Lakers earn three points in two-game series with Cortland

The Oswego State women’s ice hockey team played SUNY Cortland to a 1-1 tie and a 2-1 win, last weekend to open up conference play this season.

Penalties were a problem for the Lakers in both games, commiting a total of 19 penalties between the two games for 38 total minutes in the box.

In game one, the Lakers took three penalties in the first period. They were able to hold off the Red Dragon power play and keep the period scoreless despite being down a skater for six minutes.

The Lakers showed how effective their penalty kill could be in the second, when they kept Cortland from scoring on three more power plays. While they were not on the penalty kill, the Lakers controlled most of the game offensively.

With less than five minutes remaining in the middle frame, senior forward Lauren Gilpin got Oswego State on the board when she tipped a shot from sophomore defender Chelsea Hunt into the net.

The Lakers had some good chances early in the third period, but were unable to find the back of the net on any of them.

The Red Dragons were able to tie up the game early in the third period when Oswego State took its seventh penalty of the contest.

Junior defender Julia Rapp netted the goal for Cortland. She beat sophomore goaltender Catherine Cote with a rebound off a shot from sophomore forward Jenn Fitzgerald.

During the remainder of the period the teams exchanged penalties, with Cortland taking three and Oswego State taking two more. Neither team was able to capitalize with the skater advantage, although the Lakers had many strong chances.

With the game tied at the end of regulation, the teams went to a five-minute overtime period.

Early in overtime sophomore forward Megan Howe almost ended the game when she gained a breakaway opportunity and hit the post.

Both teams took a penalty in the overtime period, but neither the Lakers nor the Red Dragons were able to score while on the power play.

Cote finished the game with 19 saves while Cortland senior Katie Double registered 43.

Head coach Diane Dillon was frustrated by the amount of penalties taken by the team not only because it gave Cortland chances to score but it limited the amount of time the Lakers could focus on offense.

“We were able to handle their power play for the most part,” Dillon said. “It’s more about taking away an opportunity 5-on-5 and we were the better team full strength…We had 10 penalties for 20 minutes. That’s a third of a hockey game. You’re not gonna win that way.”

Dillon also stated the Lakers’ inability to score caused the team a lot of aggravation.

“It’s a frustrating effort because we’re the better club, we skated harder, we dominated possession but we’re not finishing, and that’s the name of the game.”

In game two the Lakers seemed to find the answer to their scoring problems when they netted the first goal of the game less than two minutes into the first period.

Sophomore forward Melissa Seamont fed senior forward Mackenzie Lee a pass from behind the net and Lee was able to beat Double.

The Lakers got off to a strong start after the goal, pressuring the Red Dragons throughout the period.

Seamont added a second goal for the Lakers on the power play late in the first period. Sophomore forward Olivia Boersen took a shot from the point that Seamont was able to tip in front and direct into the goal.

In the second period, Oswego State was able to maintain control of the puck and create scoring chances. Early in the period, Seamont sent Lee on a breakaway that almost resulted in a third goal for the Lakers.

The Lakers took three penalties in the period. At 17:16 of the frame Boersen was called for slashing and the Red Dragons were able to capitalize on a 5-on-3 power play.

Sophomore forward Gina Tomei took a shot from the point that was deflected past freshman goaltender Bridget Smith by junior forward Kellie Micillo.

The third period went scoreless with the height of action coming when sophomore forward Mady Paul and her Red Dragon sister, sophomore defender Gwen Paul, each took penalties for facemasking.

Cortland was unable to score in the final frame and the Lakers earned their first win of the year. Smith made 16 saves in the win and Double had 39.

According to senior captain Kathryn Sbrocchi, earning the win was a huge relief.

“It’s like the monkey off our back, especially against Cortland,” Sbrocchi said. “This is a pretty big win for us, 2-1 on the score board, I felt like it should’ve been a couple more but we got the (win) so that’s what matters.”

Seamont had a breakout game for the Lakers, earning the game winning goal and an assist. She was also named the ECAC West Player of the Week.

“Last year we had (Seamont) on a wing,” Dillon said. “We moved her back into the middle this year and that’s where she’s gonna stay. She has a lot more freedom, she’s using her speed, she’s playing with more confidence than ever before.”

Seamont said her new line mates were a big part of why she had a great game.

“Finally we can score. I like playing with (Lee) and (Gilpin) because they are both grinders.” Seamont said. “We practiced cycling, calling and communicating so it was good to get practicing with them within the game.”

Dillon was pleased with the way her team improved between games both offensively and defensively.

“I thought today our defensemen played exceptionally well,” Dillon said. “They played the puck well and they won the battles in our corner. We really looked at how we were handling the puck in the offensive zone and tried to clean that up and obviously it paid off for us.”

Penalties were a problem for the Lakers in both games, which is something Dillon says she hopes she has a solution for.

“The team is going to be paying the consequence,” Dillon said. “We’re going to basically run …for the average of (the penalties). It works for the men’s team there’s no reason it can’t work for us.”

Now the Lakers believe that with their first win under their belt they can prove they are a team that belongs at the top of the ECAC West standings.

“This is what we needed,” Seamont said. “This game is gonna set the tone for the rest of the year.”

“If we truly want to separate ourselves from the lower half of this league and call ourselves an elite team we have to prove it,” Dillon said. “We are done talking about it.”



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