OSWEGO — After two exhibition games at home, the Oswego State women’s hockey team will hit the road and face Castleton University in Vermont Friday and Saturday for a two-game weekend series.
The Lakers lost 4-0 to the London Jr. Devilettes in their first exhibition game on Oct. 26, and then won 4-1 this past Saturday against William Smith College. Freshman Megan Teachout scored twice in the victory.
Head coach Diane Dillon said she wasn’t looking at the wins and losses, but trying to institute different systems and watch for improvement.
“We’re just happy with the progress we made, especially in terms of the intensity of play,” she said. “It was nice to score some goals. It was fun to see some of that break out.”
Even though the Lakers went 0-6 on their power play opportunities, producing 12 shots while on the man-advantage, Dillon mentioned that the lack of scoring wasn’t concerning. She added she was looking at “how people reacted in different situations.”
Oswego State did kill all 11 of its penalties that it committed throughout the two games, with five against London and six against William Smith.
“Everybody has a chance to earn a spot on the power play and earn their way into the penalty killing units,” Dillon said. “We’re looking for kids that are willing to block shots and do the little things that help your team win that don’t show up on the scoreboard.”
There wasn’t a ton of wide-spread scoring for the Lakers, with only four goals in the one exhibition game against the Herons. Outside of Teachout’s two goals, Annika Neufeld-Kreider and Eryn Stewart both chipped in a goal.
The Lakers’ first line against the Herons was all freshmen, which included Teachout, Mia Conboy and Morgan Shines. Also highlighted from the freshman class was Kyleigh Grugin, who added an assist on one of Teachout’s goals.
“With Megan popping a couple in, the young lady can shoot the puck. We certainly want the puck on her stick when we can get it,” she said. “They just seem to be working well together, finding each other.”
Also with that freshman class is goaltender Tia Trovato, who played the third period in both exhibition games. She let in three goals against London, but stopped all eight shots against William Smith.
Senior Rachael Farmer allowed two goals between the two games, making 29 saves in net. With only two goaltenders this year, Dillon expects Farmer to log a lot of minutes, but also for Trovato to challenge for the starting job once she gets her feet under her.
“She’s working with Tia. She’s not like, ‘Oh, here comes a freshman I got to worry about,’” she said. “We certainly expect Rachael to command the net. But, if Tia earns that crease or earns the right to some minutes, then she’ll get a shot.”
The Lakers’ road trip to Castleton University will be the first two of four-straight road games to begin their season. Dillon mentioned that she likes the team to be able to get on the road early to bond together.
Oswego State last played Castleton University in 2017, with the Lakers winning 3-2 in overtime. In the game, then-senior and captain Olivia Ellis registered one assist. This year, she’ll be on the opposite bench as a second-year graduate assistant coach for the Spartans.
“There will be a little jawing across the bench, I’m sure, but all in a friendly manner of course,” Dillon said. “(Castleton) plays in a very good league. We’re anticipating tough hockey.”