Oswego State had a handful of good opportunities, but could not find the back of the net. The offense was held to just 16 shots and 35 shot attempts which is far below their average. Most nights, over 30 shots will find their way through the defense as the Lakers average 31.3 shots per game. Despite the unusually low shot total, the Lakers had some solid play.
One big positive to take out of the offensive was how active the defense was in the offensive zone. Defensemen like senior Victoria Blake, who unleashed her heavy slap shot a few times, and sophomore Kate Randazzo were able to generate offense via point shots and skating with the puck in attempts to open up passing lanes. Despite this, the Continentals were able to block shots and force many of the wide of the goal.
When the puck did go on net, Sam Walther met each one. She made a handful of difficult saves to maintain the shutout. On a few occasions, Olivia Ellis would skate with the puck in the offensive zone, nearly drag Walther out of position and pass it to her teammates like Emma Morisette and Natalie Giglio. On the Morisette attempt, she had her back to Walther and tried to backhand the puck into the opening; however, the pile-up in front prevented her from doing so. In the second period, Walther made a phenomenal save on Giglio who did all she could to bury the puck. On the play, Walther stretched her leg as far as she could and just covered enough of the net to make the pad save on Giglio.
Overall, Oswego State was unable to generate lengthy stretches of dominant offense, and when they did, Walther held strong.
Overall, the defense had an average five-on-five game. When in their defensive zone, Oswego State forced Hamilton College to the outside and limited them to just 14 even strength shots, as 11 were on the Continentals’ power play. However, when the Lakers managed to get the puck, they could not cleanly get it out of their zone.
The Continentals did a great job of pressuring the Lakers when they tried to cross the blue line into the neutral zone, and as a result, the Lakers would lose the puck. Oswego State spent too much time in their own zone, even when they had the puck. Once they cleared the red line, it was the end of their shift so the only thing the Lakers could do was dump it into the offensive zone and go for a line change.
Another factor hemming the Lakers in their own zone was Hamilton College’s relentless speed. This speed helped the Continentals win a majority of the races and as a result, they were on the loose pucks a lot faster than the Lakers.
Samonek made the saves she was supposed to but could not make one or two of those highlight-reel saves the Lakers needed to stay in this game. Her best save was a one-timer with 16:50 left in the first, where she tracked the puck extremely well from behind the net to right in front. Samonek had a solid game, but she did have some struggles on the penalty kill.
On the second power play goal for the Continentals, by Taegan Blackwell, Samonek was screened a little bit. However, it was just a slap shot from center point. The goal was scored with just one second left in the first and was a tough break for the Lakers as the deficit was pushed to two.
Special Teams: C-
Special teams were not too special for the Lakers tonight as they did not draw a penalty and gave up three goals on five penalties against. The Lakers tried to get their sticks in the passing lanes, but were not prominent enough, especially on the first goal scored by Missy Segall. Andrea Rockey was able to pass the puck right through the slot to Segall for an easy one-timer into the back of the net.
The Continentals had a strong net-front presence in Mairead Carey and Kate Piacenza, the latter scoring the third goal. Piacenza put home the rebound generated by Kelli Mackey’s shot before the Lakers could clear the puck out of the crease.
Emma Morisette had a great chance short handed for the Lakers as she had a breakaway from center ice. She ripped a shot that beat Walther, but could not beat the post.