Junior forward and team captain Andrew Mather scored twice and junior forward and assistant captain Jon Whitelaw added a goal and an assist, as the Oswego State men’s ice hockey team defeated SUNY Geneseo, 4-2, on Friday night at the Campus Center Ice Arena.
The Lakers (4-1-1 overall, 2-0-0 SUNYAC) withstood a strong outing from last year’s SUNYAC Rookie of the Year, Zachary Vit, who scored both goals for the Ice Knights in a matchup of two top 15 teams in Division III.
More than halfway through the first period, Whitelaw gave the Lakers a one-goal lead at 12:20 of the frame with a one-timer from the right faceoff circle that beat Geneseo goaltender Adrian Rubeniuk stick side top corner. Junior forward Luke Moodie found Whitelaw at the faceoff circle with a pass from the right side boards. Sophomore forward David Titanic was awarded with the secondary assist on the play.
Titanic had a great opportunity to give the Lakers their first goal of the game a few minutes earlier. but his shot deflected off a Geneseo defender’s stick and went just inches over the crossbar. Rubeniuk had been taken out of the play after making a save on junior forward Chris Ayotte, leaving the empty net for Titanic to shoot at.
The Ice Knights (2-2-0 overall, 2-1-0 SUNYAC) tied the game at one after a turnover in the Oswego State defensive zone by junior forward Chris Brown. Brown attempted to pass the puck out of the zone, but the puck went right to Geneseo’s Corbin Rosmarin. Rosmarin found Zachary Vit in the slot, who capitalized on his opportunity and beat Laker goalie Andrew Hare five hole at 13:34 of the first period.
The Lakers regained the lead at 16:13 of the first period on Mather’s first of two goals on the game. Playing 4-on-4 hockey following hitting after the whistle penalties to Geneseo’s David Arduin and Oswego State senior forward Ian Boots, freshman defenseman Bobby Gertsakis registered a shot from the left faceoff circle on net that was blocked aside by Rubeniuk. Rubeniuk surrendered a rebound opportunity to his right side, to which Mather collected and put into the back of the empty net.
Mather scored his second goal 1:01 into the second period just a few seconds after coming out of the penalty box, having served an interference penalty with 1:06 remaining in the first period. Boots located Mather at center ice near the penalty box, where Mather skated in on net from the left side and beat Rubeniuk stick side to take a two-goal lead.
Vit, last year’s SUNYAC Rookie of the Year, scored his second goal of the game at 6:14 of the second period to cut the Laker lead in half. Vit took a pass from Rosmarin and blasted a wrist shot from the slot past Hare glove side top shelf.
The Laker defense held Geneseo to just five shots in the second period, as Hare made four saves. All four of Hare’s saves in the period came on the penalty kill.
Junior forward Matt Singleton gave the Lakers a two-goal lead at 12:31 of the third period for his first point of the season. Ayotte entered the offensive zone before feeding a pass to junior forward Chris Muise. Muise found Singleton with a cross-ice pass from right to left and Singleton put the puck past Rubeniuk stick side.
Neither team was able to get any production out of its power play units, as the Lakers finished 0-for-5 with eight shots and the Ice Knights finished 0-for-3 with six shots.
While the Lakers only registered one goal in the third period, the team outshot the Ice Knights 26-6 in the frame, bringing their game total to 50 shots compared to Geneseo’s 22. Rubeniuk made 25 saves alone in the third period and finished the game with 46 in a losing effort for the Ice Knights. Hare finished the game with 20 saves on 22 shots faced, improving his record to 4-1-1 in net for the Lakers.
The Lakers will host the College at Brockport on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at the Campus Center Ice Arena.