The Oswego State Lakers lost 3-0 to the Hamilton College Continentals on Dec. 8. This was the first time the Lakers were shutout since Nov. 25 against William College, where they lost 5-0 over the Thanksgiving break.
Despite chances throughout the entire game from Emma Morisette and company, the Lakers were kept from putting a tally on the scoreboard. Hamilton College’s Sam Walther made some big saves to preserve her second shutout of the season. Morisette had a breakaway opportunity in the third period, but was stopped by the goalpost.
The Lakers gave up all three goals on the penalty kill, and only survived the entire kill twice. Before the game against Hamilton College, the Lakers were 40-51 on the man-disadvantage. According to Dillon, between the penalties, lack of efficient offense and excessive turnovers, the Lakers have some work to do before entering the second half of the season. The Lakers also lost every statistical category on the night.
“We’ve got to ramp up the PK, some new people are going to get opportunities here,” Dillon said. “We’re in positions to do some things, but we’re not quite there. We’ll be better in the second half. The whole idea is that it’s a process and we’ll get better as we go.”
In the first period, the Amber Samonek allowed two goals on 12 shots, six of which came from the Continentals’ power play. Missy Segall and Taegan Blackwell both scored to take an early lead in the game. Dillon said that Samonek would like to have the second one back, since it came off the rebound.
The penalties came from Victoria Blake, who was called for hooking, and Sarah Grupp, who was called for cross-checking. The first penalty of the period from Philomena Teggart
“She’s gotta be able to handle [the rebound goals],” Dillon said.
The second goal came in a very controversial way. Despite the rebound, Hamilton College scored as the intermission buzzer went off to signal the end of the first period. Dillon stated she thought the team got robbed a little bit.
With a second Teggart penalty at 9:46 of the second period, this time for tripping, the Continentals were able to score again. Kate Piacenza had the goal for Hamilton College, with assists to Kelli Mackey and Maddie Beitler.
Overall, Dillon said she was not happy with the way her team racked up the penalties, especially unnecessary ones coming from upperclassmen like Grupp and Blake. She was most disappointed with Blake’s hooking call, but felt that for the most part that the calls were legitimate.
“I think we did [take some bad penalties],” Dillon said. “I mean, hooking calls? It’s one thing if you’re trying to stop a breakaway. One or two of those were a little soft. The trip we just didn’t control our stick, the cross-checking is unacceptable. I mean, these are upperclassmen taking these penalties.”
However, on the offensive side of the puck, the Lakers were not able to penetrate a strong Hamilton College defense and goaltender. Even with Walther down at some points, the Continentals were able to step up on defense and block shots.
“There was one where she was literally sitting down and they blocked the shot,” Dillon said. “Hamilton is a good team. They are well-coached, they work well as a unit, they swarm pucks and they have great stick skills. They’re not going to overpower you, but they’re sure going to try and out-skate you.”
Morisette has been a strong force for the Lakers all season, despite the low numbers. She is a player that skates all around the ice, according to Dillon. She has two goals and three assists on the season, and leads all rookies in points on the Oswego State team.
With around 5:30 left in the second period, the freshman was able to skate around the defense, but was stopped by Walther. She ended up being tripped up by the Hamilton College’s goaltender, and went airborne. She was not shaken up, and continued to play the rest of the game.
“She’s gotta get that monkey off of her back,” Dillon said. “She scored one in Cortland, I believe. It’s just one of those things where we have those chances on offense, but we’ve just got to bring them in.”
To finish out the game, the Lakers were able to kill off the fifth penalty of the night from Grupp who was called for body-checking. The victim of the hit was Mackey, who was shaken up and skated off right to the bench. She was not seen the rest of the game, despite only being around two and a half minutes left in the game.
Along with the two penalties, the Blake collided with a Hamilton College player late in the third period. Both players were shoved into the goalpost. Blake looked to get the worse of the two players, and was a little shaken up on the bench, but Dillon has no concerns.
“She’s more upset her new bubble [mask] is scratched up, probably” Dillon said.
The Lakers entered the game with five defensemen again, after a Katie Mlostek injury. Aislinn McAleer was on the bench after being scratched a majority of the season, but only played a couple shifts throughout the game. Dillon was also hopeful that Mariah Madrigal will be back in the spring, and said that the team is at about 75 percent health and hopefully will be back to full strength in the spring.
“Katie will be back in the spring, and we hope Mariah will as well. Hopefully we’ll be a little healthier,” Dillon said. “[McAleer] was there in case we needed some added help. If we were going to throw her in on defense, we were going to, which is a tough thing to do.”
After the loss, the Lakers now sit at 5-7-0 overall, with a 3-3-0 record in the Northeastern Women’s Hockey League. They were not able to hit the .500 mark against Hamilton College heading into the winter break before returning in early January.
“We want to get healthy, and take care of school, that’s first and foremost, and then make some changes,” Dillon said. “We need to look at what we’re doing, and analyze how we’re preparing for games. We seem to be a slow-starting team once again, and we need to change that. We need to bury some pucks. We’ve got some numbers to fix, it’s back to the drawing break.”
The Lakers return to the Marano Campus Center Ice Arena on Jan. 7 to face Utica College, who are 7-3-0 on the season, and then return on Jan. 12 in another NEWHL matchup against SUNY Potsdam, who are 5-4-1 overall with a 1-4-1 NEWHL record.