Tough first period costs Lions against Falcons Saturday, 7-0

Daver Karnosky/Daily Mining Gazette Finlandia’s Abby Kolek and Concordia’s Natasha Wanless fight for a puck off a faceoff during a game Saturday at the Houghton County Arena. The Lions fell to the Falcons, 7-0.

HANCOCK — After a really strong performance Friday against the Concordia Falcons, the Finlandia Lions women’s hockey team struggled Saturday. A four-goal first period took the wind out of their sails and proved to be too much for them to comeback from in a 7-0 loss at the Houghton County Arena.

“They potted those couple of goals early, and, we know, digging a hole that deep, it’s going to be tough for us to come back,” said Lions coach Mike Marchel. “We had some good offensive zone shifts. We needed the zone time. It was a bit of a letdown as far as the game goes.”

The Lions (1-22-0 overall, 1-15-0 NCHA) started out well as sophomore defenseman Kylee Dyni drove the length of the ice and fought her way to the net to get a shot on goal. From there, the Lions got four more shots on net over the course of the period.

Unfortunately, while the Lions founds themselves down a goal 1:58 in when Jossa Denis found the back of the net.

The Falcons kept pressing and extended their lead at 3:52 when Emily Godwin’s shot found its way through.

Things settled from there about five minutes before the Falcons found a way to get to Lions goalie Annah Smiddy again. Godwin got down low in the left corner and fed the puck out front to Nastasha Wanless and Wanless wasted no time burying the pass at 10:15.

Had things settled from there, the Lions could have potentially bounced back, but a shot from the near the right point by Ally Hull bounced off of Smiddy’s glove and into the net at 11:20.

“Our first period wasn’t even that bad,” said Marchel. “The blown coverage in front twice, one bad bounce and the one goal where we expect a save. It all adds up quick.

“From then, we’re pushing.”

Marchel made the decision at that point to replace Smiddy with Sarah Gundry. The decision was made at that point to try to spark the team as much as anything else. That said, Marchel was pleased with the way she played.

“When she comes like that,” said Marchel, “she played great. It did pump us up a bit.”

The Lions gave up a power play goal 2:19 into the middle frame to Godwin, but from there Gundry held things under control until the third period when Maddy Millar found the net from the right boards when her shot bounced off a defender past Gundry.

The Falcons tacked on one more a little more than halfway through the final frame.

With the loss, the Lions fell for the fifth straight game. They return to action Thursday and Friday to close out their season at Aurora.

Scoring

Concordia  4 1 2 – 7

Finlandia  0 0 0 – 0

First period

1, CUW, Jossa Danis (Issy Bilton, Kristen Kennedy), 1:56

2, CUW, Emily Godwin (Maddie Savage), 3:52

3, CUW, Natasha Wanless (Godwin), 10:15

4, CUW, Ally Hull (Bilton), 11:20

Second period

5, CUW, Godwin (Kennedy), 2:19

Third period

6, CUW, Mandy MIller (Kaylin Johnson), 1:22

7, CUW, Madi Chapman (Elli Woodman), 11:15

Saves

CUW, Pattengale  5 7 0 – 12

Peterson  0 0 9 – 9

FU, Smiddy  6 0 0 – 0

Gundry  5 9 10 – 24

Power plays

CUW: 1/4; FU: 0/3

Penalties

CUW: 4/8; FU: 5/10

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