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Herons top Bengals 4-3

ENEVA, N.Y.-The William Smith College ice hockey team defeated Buffalo State 4-3 in a non-conference contest at The Cooler this afternoon. With the win, the Herons are now 16-6-1 overall this season and have concluded the non-conference portion of their schedule. William Smith's 16 wins this season match the program record for wins in a season. Junior Gina Scibetta (2g, 1a) had a game-high three points in the victory for the Herons. First-year Gaby Henry started in goal and made 12 saves. Sophomore Olivia Williams came into the game at the start of the second period. Williams made 20 saves as she earned her 12th victory of the season. Natasha Steinle had a pair of goals for the Bengals (6-14-2). Lilla Toczek (2a) and Emma Ruggiero (1g, 1a) also had multi-point games for the visitors. Bri Gawronski made 35 stops in 59 minutes of action in goal for Buffalo State. Steinle opened the scoring at the 13:26 mark of the first period when she scored her second goal of the season. She picked up a rebound in the slot and flipped a shot off Henry's glove into the back of the net. Cheyenne Matson and Toczek were credited with assists on the power-play goal. William Smith tied the game with 51 seconds remaining in the period. Scibetta redirected a shot from the point past Gawronski for her 18th goal of the season. Seniors Jordan Roetzer and Maura Mulligan were credited with assists on the power-play goal, which came nine seconds after Toczek was whistled for tripping. The goal swung momentum in William Smith's favor. The Herons came out of the intermission and limited the Bengals to one shot on goal in the first 10 minutes of the second period. Scibetta capitalized on the momentum swing, pocketing her second goal of the game. She forced a turnover in the offensive zone and wristed a shot into the upper right corner of the net. Scibetta's team leading 19th goal of the season was unassisted. Buffalo State tied the game at two with eight minutes remaining in the second period. Ruggiero forced a turnover in the neutral zone, deked around a defender and slid a backhand shot past Williams for her 13th goal of the season. It was an unassisted power-play goal. The Herons had a golden scoring opportunity to regain the lead just past the halfway point of the third period. First-year Abbey Luth fired a shot from the slot off the crossbar. William Smith jumped in front for good with a pair of goals that were separated by 10 seconds late in the third period. Sophomore Julia Mingspocketed her 14th goal of the season at the 15:56 mark of the period. Junior Kate Klimaszewski was credited with an assist on the goal. Klimaszewski forced a turnover in the neutral zone and slid a pass to Mings on the left wing. Mings broke into the offensive zone and wristed a shot from the left faceoff into the upper left corner of the goal. Ten seconds later, Stephanie Hampton scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal. She banged home a rebound for her eighth goal of the season. Scibetta was credited with an assist on the goal. The Bengals made it a one goal game at the 17:42 mark of the third period. Steinle banked home a rebound for her second goal of the game. Her third goal of the season was assisted by Toczek and Ruggiero. Hampton nearly had a second goal late in the game. She fired a shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Gawronski cleanly. The puck glanced off the left goal post and the crossbar and bounced safely to the corner. William Smith finished the game with a 39-35 edge in shots on goal. The Bengals were 3-for-5 on the power play and the Herons were 1-for-4 with the extra attacker. William Smith will wrap up its regular season next weekend when it takes on Nazareth. The Herons will travel to Nazareth on Saturday, Feb. 16, before hosting the Golden Flyers on Sunday, Feb. 17. William Smith and Nazareth currently sit in second and third, respectively, in the conference standings.

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