Bears fall in ECAC West Quarterfinal
UTICA, N.Y.—Fourth-seeded Utica College (16-8-1) defeated the fifth-seeded SUNY Potsdam women's hockey team (10-14-2) 5-1 in the ECAC West Quarterfinals at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Friday night. Louise Steele-Norton and Morgan Reed each recorded two goals and an assist to lead the Pioneers, while junior forward Jessica Silveira scored a power-play goal for the Bears.
About two minutes into the contest the game was delayed by a scoreboard outage. After the game resumed, Steele-Norton scored on the rebound after a scramble in front for a 1-0 Utica lead at the 10:08 mark. Reed struck just over three minutes later with a wrap-around attempt. Potsdam outshot the Pioneers 6-5 in the first period.
At the 5:38 mark of the second period, Silveira roofed the rebound on a chance in front of the net to close the gap to 2-1. Freshman forward Sally Mooney assisted on the goal. As the momentum seemed to shift in the Bears favor, Steele-Norton struck again, scoring on a blast from the right point on the power play. At 15:34, Megan Myers scored on a breakaway, tucking puck just between the crossbar and right shoulder for senior goalie Jen Conophy. Potsdam had several strong scoring opportunities, but Hamel was able to make timely saves and the Pioneer defense cleared the rebounds. Despite the Utica goals, Conophy was especially sharp in the middle stanza. The senior easily handled three other breakaway opportunities.
The teams traded penalties throughout the period. On Utica's final power play, Reed tapped home the end of a pretty passing play to cap the scoring at 5-1.
Conophy, the Bears all-time wins leader, finished her career with 20 saves. Pioneer goalie Jennifer Hamel earned her 10th victory of the season with 23 saves. Utica was 2-5 on the man-advantage and Potsdam was 1-5.
The contest marked the end of careers of Bears seniors Conophy, Katie Komsa, Brittany Westlake and Nadine Cunningham.