Lady Bengals look to power past the Pioneers in playoffs


Dave DeLuca/The Record

Sophomore Viivi Vaattavaara had two assists in Friday’s 3-3 tie against Utica.

Andrew Kuczkowski, Reporter

The Buffalo State women’s hockey team’s (10-12-1 overall, 8-9-1 ECAC) regular season came to an end this weekend with a 3-3 tie against Utica Friday, and a 3-2 overtime loss to Utica Saturday. The Bengals earned the five seed headed into the ECAC playoffs.

On Saturday, with 42 seconds remaining in overtime, sophomore Viivi Vaattovaara received a holding penalty. The holding call wound up costing the Bengals as Utica’s Gabrielle Schnepp scored with 26 seconds left.

Following a timeout, the faceoff was in the Bengals’ territory. Utica won the faceoff and the puck ended up on Schnepp’s stick. Schnepp drove to the middle of the ice and shot through traffic. Freshman goalie Justine Silva made the save initially, but it trickled under her right pad and in.

“I threw my whiteboard,” Moxley said. “That would have been huge for us and our team moving forward into the game against them next time. And it would have been home ice advantage for us, we play well in our own barn and do not want to be on the road for a playoff game.”

Senior forward Jeyna Minnick tried to remain optimistic.

“It was a tough loss [with it being] our senior game,” Minnick said. “But, I am happy with the way we played. We brought it and gave it our all.”

The Bengals dominated the first period on Saturday, taking 15 shots compared to Utica’s five. Despite the lopsided shot total, the game would be tied at one going into the second period.

“We played well in the first and second period,” Moxley said. “We had our chances, we had a ton of chances, we outshot [Utica] significantly in the first and we had opportunities to cash in on power play opportunities and we just didn’t get it done.

“They are a tough team to play against; they are pretty gritty. We need to dig deeper next time around and we will see on Saturday.”

On Friday, with the score tied at two, Utica scored to take a 3-2 lead with just under four minutes to go in the second period. The Bengals continued to apply pressure and tied it at three on a goal from freshman forward Bri Carroll with five minutes remaining in regulation time. The game would head to overtime and neither team could find the back of the net, the game ended in a 3-3 tie.

With the victory and the tie, Utica moved ahead of Buffalo State in the ECAC West. The Bengals will now play at Utica in the ECAC quarterfinals on Saturday at 7 p.m., the third matchup between the two teams in eight days.