The Oswego State women’s hockey team opened its regular season at home with two losses to Adrian College. The Lakers were shutout 3-0 in the first game and dropped a much more offensive second game, 5-3.
In game one the Lakers gave up two of the three goals while on the penalty kill. The game featured 17 total penalties, eight of which were taken by Oswego State. Adrian took the remaining nine penalties, but the Lakers were unable to score on any of them.
Junior forward Ashley Gniewek got Adrian on the board at the 11:27 mark when traffic and pressure on the Bulldog power play resulted in a rebound opportunity. Senior defender Kelly Salis and sophomore forward Danielle Smith were credited with the assists.
In the second period, the Lakers had a few offensive chances but could not find the back of the net.
Adrian doubled its lead late in the second when sophomore defender Leslie Jarvis gave up the puck on the Laker penalty kill. Freshman forward Hannah McGowan capitalized on the mistake and put the puck past freshman goaltender Bridget Smith.
The Bulldogs scored their third goal in the third period with only 3:05 remaining. Junior defender Kristin Maton beat Bridget Smith on a shot that was deflected in off of a skater in front of the net.
Bridget Smith made 27 saves in her first regular season game in goal. Adrian goaltender Emily Michelin stopped 40 Laker shots and earned the shutout.
Adrian dominated offensively in the game but head coach Diane Dillon was pleased with the effort of her team.
“I think a lot of things actually went right, except the scoreboard,” Dillon said. “I thought we worked very hard. Compared to our opening scrimmage last weekend it was a 180-degree turn.”
In the second game of the weekend the Laker offense finally started to click. Adrian got on the board first but the Lakers quickly bounced back to tie up the game.
Near the end of the period, Danielle Smith found the rebound of a shot by senior forward Olivia Rork to give Adrian a power play goal.
Oswego State senior forward Mackenzie Lee lit the lamp for the Lakers after an aggressive play along the boards ended with senior forwards Jillian Bergeron and Kelly Collins relaying the puck to Lee who was stationed in front of the net.
In the second frame Adrian scored another goal early when Gniewek tapped in the rebound after a breakout opportunity by Danielle Smith was initially stopped by sophomore goaltender Catherine Cote.
The Lakers were able to tie up the game again 9:28 minutes into the period when sophomore forward Carly Henderson beat Michelin on a breakaway chance. Lee was credited with the assist.
Unfortunately for Oswego State the Bulldogs regained the lead less than three minutes later. Freshman defender Courtney Millar took a pass from Danielle Smith and was able to beat Cote with a slap shot.
In the third, Adrian scored two more goals improving their lead to three. Rork and freshman forward Lauren Zachwieja scored for the Bulldogs, respectively.
The Lakers added a third goal with 10 minutes left, when Collins scored the goal for Oswego State off a pass from freshman defender Emily Marks.
Cote finished the game with 26 saves and Michelin registered 31.
Despite losses in both games, Dillon thought the team played the way a team should be playing midseason.
“We showed the kind of intensity that we didn’t get to until about two-thirds of the way through the season last year,” Dillon said. “We were a team that was on a mission. We never quit; we had a lot of drive for 60 minutes in both games.”
Dillon also said the team managed to keep its composure in a game that featured a lot of aggression on both sides.
“I liked our fight today,” Dillon said. “It was a very chippy, nasty game… and we handled it well. We didn’t back down.”
Penalties plagued the Lakers again, which is something Dillon wants to continue to work on.
Despite some negative aspects of their game play senior defender and captain Kathryn Sbrocchi noticed a lot of positives as well.
“We were moving the puck really well. We had some really good breakouts and we were using our point which was just opening up the ice for us,” Sbrocchi said. “Even though we lost, to bring this kind of intensity at the beginning of the season, I’m impressed.”
The Lakers open up conference play on Saturday at 3 p.m. when they face-off against SUNY Cortland at home.
“If we bring this type of game preparation and on-ice intensity shift-by-shift against Cortland we should be able to really have a good game,” Dillon said.