POTSDAM, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam women’s hockey team (10-10-2, 7-7-2 NEWHL) hosted Buffalo State (5-15, 3-10 NEWHL) on Saturday night, falling by a final score of 2-1 despite outshooting the Bengals 41-25. The game marked the celebration of several special occasions including Senior Day for the women’s’ hockey team, National Girls and Women in Sports Night, as well as being part of Bear Pride Night.
The Bears dominated the play in the opening stanza, outshooting the Bengals 13-6, but were unable to break onto the score sheet. Bengal goalie Bri Gawronski was strong in net, stopping several prime scoring opportunities created by the Bears. Senior goaltender Alexa Pfeiffer (Sylvania, Ohio/Little Caesar’s) stopped all 6 shots she faced in the period. The game headed to the first intermission scoreless.
The Bengals would score two goals just 21 seconds apart in the second period to take a 2-0 lead. The first Buffalo State goal came at 11:46 as Hannah Gallivan fed the puck to the slot from behind the net where Lauren Madden was able to beat Pfeiffer. Gianna Brigante also assisted on the goal. Following the ensuing faceoff, the Bengals broke the puck out of their defensive zone with Lila Toczek starting the play. Natasha Steinle would then feed Jessica Carter for the breakaway opportunity. Carter beat Pfeiffer for the 2-0 lead. The Bears would have a powerplay opportunity later in the period but were unable to cut into the lead. The teams would head to the locker rooms with the score unchanged.
Searching for a goal to spark their offense, the Bears continued to dominate play in the third period. Gawronski kept her team in the game, turning away shot after shot, keeping the Bears at bay. Potsdam’s offense finally made their way onto the board as junior forward Natalie Wasielewski (Carnegie, PA./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) entered the Bengals zone and sent a centering pass to freshman forward Kaylee Merrill (Wasilla, Alaska/Anchorage North Stars). Merrill then made a move to beat the Buffalo State defenseman and beat Gawronski on the glove side to cut the lead in half. The Bears would inch no closer however, as Gawronski slammed the door shut in the final minutes of play.
Pfeiffer finished with 23 saves in net for the Bears, Gawronski stopped 40 at her end of the ice.
Following the game, the Bears honored their six seniors which included Pfeiffer, defenseman Delphine Leonard (Anjou, Quebec/Dawson College Prep), goaltender Kayla McCabe(Watertown, N.Y./Syracuse Nationals), forward Lucy Condon(Waterloo, Ontario/Waterloo Ravens), forward Miranda Kolb(Watertown, N.Y./SUNY Cortland), and defenseman Shelbi Thacker(Chesterfield, Mich./Honeybaked).