Women’s hockey sweeps Neumann as Goodwin shines


Dave DeLuca/The Record File Photo

Kara Goodwin leads the Bengals with 20 goals this season.

Anthony, Reyes

The Buffalo State women’s hockey team swept their weekend matchup against the Neumann Knights with a dominating 6-2 victory Friday night and an exciting 3-2 overtime win Saturday afternoon at the Buffalo State Ice Arena.

The Bengals showed the ability to battle back and ultimately win in both games.

Friday night, the stage was set for the Bengals home opener, but Neumann wanted to play the role of a spoiler. The Knights took a 1-0 lead just seven minutes into the first period on a power play goal from senior forward Amanda Simpson. But, just seven minutes later, senior forward Jeyna Minnick scored her first goal of the season to even the score at one.

The Bengals came out roaring to start the second period. Minnick scored her second goal of the game on the power play to give the Bengals a 2-1 lead. Two minutes later, freshman forward Erin Gehen scored her first collegiate goal and extended the lead to 3-1.

The Bengals then added two more second period goals, one by senior forward and captain Kara Goodwin and another by junior defender Nikki Kirchberger, and took a 5-1 lead heading into the second intermission.

Neumann attempted a comeback to begin the final period scoring just three minutes in to cut the lead to 5-2 but they ultimately couldn’t complete the comeback. Goodwin would add another goal with nine minutes left to seal the victory.

Freshman goaltender Justine Silva earned the win, stopping 18 of 20 shots. The Bengals also received strong contributions from fellow freshman forward Bri Carroll, who had three assists, and a goal from Gehen.

Although they came away with a convincing win, Buffalo State head coach Candice Moxley felt they could have played better.

“I thought we didn’t play a complete game,” Moxley said. ”The first period we showed up in the first six, seven minutes, then the wheels kind of fell off a little bit.”

Although Moxley felt their game wasn’t complete, she liked the way her team battled back and knew a game like this was to come.

“We answered back in the second period and showed what we really have,” Moxley said. “The girls put up a good number of goals. It was exciting to see because we’ve been peppering teams with shots, we’ve been averaging 40 shots a game but we haven’t been getting the finish.”

The game came to an end with the Bengals holding a 21-20 edge in shots. They also went 2 for 5 on the power play while Neumann finished 1 for 5.

The Bengals then headed into their Saturday afternoon matchup winning two of their last three and hoping to keep their winning ways going.

The start of the game was much the same as the night before, the Bengals once again came out sluggish and the Knights made them pay for it.  Sophomore defender Sarah Thon ripped a slap shot from the top of the circle and put it right past Silva for the 1-0 lead. The Knights would take that lead into the first intermission.

“We knew Neumann was going to come out pretty tough against us,” Moxley said. “And we talked about it, but, it was a matter of going out and executing and we didn’t have that for the first period there.”

Although for the second game in a row the Bengals started off slow, they weren’t hanging their heads.

“We started off rough,” Minnick said. “But in the locker room we were encouraging each other for everything saying ‘don’t give up, we have time, let’s settle in.’”

The Bengals did just that. They once again came out playing better in the second period and Goodwin notched a power play goal midway through the period to tie the game at one. Just three minutes later, freshman forward Bri Carroll scored her first collegiate goal and gave the Bengals a 2-1 lead.

The Bengals limited the Knights’ chances and headed into the second intermission with the lead.

It seemed as though the Bengals had the game won, but a late flurry by the Knights led to a game-tying goal with 3:50 left in the game from freshman forward Bek Lucas. Neither team was able to score in the final three minutes and the game headed to overtime.

In the overtime a strong forecheck by Goodwin led to the Knights’ defender coughing up the puck behind the net. It was dished out front to the awaiting Carroll who ripped it in for her second goal of the game and a 3-2 victory.

The Knights finished with a 29-26 advantage in shots, but Silva was stellar again for the Bengals.

“She (Silva) was great,” Moxley said. “She’s been great for us all weekend, she made some keys saves for us, and again, a freshman goaltender making those saves for us building the trust with her teammates out in front of her, it was great to see her step up and kind of embrace that role.”

Another freshman contributing to the team in a big way again was Carroll. Carroll followed up her three assists the night before with her first collegiate goal and the game-winning goal in overtime.

“It felt pretty good, I mean, I was smiling,” Carroll said.

Minnick was happy to see Carroll finally get her first goal.

“Amazing turnout for her (Carroll) today,” Minnick said. “She’s been getting robbed, and today she was able to put a couple in and it was awesome.”

The Bengals battled back from a 1-0 deficit and also battled through giving up the lead late to get their third win in four games.

“We finished with heart, gave it all we had, and we came out on top,” Goodwin said.

The heart that Goodwin spoke of is something that Moxley feels permeates through the whole locker room.

“We have those character kids in our locker room,” Moxley said. “That don’t give up, that have that have that no quit attitude, and they showed up in Potsdam and they showed up again tonight and got it done.”

The Bengals will now hit the road to take on the Chatham Cougars Friday and Saturday.