Women’s hockey drops exhibition to Durham, 4-1

WHockey v Durham_5
Photo taken by Jessica Bagdovitz | The Oswegonian

The Oswego State women’s ice hockey team opened its season up on Oct. 21 with a 4-1 loss to the Durham Lightning in an exhibition game.

The loss was disappointing to a Laker team that expected to perform better in its first game of the season. After only a week of practice with head coach Diane Dillon the team was still adjusting to new players and line formations.

“I thought we were going to win,” senior captain Kathryn Sbrocchi said. “But I didn’t expect things to be organized, none of us have really played together before.”

The Lighting scored the first goal just 2:55 into the game when forward Erika Mitrevski beat sophomore goaltender Catherine Cote shortly after a Durham penalty expired. Forward Stephanie Cooper and defender Danielle Leonard were awarded the assists.

During the first period the Lakers took three penalties. The Lightning kept the pressure on while they maintained the skater-advantage. At the end of the frame the Lightning capitalized on the power play scoring their second goal of the game.

Cooper, the points leader for the Lightning, scored on a pass from Mitrevski with just 29 seconds remaining in the period.

Cote started in goal for the Lakers and made four saves on six shots during the first period. Senior goaltender Megan Amlinger was in net for the middle frame with freshman Bridget Smith finishing off the game in net, playing for her first time ever as a Laker.

In the second period the Lakers gave up another power play goal giving the Lightning a 3-0 advantage. Sam Mackenzie scored for Durham, beating Amlinger glove-side on a shot from the point.

Amlinger made six saves on seven shots in the period. Durham goaltender Kimberly Keller was perfect in the period, stopping 14 Laker shots. Keller relieved goaltender Jackie Rochefort, whom made two saves in the first, at the start of the middle period.

The Lakers finally got on the board early in the third, when senior forward Mackenzie Lee beat Keller with a wrist shot from in front of the net. The play was initiated when sophomore forward Megan Howe received a pass from senior Kelly Collins and was able to center the puck to Lee.

After the goal, which came only 1:53 into the period, the Lakers proceeded to take a total of five penalties over the course of the last 20 minutes.

Halfway through the period, the Lighting capitalized on the power play for the third time when senior forward Laura Gilpin took a checking penalty. Leonard found the back of the net on a play where Smith appeared to be screened by several players in front of the net. Forwards Katey Arathoon and Cooper were awarded the assists.

“Durham does a very good job of getting traffic in front of the net,” Dillon said. “(That’s) something we need to work on for sure.”

Smith had the best showing of all three Laker goalies during the game registering nine saves on 10 shots.

“I was nervous going into (the game),” Smith said. “But I kinda just didn’t really think about it and tried to play what I’m used to playing and tried to get used to all the girls on the ice.”

Dillon was pleased with the play of all three goalies during the game and was glad to see Smith excel in her first collegiate game.

“I thought all three played well and it’s always nice to have the freshman get her first shot out of the way,” Dillon said.

Special teams hurt the Lakers against Durham. The Lighting was able to score on three of nine power play opportunities; a number that Dillon said was way too high.

“That was just ridiculous. We can’t take that many penalties in a game, we just can’t. Especially early on, those were just lazy penalties,” Dillon said. “There are good penalties and there are bad penalties. Most of ours were bad.”