Women’s hockey splits two games with Utica College

Melissa Seamont maintains control of puck away from Nicole Schwartz
Taken by Billy Reese | The Oswegonian

Last weekend ended in a split for the Oswego State women’s ice hockey team, which fell to Utica College 3-1 at home on Saturday following an exciting 3-2 overtime win on Friday in Utica.

The Lakers came out strong in game one, scoring the first goal of the game 1:14 into the first period. Sophomore forward Melissa Seamont netted her second goal of the season with sophomore defenders Jocelyn St. Clair and Chelsea Hunt earning the assists.

“It was probably one of the best first periods we’ve ever played,” head coach Diane Dillon said. “We came out flying, everything was working for us and we just out worked them.”

Utica was able to tie up the game in the second, and add on a second goal early in the third to gain the one-goal lead.

With 1.2 seconds remaining in the game, senior forward Kelly Collins beat Utica goaltender Marissa Hotaling to force overtime.

The goal was scored on the power play when senior forward Jillian Bergeron won the faceoff and passed the puck to senior defender Kathryn Sbrocchi, whose initial shot was saved with the rebound played into the net by Collins.

“We never quit,” Dillon said. “We scored with 1.2 seconds left on the clock, which is always a stab to the heart of your opponent.”

The game was ended at 3:15 of the overtime, with sophomore forward Carly Henderson scoring the game winner with an assist from sophomore forward Olivia Boersen.

“It was a very exciting game,” Dillon said.

The Lakers outshot Utica 48 to 24, showing their offensive dominance throughout the game.

Oswego State sophomore goaltender Catherine Cote finished the game with 22 saves.

In the contest on Saturday, the Pioneers came out strong after losing the game at the very last second the night before.

Although the first period went scoreless, Utica netted two goals in the second frame to grab the lead.

Junior forward Carmen Johnson was able to push the puck into the net on a play where Utica crashed the net in order to score. The lead was doubled by sophomore forward Megan Myers at 15:25 of the second. Junior forward Meghan McMahon took a shot that Cote saved, but the puck came lose after the save and ended up on Myers’ stick.

The Lakers got on the board at the beginning of the third when Bergeron took a shot just inside the offensive zone that beat Utica goaltender Jennifer Hamel high blocker side.

Oswego State was able to generate a lot of offense but could not find the back of the net again.

The Pioneers tallied a third goal late in the third to increase their lead to two, and put the game out of reach.

The goal was deflected off a stick in front off a shot from freshman defender Samantha Pucci, who was credited for the goal.

Cote finished the game with 26 saves, while Hamel registered 38.

In both games, the Lakers outshot the Pioneers by a significant margin, showing that they dominated offensively but were not able to score.

“We are out-chancing our opponents at least two-to-one in most games,” Dillon said. “I mean high quality looks at the net, and that’s where we’re not finishing. It’s getting a little bit frustrating but we’ll fight through it.”

A positive aspect of the Lakers’ play in both games was the number of penalties taken, which was significantly lower than it has been in recent games.

Oswego State took six penalties in the first game and four in the second, a big improvement from the 10 taken during its 1-1 tie to SUNY Cortland.

Dillon said she was happy with the way her team performed, but said they have to keep a strong effort for the entire 60 minutes in order to win.

“We knew it was coming, we knew dang well that Utica was gonna come out flying,” Dillon said. “We’ve got to match that intensity or exceed it. At times we did that, at times we didn’t, you can’t have that kind of uneven effort if you want to be successful in this league all the time.”

The Lakers go on the road and will face SUNY Potsdam on Saturday and Sunday, both will start at 2 p.m.