The Oswego State men’s ice hockey team looked like a championship-caliber program on Saturday, Oct. 16, routing the Greater Metro Hockey League (GMHL) All-Stars, 17-0, in an exhibition game at the Campus Center Ice Arena.
Senior forward Justin Fox recorded a hat trick and five other players added two goals in an offense barrage in front of a soldout crowd.
Fox started the scoring spree just 2:17 into the first period on the power play. Senior forward Chris Laganiere fired a shot on goal that was blocked aside by GMHL All-Star goalie Mark Flitsch. Flitsch allowed a rebound attempt that was settled down by Fox in front and wristed into the stickside corner of the net.
"In a game like this it’s a chance for the lines to work on systems," Fox said. "It’s a chance to see who works well with each other and as time goes the chemistry will build."
Before the conclusion of the first period, sophomore forwards Luke Moodie and Chris Muise, and senior forward Owen Kelly each tallied a goal for the Lakers. Oswego State took a four-goal lead into the first intermission.
The second period began just like the first. Just 2:01 into the period, junior forward Andrew Mather added his first of two goals on the night. Mather handled a pass from sophomore forward Tyler Leimbrock in the slot, but whiffed on the wrist shot attempt. Mather had enough time to collect himself and fire off another wrist shot, this time going over the glove of Flitsch and into the back of the net.
The game quickly became more of an audition than anything else for the players.
"It was an opportunity to see some of our new players," head coach Ed Gosek said. "It was an opportunity to give some players who didn’t get a lot of ice time last year to get some opportunities so that we could make some evaluations for next weekend."
Following a power play goal by Fox, the GMHL All-Stars called timeout with 15:10 remaining in the second period, hoping to stop the Laker momentum. The timeout failed to do that, as two quick goals by Moodie and Leimbrock led to Flitsch being pulled for Tye Greschuk. Greschuk shutout the Lakers in the second half of the second period, recording 15 saves.
Oswego State figured out Greschuk in the third period, as the Lakers scored six goals off the GMHL All-Star goalie, including Fox’s third goal of the game. Senior forward Dan Bremner’s goal at 12:24 of the final period ended Greschuk’s night, as Flitsch returned to the game in a relief effort. Greschuk finished the game with 32 saves on 41 shots and Flitsch registered 31 saves on 39 shots. Oswego State outshot the GMHL All-Stars 80-14.
Despite the 14-goal advantage with three minutes remaining in the game, the Lakers didn’t lift their foot off the gas pedal. Oswego State scored three times in the final three minutes, including freshman forward Kyle Badham’s first collegiate goal, to bring their goal total to 17.
"I was pleased that with the score the way it was that the players didn’t get selfish," Gosek said. "I thought they shared the puck and continued to distribute the puck around a work for a good shot."
The 17 goals scored Saturday night fell just four goals short of tying the team record for goals in a game. The team record of 21 goals scored in a single game was set back on Oct. 25, 1991, in a game against Scranton. The 80 shots on goal tied a team record.
"The score didn’t really tell the type of game that we were playing," Fox said. "We could fine tune just some system stuff like neutral zone and defensive zone coverage, but that’s going to come. It’s early in the season. We’re just trying to get it all down together and with time it will work."
Oswego State goalie Paul Beckwith played the entire game, earning the team its first shutout since Feb. 14, 2009, in a 5-0 victory over SUNY Geneseo. Beckwith wasn’t tested very often, having to make just 14 saves on the night. Backup goalie Dan Jones did not play after violating team rules.
In the first game as an Oswego State Laker, both the freshmen and transfers fared well. Bremner registered a goal and an assist while freshman forward David Titanic tallied three assists. Sophomore forward Ian Boots tallied an assist.