Day would surely raise morale in preparation for the playoffs. Also, Friday’s game is Oswego State’s annual Pink the Rink game, where they auction off a pink Laker jersey to benefit the More than a Game Foundation.
The Lakers have their final road series from Feb. 11-Feb. 12 when they travel to the Rochester Institute of Technology to take on the top-ranked Tigers. Oswego State finishes there regular season at home when they host Castleton State College on Tuesday, Feb. 22.