Lakers swept in season-opening series against Adrian

Oswego State LakersAdrian BulldogsIn a matchup featuring two teams ranked just outside the top 10 in the USCHO.com Women’s Ice Hockey Poll, Adrian College showed the Oswego State women’s ice hockey team why it was receiving more votes in the poll, sweeping the two-game series from the Lakers in the season opener for both teams at the Campus Center Ice Arena over the weekend.

The Bulldogs took advantage of eight power play, netting two power-play goals in the series opener en route to a 3-0 victory on Friday night. Adrian’s Danielle Smith tallied a goal and three assists, while teammate Olivia Rork added a goal and an assist to pace the Bulldogs to a 5-3 victory over the Lakers on Saturday afternoon.

Adrian’s Ashley Gniewek opened the scoring on Friday night at 11:27 of the first period on the power play. Following a tripping penalty by freshman forward Chelsea Draker, Gniewek charged the net during a scramble in front of Oswego State freshman goalie Bridget Smith and was able to push the puck past Smith for the game’s first goal. Adrian’s Kelly Salis wristed a shot from the right faceoff circle that was blocked aside by Smith, but the Bulldogs’ Danielle Smith collected the puck and fired another shot on goal that again was knocked down by Smith. However, with congestion in front of the net, Smith lost sight of the puck and Gniewek was able to find the back of the net on the power play.

The Bulldogs (2-0-0 overall, 0-0-0 NCHA) capitalized on the extra-skater advantage once again in the second period to take a two-goal lead. Adrian’s Hannah McGowan took advantage of a turnover in the Lakers’ defensive zone by sophomore defender Leslie Jarvis and beat Smith stick side for the goal at 16:49 of the second period. Down a player after a body-checking penalty by sophomore forward Emma Smetaniuk, Jarvis corralled a loose puck in the Lakers’ defensive zone and attempted to clear the puck out of the zone to kill off the rest of the penalty. However, Jarvis’ clear attempt went right into the midsection of McGowan, creating a breakaway attempt for McGowan, who capitalized on her chance.

Adrian sealed the game one victory on Kristin Maton’s goal at 16:55 of the third period. Skating up the left side of the ice, Maton wristed a shot through traffic at the left faceoff circle that deflected off a Laker defender in front of the net past Smith for the goal.

Despite six power play opportunities, the Lakers (0-2-0 overall, 0-0-0 ECAC West) came up empty with the extra skater. Oswego State’s best chance to register a power-play goal came a little over halfway through the third period when the Lakers had a 5-on-3 advantage for a minute following a hooking penalty by Smith at 12:40 and an interference penalty by Jenna Corbin at 13:39. The Lakers finished with seven shots on net during the two-player advantage, but Adrian goalie Emily Michelin kept Oswego State off the scoreboard.

In total, the Lakers registered 40 shots on goal, but Michelin stood strong in net, recording 40 saves to earn the shutout for the Bulldogs. Senior forward Mackenzie Lee led the Lakers with 10 shots, while senior forward Kelly Collins finished with six shots. Smith finished with 27 saves on 30 shots faced in a losing effort for the Lakers.

The Laker offense came alive on Saturday afternoon, but fell short in a 5-3 loss in the latter game of the series. Scoreless through the majority of the first period, the Bulldogs broke through late on the power play at 17:31 of the frame on Smith’s goal on the rebound in front of the net to take a one-goal lead. With the extra skater following a tripping penalty by Draker, the Bulldogs recorded two shots on net in succession before Smith was able to push the puck through the legs of Oswego State sophomore goalie Catherine Cote for the goal. Cote made saves on shots by Maton and Rork, but gave up a rebound attempt in front of the net that Smith was able to capitalize on to take the one-goal lead late in the first period.

Oswego State responded 44 seconds later, as Lee recorded the first goal of the season for the Lakers at 18:15 of the first period. The play began with Collins battling for possession along the boards in the Bulldogs’ defensive end. Collins won control of the puck and found senior forward Jillian Bergeron, who located Lee all alone in the slot. Lee fired a shot that beat Michelin glove side to tie the game at one going into the first period intermission.

The Bulldogs retook the lead at 2:44 of the second period on Gniewek’s second goal in as many games following a breakaway attempt from Smith. Smith had a breakaway attempt after the puck skipped over the stick of the Lakers last line of defense, but Cote made the save on Smith to her right. Unfortunately, Cote let up a rebound attempt to Gniewek, who was trailing the play and had a wide-open net to work with.

The Lakers again fought back to tie the game on a power-play goal by sophomore forward Carly Henderson at 9:28 of the second period. Following an interference penalty by Smith, Henderson took a pass from Lee and beat Michelin stick side.

Adrian’s Courtney Millar responded with the Bulldogs third goal of the game, which proved to be the last-leading goal. Smith found Millar at the blueline, who fired a slapshot through traffic that Cote was unable to locate, beating her glove side.

Rork gave the Bulldogs a two-goal lead at 4:19 of the third period before Lauren Zachwieja increased the lead to three at 7:58 of the frame. Both goals came from the slot. McGowan assisted on Rork’s goal, while Nina Laurie assisted on Zachwieja’s goal.

Collins attempted to lead the Lakers back, cutting the deficit to two with just under 10 minutes remaining in regulation, but Michelin held Oswego State scoreless the rest of the way, including three shots to kill off an Adrian penalty with 8:14 remaining in the period.

Cote, playing in her first game this season, finished with 26 saves on 31 shots, while Michelin finished with 31 saves on 34 shots.

The Lakers finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Bulldogs finished 2-for-4 with the extra skater.

The Lakers begin ECAC West play on Saturday, Nov. 5, when Oswego State hosts SUNY Cortland at 3 p.m. at the Campus Center Ice Arena.

Mike Kraft

Managing Editor of The Oswegonian Executive Editor of The PlayMaker & The Oswego State Men's Ice Hockey Guide Men's Ice Hockey Beat Writer 2009-Current