This time of year is a “sprint to the playoffs” for the Oswego State Lakers, said head coach Diane Dillon, after the women’s hockey team lost the game against SUNY Cortland 2-0 on Wednesday.
“This is what it’s like, and these hockey players are conditioned for this kind of thing,” Dillon said. “These guys are ready for this. Is it a lot? Sure. But they’re in good shape and they’re ready to go, so we’ll keep pushing.”
The Lakers lost their fourth straight game, with only two final regular season games this weekend against SUNY Potsdam.
Dillon said fatigue did not play a factor in the loss, despite the busy time of year with multiple practices and games.
“At this point nobody is ever tired, and you fight through it,” Dillon said.
Penalties for the Lakers was their downfall and they couldn’t pick themselves back up. Jean-marie Padden got three penalties throughout the game, for holding and boarding in the first period, and interference in the third period.
The first period was a slow start for the game, with two penalties. At the five-minute mark, a puck found its way into SUNY Cortland’s net, but despite the protests by Dillon, a puck was called dead. During Padden’s boarding penalty, SUNY Cortland scored their first goal on a power play in the last minute of the first period.
Laker forward Natalie Giglio said the multiple penalties comes with working hard.
“I thought we had really good energy and really good pressure on the puck,” Giglio said. “Sometimes you just go into the boards wrong and the refs make the call.”
The back and forth slow start to the game continued throughout the second period, with the Laker’s regaining their strength until Katie DeVoe from SUNY Cortland found and opening in the Laker’s net. Oswego had two chances during power plays but were unable to find an opening with SUNY Cortland’s strong defense.
Despite the shutout, Katie Randazzo said they couldn’t get the puck in the net but shot better this game against SUNY Cortland.
“We were getting shots in tonight,” said Katie Randazzo, a junior defenseman. “Last time we played Cortland they outshot us.”
Dillon played their second line as Oswego State’s first line, which was freshman-heavy, with Sara Cruise, Skylar Byrne, and Annika Neufeld-Kreider.
“I was looking more at matchups against the Cortland lines,” Dillon said. “I was looking at different match ups in terms of speed versus size and things like that.”
Two penalties in the third period by Padden and Emily Gustafson was once again a downfall, but the Lakers held strong, and SUNY Cortland did not score again in the third period.
“I think we worked hard today, we’re just not getting the finish,” Dillon said. “We weren’t able to hit it in.”
Most of SUNY Cortland’s shots were on second chances, Dillon said.
“We didn’t create enough of those today,” Dillon said. “Most of our shots were high and there were some in front of the net, but the pucks weren’t bouncing out on our sticks like they were on theirs.”