Laker Gameday Preview: Women’s hockey vs. SUNY Cortland

Last Time Out

The Oswego State Lakers and SUNY Cortland Red Dragons played in the first of four games this regular season, as opponents in the NEWHL. The Lakers came out victorious 3-1 after a very dominating offensive performance. The Lakers had 39 shots on goal, allowing only seven shots to hit Amber Samonek.

Sarah Grupp, Olivia Ellis and Leah Czerwinski, who has goals in back-to-back games, all scored in the victory. The Lakers power play went 0-3 during the game, while the Red Dragons took advantage and scored shorthanded on a breakaway goal from Miranda Kolb. Another key player was Emma Morisette, who went 10-10 at the faceoff circle. She came away with the secondary assist on the Grupp goal.

Mariah Madrigal was still missing from the lineup, and according to head coach Diane Dillon, she will most likely not be returning until the second half of the season.

 

Looking at the Red Dragons

The Red Dragons, who are now 2-5-2 overall, kept their low scoring woes against the Lakers. They are still averaging 1.6 goals per game, after scoring only one goal against the Lakers. They were nearly 20 shots below their average of shots per game, as they are now averaging 25.8 shots.

Kolb showed Oswego State why she is the leading scorer with the shorthanded breakaway goal in the third period. She was able to place it right over Samonek’s shoulder to bring the game within one. Rachael Farmer was also key for SUNY Cortland, making some big saves to keep the game from getting out of hand. Dillon said that it easily could have been a five- or six-goal game for the Lakers, but due to Farmer’s performance, they were held to three goals.

 

Lakers vs. Red Dragons History

After the win for the Lakers on Saturday, they now lead the Red Dragons 16-1-8 all-time. However, as both teams now travel to Cortland, the Lakers have an 8-0-4 record while playing on the Red Dragons’ home ice. The last time the two teams played at Cortland was during the 2015-2016 season on Nov. 7 and 8, where the team tied 2-2 in the first game, but the Lakers won 4-2 in the latter.

Ellis is the only player on the current roster to have points against the Red Dragons while playing at Cortland. She tallied a goal in the tie, with an assist on a Kendall Appelbaum goal to open the scoring. In the tie, Andrea Noss went 3-5 at the faceoff circle.

 

Player Spotlight

OSW: Sarah Grupp

Grupp is definitely more of a defensive-forward, not really racking up the points like a forward typically would. However, Dillon is extremely impressed with how the two-sport athlete is handling herself this year, saying that this is her best year yet. After scoring her first goal of the season yesterday, she was able to set the pace for the Lakers, who would eventually score two more goals.

 

COR: Rachael Farmer

Farmer, who started in her ninth game of the season, kept the game close against the Lakers with some outstanding diving saves throughout the game. One of which denied Ellis of a second goal later in the third period. Despite facing 39 shots, she only allowed three goals, stopping a lot of deflections and wraparound attempts. It took the Lakers over ten shots to score their first goal. Farmer currently has a .903 save percentage, hoping to prevent the Lakers’ from getting uncontrolled during the game.

 

By The Numbers

RECORD (vs. each other) [conference]

OSW: 4-6-0 (16-1-8) [2-3-0]

COR: 2-5-2 (1-16-8) [1-5-1]

 

GOALS (per game)

OSW: 17 (1.7)

COR: 14 (1.6)

 

SHOTS (per game)

OSW: 316 (31.6)

COR: 232 (25.8)

 

POWER PLAY (percentage)

OSW: 5-48 (10.4%)

COR: 5-40 (12.5%)

 

Prediction

The Lakers were finally able to overcome their five-game losing streak, as well as show some life on offense, and defense, given their dominant performances. It will be interesting to see if the defense can keep up the high quality performance, after letting up single-digit shots, despite the short-handed goal.

The only problem the Lakers will face will be their special teams unit. The last time they scored on the power play was Oct. 28 against Castleton University – over a month ago. If they lose the lead in the game, they have to convert on the man-advantage opportunities, something we have not seen consistently from the Lakers all season.

As long as Miranda Kolb can be shut down, and the Lakers can bring back the scoring chances they had, the Lakers will most likely sweep the weekend. However, it is always hard to predict how SUNY Cortland will come back in the grudge-match sort of game, so that they don’t get beaten on home ice. Also, with a short turnaround from both teams, with 17 hours in between the start of both games, Dillon said she was not sure how either team would respond.

However, it looks like the Lakers will be gaining some momentum heading into the non-conference game against Hamilton College and then into the spring semester.

Lakers win 3-1.

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