Laker Gameday Preview: ECAC West Championships Edition: Feb. 28 v. SUNY Cortland

Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Marano Campus Center Arena, the Oswego State Lakers host the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons in the first round of the 2015 ECAC West Women’s Ice Hockey Championships. The Lakers hold the No. 3 seed and the Red Dragons hold the No. 6 seed. Earlier in the year, the two teams split a weekend series.

The Lakers won the first game 4-0 behind strong play of junior goalie Tori Trovato. In the second game on Saturday, however, Trovato was replaced by freshman Mariah Madrigal. Both goalies struggled in a 3-1 defeat, which was a surprising loss with the success the Lakers had against inferior conference opponents. One thing to take away from the loss that is hopeful for the Lakers is that they did not have now-starter Bridget Smith. Smith took over starting duties the following weekend and the story of her success from that point on is very well documented.

Earlier this week Smith was named the first team All-ECAC West goalie this year and has been the anchor of this team that set a program record with 18 wins. She ranks in the top ten in Div. III in many goaltending categories.

The Lakers were playing their best ice hockey of the year before being swept by No. 1 Elmira last weekend and the pair of losses may have taken some wind out of their sails. Elmira outscored Oswego State 10-0 in the two games combined and showed the Lakers that they are not ready to compete with the nation’s elite.

SUNY Cortland also enters this game not playing their best, as it lost their last game 4-0 to William Smith, the last-place team in the ECAC West.

Oswego State should handle SUNY Cortland very easily, having just recently been battle-tested against the best team in the nation. The Red Dragon team has also never had to deal with Bridget Smith in the goal, and will struggle putting the puck in the net with her there. Oswego State’s strength on special teams will be too much for the Red Dragons to overcome.

Statistics:

Team Offense

Oswego State: 2.68 goals per game (20th nationally)

SUNY Cortland: 1.84 goals per game (40th nationally)

Team Defense

Oswego State: 1.60 goals allowed per game (8th nationally)

SUNY Cortland: 3.40 goals allowed per game (42nd nationally)

Power Play

Oswego State: 19-of-104 [18.27%] (18th nationally)

SUNY Cortland: 12-of-120 [10.00%] (46th nationally)

Penalty Kill

Oswego State: 76-of-81 [93.8%] (1st nationally)

SUNY Cortland: 83-of-107 [77.6%] (42nd nationally)

Prediction: Oswego State 4 SUNY Cortland 0