The Oswego State men’s ice hockey team rallied from a three-goal second period deficit to send the game into overtime, but was unable to net the game-winning goal, as the Lakers settled for a 3-3 tie against Morrisville State College on Saturday night at the Campus Center Ice Arena.
Junior forward Chris Muise tallied the game-tying goal at 10:05 of the third period to force overtime, but the Lakers were unable to put the puck past Morrisville goaltender Colin Breen, settling for one point in the conference standings. It was the first tie for the Lakers since Nov. 14, 2008, against the same Mustangs team.
Of all the teams in the State University of New York Conference (SUNYAC), it has been the Mustangs who have given the Lakers the most trouble over the past few years. Morrisville defeated Oswego State last year, 5-2, at the Campus Center Ice Arena for the Laker’s only conference loss. In the 2010 SUNYAC Semifinal, the Mustangs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first 9:43 of the game before the Lakers rallied back for an 8-5 victory to advance to the SUNYAC Final.
“[Morrisville] has confidence,” head coach Ed Gosek said. “They know they’ve come in here and played better in our building than they do their own. Tonight, unlike last year, I don’t think we were outworked.”
On Saturday night, in front of 2,853 people at the Campus Center Ice Arena, it was the Mustangs who capitalized on their first power play opportunity to take an early one-goal lead just 1:21 into the first period. Following a boarding penalty by junior forward Paul Rodrigues, Morrisville’s Patrick Stillar beat Oswego State junior goaltender Andrew Hare glove side on a wrist shot from the right side of the net. Senior forward and team captain Andrew Mather attempted to hand pass the puck out of the defensive zone, but it was held in by Morrisville’s Todd Hosmer, who found Stillar for the Mustangs’ first goal of the game.
“Our guys did play extremely hard and got their breaks in the third period to tie it up,” Gosek said. “In the first period we weren’t awful. We didn’t get outworked. The mistakes we made they capitalized on. It was an uphill battle all night so to be able to salvage a point it’s better than a loss, especially in league play.”
Hosmer netted Morrisville’s next goal for a two-point night. A turnover by junior defenseman Tim Carr in the Lakers’ defensive end gave the Mustangs a two-goal lead at 14:28 of the first period. Carr had the puck poke checked away from his stick by Rafal Plonski and toward the front of the net, where Stillar passed the puck to Hosmer in the slot, beating Hare with a one timer.
The Mustangs (1-4-1 overall, 1-4-1 SUNYAC) carried over their momentum to the second period, taking a three-goal lead 2:29 into the second period on a goal by Ryan Marcuz. Jonathan Cristini sent a pass to Ivan Ollinyk in front of the net, who had his shot blocked aside by Hare. Marcuz collected the rebound and slid the puck past Hare.
“Our guys don’t take [Morrisville] for granted,” Gosek said. “They know how hard they work. Our guys are no angels with the chirping and the cheap talk. They have some of that and some of our guys have that too. Hopefully when we go down to their arena we’ll convert on the chances we had. We certainly had enough of them.”
Oswego State (5-1-1 overall, 3-0-1 SUNYAC) mounted its comeback with just 16 seconds remaining in the second period as junior defenseman Jesse McConney’s goal from the blue line cut the Laker’s deficit to two goals.
Sophomore forward Kyle Badham passed the puck to McConney at the blue line, who wristed a shot through traffic past Breen glove side top shelf.
It took 39:44 for the Lakers to score their first goal of the game, the latest goal scored by Oswego State since Dec. 30, 2010, against Hamilton College.
Junior forward Chris Brown brought the Lakers to within one at 2:13 of the third period while on the power play.
Following a hooking penalty by Morrisville defenseman James Jarvis, Oswego State’s senior forward and assistant captain Ian Boots registered a shot on goal from the right side of the ice that went off the blocker of Breen and rebounded to Brown on the left side of the ice.
With Breen out of position after making the initial save on Boots, Brown had an empty net on the glove side to register the Lakers’ only power-play goal of the game.
“At times, I didn’t think we were smart,” Gosek said. “I thought a positive thing though was guys did stay the course. I didn’t see a lot of guys get selfish and try to do it themselves. They continued to share the puck and distribute the puck pretty well.”
Muise’s first goal of the season sent the game into overtime, but the Lakers were unable to find the back of the net on their seven shots on net in the extra five-minute period. The Lakers nearly won the game in the final seconds of overtime, as Boots had his shot saved by Breen before sending a rebound attempt off the outside of the net as the final horn sounded.
Oswego State outshot Morrisville 54-27, and the Mustangs never had more than nine shots on goal in a single period. The Lakers held Morrisville to five shots in the third period.
Both teams recorded one power-play goal, as the Lakers finished 1-for-8 and the Mustangs finished 1-for-6 with the man advantage.
Breen made 51 saves for Morrisville and Hare made 24 saves for Oswego State in the first tie for both teams this season.
“At some point, it’s not just every goalie having a banner night against you,” Gosek said. “You either aren’t getting pucks to him or you’re not getting traffic and you’re not doing the little things. Those are things we’ll continue to work on. We certainly have a long way to go, a lot to improve on and work on.”
The Lakers hit the road for a four-game road trip starting on Friday, Nov. 18, against SUNY Fredonia at Steele Hall.