With conference games remaining against second-ranked RIT and third-ranked Elmira College, the Oswego State women’s ice hockey team knew it needed a big weekend if it wanted to host a playoff game in late February. The Lakers responded with a 7-0 victory on Friday night and a 3-1 win on Saturday afternoon to complete a two-game sweep of Buffalo State at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.
The Lakers currently sit in fourth place in the ECAC West standings at 8-4-2, accumulating 18 points. Elmira currently holds the third seed and has played two less conference games than Oswego State, sporting a 10-0-0 conference record. The Lakers are eight points ahead of SUNY Potsdam and 10 points ahead of sixth-place Utica College.
On Friday night the Oswego State power play came alive with four power-play goals on six attempts. The penalty kill shut down the Bengals’ power play unit, holding them scoreless in six attempts. Senior forward Mackenzie Lee gave the Lakers the lead just 29 seconds into the first period with the assist going to senior forward Kelly Collins.
The power play unit scored its first goal of the game at 9:42 of the first period on an unassisted goal by senior forward Lauren Gilpin. Lee and Collins connected for goal at 11:40 of the period, as Lee scored her 10th goal of the season with Collins earning the assist.
The Lakers led 3-0 after the first period and continued to apply pressure in the second, tallying four goals in the second period, including three on the power play, to put the game out of reach leading up to the final 20 minutes of the game. Sophomore defender Chelsea Hunt tallied her first goal of the season 41 seconds into the second period, taking advantage of a protocol violation penalty to start the second period. Senior forward Jillian Bergeron earned the assist on the play.
Gilpin scored her second goal of the game while on the power play after Buffalo State’s Tara Boliard took an interference penalty. Senior defender Kathryn Sbrocchi and freshman forward Carly Marchment were credited with the assists on the play.
Sbrocchi scored the team’s fourth power-play goal of the game with Lee earning the assist. Sophomore forward Megan Howe scored the Lakers’ seventh goal of the game at 18:38 of the second period, as sophomore forward Emma Smetaniuk and sophomore defender Leslie Jarvis earned the assists.
The Lakers committed four penalties in the third period and killed of a 5-on-3 power play for the Bengals that lasted 1:36.
Freshman goaltender Bridget Smith earned the shutout in net for the Lakers, finishing with 17 saves. Buffalo State’s Jordan Lee started the game in goal, finishing with 17 saves on 22 shots before being pulled half way through the second period. Jess Garland finished the game, recording 10 saves on 12 shots.
Saturday’s game had a much different feel to it, as the Laker offense was held scoreless through the first 40 minutes of the game. Buffalo State scored its only goal of the series at 7:55 of the first period by Brianna Murphy. Christine Williams and Leah Knott earned the assist on the play.
The second period featured four penalties by the Lakers, but the penalty kill unit kept Buffalo State off the board. The Bengals finished 0-for-4 with the extra skater, as did Oswego State. The Lakers were outshot 10-8 in the second period, but neither team was able to find the back of the net.
Oswego State wasted no tie getting back into the game in the third period, as the Lakers struck twice in the first 2:14 of the frame to take a one-goal lead. Sophomore forward Carly Henderson tied the game at 1:33 and Collins tallied the eventual game-winning goal at 2:14. Marchment earned the assist on Henderson’s goal. Collins’ goal was unassisted.
Freshman forward Chelsey Draker gave the Lakers a two-goal lead at 17:22 of the third period, as Lee was credited with the assist.
The Bengals pulled Lee for the final 1:47 in favor of the extra skater, but could not get the puck past sophomore goaltender Catherine Cote, as Cote finished with 25 saves to earn the win in net for the Lakers. Lee finished with 24 saves.
The Lakers return home for their final home series of the season, as they will host second-ranked RIT on Friday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 3 p.m. at the Campus Center Ice Arena. Friday’s game will be Pink at the Rink night, as the Lakers will wear pink jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game. Saturday is Senior Day.