One minute and 29 seconds separated the women's hockey team and its first ever Division I home win, but Rochester Institute of Technology forward Tenecia Hiller had other plans last weekend.
Hiller found the back of goalie Nicole Paniccia's net and sent the game into overtime where the contest would end in a tie.
The tie left forward Micayla Catanzariti feeling disappointed, but she said it was a learning experience that the team can move forward with in its two games at home against Sacred Heart this weekend.
“Obviously, we want to come out with those wins,” Catanzariti said. “I think that after getting that feeling, we’re going to be right back at it this weekend.”
The team split its first series with Sacred Heart when it traveled to Conn. for games on Oct. 19 and Oct. 20. The Lions fell to the Pioneers on Friday, 2-1, but fired back with their best offensive performance this season en route to a 6-1 victory the next day.
Some of the players on the team, including captain Taylor Gross, said they underestimated Sacred Heart in the first game. Gross said the team learned its lesson and will be ready this time around.
Paniccia said the Pioneers cannot be taken lightly again as they were in game one of the first series.
“They’re definitely a team that could upset us,” Paniccia said. “We just got to go in and do our best and not underestimate anyone.”
Both Paniccia and Gross said they wanted to win at home in Greenberg Ice Pavilion badly, but Gross said the Lions cannot want it enough to the point where they are overdoing things.
Assistant coach Casey McCullion said the point of emphasis this weekend for the team is go into the games playing its systems. She does not want the Lions to think about what the Pioneers are doing and how they match up.
"I think if we go in and we play our game and we stick to our systems, we’re going to be successful,” McCullion said.
McCullion also said she wants the Lions to have a strong first period because they were not ready to play Pioneers in the first period of game one. She said if you look at both the first periods from the games that weekend, the Lions look like two different teams.
Catanzariti said the team is going to give 110 percent from the drop of the puck to the final horn this weekend, and it is “definitely a possibility” to not only get the Lions first home win, but the first sweep in its program’s young history.
“I don’t think that we expect anything less,” Catanzariti said. “If we can just focus on our process, goals and doing the little things throughout the game, I think we’re just going to be fine.”