UTICA, N.Y.—The SUNY Potsdam women's hockey team (6-8-2, 2-5-1 ECAC West) got 41 saves from senior goalie Jen Conophy and a goal from junior forward Amanda Lucky to earn a 1-1 tie with Utica College (5-6-1, 3-3-1) on Saturday afternoon. The Bears are now 4-0-2 in their last six games.
Lucky opened the scoring for Potsdam at 5:15 of the first period. The forward caught a pass in front, spun around as she fired the puck toward the net, beating Pioneer goalie Marissa Hotaling stick-side. Junior forward Izzy Fayerman and freshman forward Sally Mooney assisted on the goal. The contest got more physical after the goal. Twice, collisions resulted in Conophy being driven back into her net. With building momentum, Utica tied the game at 13:46 on a Vanessa Maines slapshot from the point. The Bears nearly regained the lead nine minutes later as Lucky fired the puck wide left of the net on a breakaway. Utica rang the post with about 2:30 left, but Conophy managed to keep the ensuing rebounds out of the net. The last two minutes of the period were filled with penalty after penalty, but the score remained tied 1-1 after 20 minutes.
The Pioneers generated several scoring chances during the first half of the second period, but Conophy kept the game tied with more strong play between the pipes. Potsdam slowed the momentum with a few chances of its own midway through the period, but Utica continued to hold the edge in play territorially. The Pioneers' best chance of the period came with 2:39 left in the period. Kesley Dowdall made a move around a Bear defenseman and was robbed point blank by Conophy. Conophy stopped all 12 shots she saw in the period and Hotaling turned aside four to keep the score knotted heading into the second intermission.
A minute into the third period, Utica forward Brittany DelleChiaie hit the crossbar, but the Bears quickly cleared the rebound. Potsdam created a several strong scoring chances on a power play four minutes later. Mooney hit the left post after a scramble in front before the Pioneers killed the penalty. Conophy added to her number of big saves in the third and the Bears' defense tightened up to force overtime.
In overtime, the teams traded flurries with few shots in the early on. It was Conophy stuffing a wrap around with 25 seconds left and sticking aside a shot from the point with nine ticks on the clock to preserve the draw.
Hotaling finished with 19 saves. Utica was 0-7 on the power play and Potsdam was 0-3.
“After we got into penalty trouble in the first period, it took us a while got back on our feet,” said Potsdam Head Coach Jay Green. “They definitely had the edge in team speed and we struggled to match that speed. Once the penalties filtered out I thought we settled down and played better. Also it was vintage Jen Conophy today. That's what we've grown accustomed to seeing from her.”
The Bears get another shot at the Pioneers tomorrow afternoon at Cheel Arena. The puck drops at 2 p.m.