Red Dragons grab win, split weekend with Lakers

The SUNY Cortland Red Dragons defeated Oswego State in an ECAC West women’s ice hockey matchup Saturday, 3-1, to split their series on the opening weekend of conference play. The loss was Oswego State’s first ever loss to the Red Dragons.

The Lakers controlled time of possession at the start of the first period, but could not capitalize. At the 5:57 mark of the opening frame, junior Jamie McCreary was called for cross-checking, allowing the Red Dragons to gain the upperhand. They nearly scored on the power play, but the puck hit the post, landed in the crease, but never crossed the line.

There was another instance when SUNY Cortland thought it had scored, but the play was ruled dead. Moments later, however, the visitors finally caught a break and junior Madison Fischl scored unassisted from deep, sneaking it past Oswego State junior goalie Tori Trovato.

The second period followed the same script as the first. The Lakers had many opportunities, but could not capitalize, especially on power plays. Freshman Olivia Ellis took a couple of deep shots that were close, but no goal came.

After the first intermission, freshman Mariah Madrigal replaced Trovato in net, looking solid to start.

“It had nothing to do with her performance,” Dillon said, about pulling Trovato after the first period, “She’s battling the flu, and was getting very lightheaded. It was a tough situation for Mariah coming in cold off of the bench.”

Madrigal made freshman mistakes, but Dillon said it wasn’t all of her fault.

“The first goal they scored on her we left the shooter wide open in the slot. The second one was a breakdown. She actually challenged that one. It was an honest freshman mistake, not reading the boards right, the puck came off the wall on her.”

Then, with 4:22 remaining in the period, the Red Dragons were able to expand their lead. Madrigal finished with 12 saves over two periods of play.

SUNY Cortland expanded its lead even further just passed the five minute mark as Ally Miller potted her second goal of the season.

The Lakers closed the gap with a goal at 16:04 of the final frame when junior Bailee Goodon, assisted by Lizzy Marks, found twine.

Oswego State freshman Lydia Cosgrove appeared to have put her team on the board earlier in the period, but the goal was waved off due to a penalty on the Red Dragons.

Oswego State has struggled on power plays all year, and that trend continued today.

“We tried to change personnel,” Dillon said about trying to take advantage of the opposing penalties, “I modified the break-out a little bit, but Cortland was still able to jam us.” But overall, she had one message to her team on improving the quality of the power play, “We have to work harder on the power play. We just didn’t work hard enough today. I can’t say we executed very well, although we had some nice chances, but to have that many power plays and not be successful, there are no excuses.”

SUNY Cortland’s goaltender, junior Deanna Meunier, had an impressive game, finishing the afternoon with 32 saves. Dillon spoke highly of her and the team mentality overall.

“She made a couple very, very good saves. With Deanna, she battles. You have to give kudos to Cortland today, they won today. They beat us. We didn’t lose; they beat us.”

This was the first time under Coach Dillon that Oswego State has lost to SUNY Cortland, as their record is now 17-1-7 against the Red Dragons.

“We’re a different team, we’re a young team and we need to learn how to battle. Today we had to play from behind, we haven’t done that very much. It shows the maturity, or lack thereof, when it comes to calming things down. I think we’re still learning who those players are when we need to calm down and take it back. As soon as the momentum began to shift we had a tough time getting it back. That’s something we’ll learn with experience.”

Oswego State continues its regular season with a home and home series against Utica College next weekend. The first contest will be played in Utica on Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. followed by a tilt at Oswego State on Nov. 16 at 3 p.m.