The Oswego State Lakers women’s ice hockey team lost their exhibition home opener to the Toronto Midget Aeros on Oct. 21, 4-3. The game was back-and-forth, with the Lakers eventually leading in the third period, 3-2. With a late goal from the Aeros, the game was sent to overtime and the Aeros were able to seal the game 57 seconds into the overtime period.
Toronto opened the scoring with 9:53 left in the first period, on the power play. Claudia Yu scored the goal, with Celeste Beaudoin and Cynthia White taking the assists. The Lakers went 1-3 on the penalty kill through the game. The goal came six seconds into the power play.
“We didn’t win the draw, we talk about that all the time,” Dillon said. “We’ve only had a few practices, we’ve spend about a half hour on PK. So we’re not as concerned about that.”
At the end of the period, sophomore Eryn Stewart went down with a back injury. She was able to skate off the ice and come back on in the second period. However, in the third period she went down once again. She skated off right into the locker room. Dillon claimed it was just back spasms.
“She’s just got a sore back, [the first time] she hit it, she got a little tight,” Dillon said. “When she hit it again, it started to spasm on her. We wanted to be safe on that one, but she’s going to be fine.”
In the second period, the Lakers were able to come back with two goals. Freshman Jean-Marie Padden was able to notch her first career goal at Oswego State. Natalie Giglio claimed the other goal.
“We’re thrilled for her, and I hope it’s one of many to come,” Dillon said. “She’s a very talented young lady, just finding her way and figuring things out. We hope she’s going to have a very productive Laker career.”
The Lakers’ power play was also tested, going 1-4 on the night. The lone power play goal was Padden’s. Dillon didn’t spend too much time on the special teams lines as they prepared for the Aeros, mainly focusing on getting things straightened out on the even strength lines.
“We spent 20-30 minutes on the power play on Friday,” Dillon. “So we just put a few things together, see what we can do. But we’ll better prepared for next week and as the season goes on.”
Dillon also played all three of her goalies. Mariah Madrigal took the first period, Mikaela Ditonto took the second, and Amber Samonek, the third. Madrigal and Ditonto both had nine saves. Samonek had eight, along with a couple saves in overtime. Dillon let all three goaltenders take the ice, just to get them ice time in the exhibition. Madrigal will most likely take the starting nod next Friday, as she took a majority of starts last season and looks to continue.
A noticeable absence from the lineup was Julieann White, who is rehabbing an injury. Dillon said she’ll be back in the lineup shortly, as she’s making good progress. Victoria Blake was also missing, due to her leg fracture during the summer. Both players play a crucial role in the Lakers roster, and will be back soon.
The Lakers went into the third period leading 3-2, before a late goal from Emma Bannister. Her goal sent the game into overtime. A poor penalty at the end of the period, overlapping into overtime, left the Lakers at a disadvantage. Logan Biggs scored the game-winner quickly into overtime.
“We’re disappointed that we let it slip away from us at the end,” Dillon said. “We got a little tired, made some mental mistakes, and before you know it the puck’s in our net.”
With the conclusion of the exhibition match-up, the Lakers now look towards Oct. 27, where they start the regular season against New England College. The game starts at 7 p.m at the Marano Campus Center Ice Arena. This will be the Pilgrim’s first game for their season.
“It’s a measuring stick, not only for the coaching staff, but certainly for the players,” Dillon said. “It gives us an idea of what accommodations seem to work, looking at different d-pairs, and we’ll just go from here and try to be prepared for New England.”