Pioneers blank Bears, 2-0
Utica College (6-6-1, 4-3-1 ECAC West) got goals from Junior forward Megan Meyers and sophomore forward Kelsey Dowdall to defeat the SUNY Potsdam women's hockey team (6-9-2, 2-6-1) 2-0 at Cheel Arena on Sunday afternoon. Junior goalie Dawna Salvarinas was strong again for the Bears, finishing with 35 saves.
The first period was a defensive battle. Potsdam got seven shots away and Utica took just five. Each team had three power plays during the first stanza, but even the man advantage didn't spark the offense. Salvarinas and Pioneers junior goalie Jennifer Hamel were perfect through 20 minutes.
The offenses woke up in the second period as Utica outshot Potsdam 19-12. Salvarinas stopped two breakaways and smothered several other strong opportunities, but the Pioneers got on the board at the 4:02 mark with a power-play goal. Meyers went top shelf with assists from sophomore forward Louise Steele-Norton and sophomore defenseman Courtney May. The teams traded penalties through the rest of the period as the contest got more physical, but the score remained 1-0 at the break.
Utica held the edge in play in the third period and had a 13-10 shot advantage. At 5:38, Utica sophomore Nicole Schwartz centered a pass from behind the net and Dowdall wristed it into the right side of the net to give the Pioneers a 2-0 lead. Steele-Norton recorded the second assist on the goal. The Utica offense kept the Bears on the defensive through the middle of the period. Potsdam was able to generate a few strong scoring chances as time wound down, but Hamel kept the puck out of the net. Salvarinas was pulled for the final 25 seconds, but the Bears were unable to draw closer.
Hamel made 29 saves to earn the shutout. The Pioneers were 1-4 on the power play and Potsdam was 0-5.
The Bears are now off until they host Neumann College for two games on Jan. 26-27, at Cheel Arena.