Women’s Hockey falls to Oswego, 5-0

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Women’s Hockey falls to Oswego, 5-0

Justine Silva made 13 saves in her final game as a Bengal.

Justine Silva made 13 saves in her final game as a Bengal.

Yomira Meregildo/The Record

Justine Silva made 13 saves in her final game as a Bengal.

Yomira Meregildo/The Record

Yomira Meregildo/The Record

Justine Silva made 13 saves in her final game as a Bengal.

Francis Boeck, Managing and Sports Editor

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The SUNY Buffalo State Women’s Hockey team has had trouble staying out of the box and scoring on the man-advantage all season.

Those Achilles heels, coupled with errant passing managed to all converge on the No. 2 Bengals as they suffered a 5-0 loss to a primed No. 3 Oswego Lakers team in the Northeast Women’s Hockey League semifinals Saturday afternoon.

“I think Oswego capitalized on the fact we really didn’t show up the first period,” Buffalo State coach Jennifer Wilson said. “Falling down three to nothing to a team like them sets you back. We just spent the rest of the game trying to get on the board.”

The Bengals had defeated Oswego in three out of the four meetings with the Lakers this season. They had also finished the regular season four points ahead of the Oswego in conference standings.

“We had a rough week of practice this week and it was something that I was worried about heading into the game,” Wilson said. “Our projection was to get through to Plattsburgh and we forgot we had to get through Oswego first.”

The loss ends Buffalo State’s season in the NEWHL’s inaugural year. The Lakers will face Plattsburgh in the conference championship next Saturday.

Oswego’s Jean-Marie Padden opened the game up when she picked up a loose puck in the corner and took it to the net scoring 5-hole six minutes into the game.

Not too long after, Andrea Noss sent the puck toward the net where Olivia Ellis knocked it in off the post to give the Lakers a two-goal lead halfway through the period.

Less than a minute later, Oswego got their third goal of the game when Noss put home the rebound off to make 3-0.

Buffalo State had their best chance to score in the opening period when Natasha Steinle made a solo run in on net but Oswego goalie Mariah Madrigal made a glove stop on the backhand shot with eight minutes left in the period.

Madrigal stopped all 24 Bengal shots to earn the shutout.

Things didn’t any better for the Bengals in the second period. Buff State continued to look out of sync missing on most of their passes. The Buffalo State power play unit spent most of the time in the own zone trying to set up an attack.

The Lakers converted on their fourth power play of the game when Laura Thacker sent a cross-ice pass to an open Ellis who shot in to give the Lakers a 4-0 heading into the second intermission.

The Bengals seemed to be heading in the right direction as they had several chances on their first power play of the third but Padden quickly ended any hopes of a Buff State comeback when she stole the puck in the Bengal zone and backhanded a quick shot in for a shorthanded goal.

Buffalo State finishes their 2017-18 campaign, their first under Wilson, with a record of 13-11-2 overall and 9-6-1 in NEWHL conference play.

“I learned that the speed of the game is faster here (than ACHA),” said Wilson, who previously coached Division-I club hockey at Robert Morris. “We’re losing a lot of talented players and working on getting the players coming back up to that speed is going to be a challenge but it’s something I look forward to. I’m very excited about the future.”

The Bengals will lose nine players as they graduate the arguably the program’s best class yet, including goalie Justine Silva and forward Erin Gehen.

“It’s going to be a whole new face next year,” Wilson said. “We have some underclassman coming back that are great players. It’s going to be a rebuilding year for us.”

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