Lakers begin winter session with Pathfinder Classic

After a couple weeks off, the Oswego State men’s ice hockey team returns to the ice to host the sixth annual Pathfinder Bank/Oswego Hockey Classic beginning on Friday, Dec. 30, at the Campus Center Ice Arena.

The second-ranked Lakers will play host to Connecticut College at 7 p.m. The game is preceded by Neumann University and Hamline University at 4 p.m.

The Camels of the New England Small College Athletic Conference come into the game with a 2-6-0 overall record. Connecticut College has lost five of its last six games coming into the match up against the Lakers. This will be the second appearance in Oswego State’s annual tournament for the Camels. The first appearance came in 2009 when the Lakers defeated Connecticut College, 4-1. The Lakers went on to claim the tournament championship, 3-1, over Elmira College.

The Camels are led by senior forward Sean Curran, who has compiled a team-leading 12 points on two goals and 10 assists. Senior forward J.J. McGregor is second on the team in scoring with nine points on three goals and six assists. Connecticut College has just five power-play goals this season and no shorthanded goals.

Connecticut College has been able to stick with opponents in the first period, scoring 10 goals and allowing 10 goals in the opening 20 minutes, but struggle on offense for the final two-thirds of the game. The Camels have been outscored 14-5 in the second period and 15-3 in the third period. The Lakers have scored 19 goals in the second period and 20 goals in the third period this season.

The Camels average 2.25 goals per game while allowing 4.88 goals per game. The Lakers own the ninth-ranked scoring offense in the country at 4.50 goals per game and the sixth-ranked defense at 2.08 goals per game. Oswego State also holds the edge in special teams. The Lakers’ power play has a success rate of 20.6 percent, while the Camels have a success rate of 14.3 percent. On the penalty kill, Oswego State kills off 84.8 percent of opponents’ power plays, while Connecticut College kills off 71.4 percent of opponents’ power plays.

The Camels have been unable to comeback in games in which they have trailed. The Camels are 1-5-0 when opponents score first and are a combined 0-8-0 when trailing after the first and second periods.

Sophomore goaltender Mike Petchonka has recorded both victories in net for the Camels, sporting a 3.89 goals against average and a .884 save percentage.

Oswego State comes into the tournament at 9-1-2 overall and are 4-0-1 at the Campus Center Ice Arena so far this season. The SUNYAC leaders have outscored opponents by nearly 2.5 goals per game and outshooting opponents by 15 shots per game.

The Lakers are led by junior forwards Jon Whitelaw and Paul Rodrigues, who both have 17 points this season in 12 games. Whitelaw leads the team with six goals and Rodrigues leads the team with 12 assists. Sixteen players on the Laker roster have scored at least one goal and 18 players have recorded at least one point. Oswego State has received 10 goals by defensemen. Junior defenseman Jesse McConney leads defensemen on the team with five goals. McConney, junior forward Chris Brown and Rodrigues all have three power-play goals.

Oswego State has trailed just twice after the first period and three times after the second period, losing only once. The Lakers are a combined 11-0-1 when leading after the first and second periods.

Junior goaltender Andrew Hare appears to have solidified the starting goaltender position for the rest of the season, appearing in 11 of 12 games, starting nine of them. Hare has compiled a 1.86 goals against average and a .928 save percentage in the first half of the season.

The winner of the Oswego State/Connecticut College game will face the winner of the Neumann University/Hamline University game on Saturday, Dec. 31.

Mike Kraft

Managing Editor of The Oswegonian Executive Editor of The PlayMaker & The Oswego State Men's Ice Hockey Guide Men's Ice Hockey Beat Writer 2009-Current