The Oswego State men’s club hockey team defeated SUNY Cortland with a convincing 9-1 win in its home opener at the Campus Center Ice Arena.
This game comes after Oswego State played the Lakers from Mercyhurst University and took home the Ships Wheel trophy for the first time in five years.
The rivalry was introduced six years ago, and the trophy was donated by a Mercyhurst alum.
“After five years of not bringing it back… I give kudos to the team for being battlers out there on the ice,” head coach Jay Peacock said.
“It was nice to not having won it in five years and we treat it like a championship,” senior captain Matthew Brady said.
The showdown came down to a shootout after the Red Dragons erased the Lakers’ 4-2 third period lead. Brady said the team needed to push a little harder to win.
“We need to play a full 60 minutes,” Brady said. “We’ve given up two leads in the third and we have to stop doing that.”
However, playing a complete on Saturday was not a problem for the Lakers.
Despite falling behind early in the first period, Oswego State took advantage of early scoring opportunities and never looked back.
Cortland struck first at the 12:05 mark in the first when senior forward D.J. Mazzoni took a penalty.
The penalty resulted in a power play goal for Cortland.
Junior forward Patrick Raike was credited with the goal after receiving the puck from junior forwards Matt Dempsey and Tyler Ballantyne.
Ballantyne passed from the slot to Dempsey on the right side of the goal. The junior found Raike, who sent it home to the left side of the net.
Oswego State evened up the score at the 6:27 mark with a goal by junior defensemen Devin Coon.
Coon was waiting on top of the left circle when sophomore defensemen George Scouras fed him pass. Coon settled it and fired a wrist shot past the goalie.
The tempo slowed down for a few minutes until Oswego State senior forward Jordan Alhart was whistled for a hooking penalty at the 4:51 mark.
Cortland squandered its one-man advantage when Kyle Barach received a hooking penalty with 4:23 remaining in the period.
After Alhart left the penalty box, Oswego State racked up a power play goal to take a 2-1 lead. Freshman Michael Pisarevsky scored on a pass by Coon.
The Lakers’ quick passing and smart puck movement led to the goal despite Cortland’s tight defense.
With 2:17 remaining in the first period, Cortland’s Taylor Cooke received a tripping penalty to put Oswego on the power play.
Coon racked up his second goal of the game with only 26 left in the period to increase Oswego State’s lead to 3-1.
Coon waited for another pass from Scouras at the top of the left circle and slapped it past the goalie for his second goal of the afternoon. Scouras and senior forward Bobby Drexler were credited with the assists on the play.
Oswego State dominated possession early in the second period. The Lakers kept the puck in their offensive zone and did not allow Cortland’s sophomore goalie Ben Hobbs a moment to rest.
The Lakers managed to turn their aggressive offensive approach into a goal at the 17:06 mark when freshman center Andrew Schutt flicked the puck past Hobbs with a strong wrist shot.
Chris Timmons received a pass from senior forward Drexler and sent it to Schutt in the slot. Schutt put it in the back of the net to give the Lakers a 4-1 lead. Both Timmons and Drexler were credited assists on the play.
Oswego State then made it 5-1 when freshman Devin Smith followed up his own rebound and scored an unassisted goal with 14:14 remaining in the period.
The Lakers recorded their sixth goal of the night at the 3:38 mark to increase their lead to five.
Schutt scored his second goal of the afternoon when he was assisted by Timmons and Mazzoni.
At the 3:09 mark, Cortland’s Joshua Grazer received a roughing penalty that started a chain of events that would lead to Oswego State’s seventh goal.
The Laker’s advantage would grow as Cortland’s Dempsey received a checking from behind penalty at the 2:43 mark. The penalty turned Oswego State’s power play to a 5-on-3 opportunity.
However, Oswego State’s Tom Rahill and Cortland’s Barach were whistled for penalties at the 1:50 mark. The offsetting penalties left the Lakers with a 4-on-3 power play.
The Lakers took advantage of their opportunity at the 1:41 mark when the team tallied another power play goal, this time off the stick of sophomore Richie Santini. The goal gave the Lakers a commanding 7-1 lead.
Meanwhile, Oswego State still had a 5-on-3 advantage and would increase its lead to seven at the 1:19 mark. Santini scored his second goal of the game off an assist from freshmen Keagan Storjohann.
Coach Peacock was proud of his team’s performance on the power play, but said there is still room for improvement.
“It’s good, but we have a lot of work to do,” he said. “Most of them were 5-on-3 and you’re expected to score on those.”
At the 13:52 mark, a shoving match that led to players from both sides going to the ice landed Oswego State’s Frost and Cortland’s Mike Smith trips to the box with roughing penalties.
The offsetting penalties resulted in 4-on-4 hockey, which the Lakers managed to take advantage of. Timmons netted a goal with 13:20 left in the period to increase the Laker lead to 9-1.
Oswego State played strong defense the remainder of the period to secure a 9-1 victory, its second of the season and first at home.
“It’s nice because it is the home opener,” Brady said after the game. “It’s a big win to get on the road with and even our record at 2-2.”
The team has 16 newcomers and they all stepped up in the Saturday afternoon’s game. The Laker freshmen accounted for four of the nine goals scored.
“It’s huge to have 16 newcomers that are all immediately contributing,” Brady said.
Peacock is excited about what the young players can bring to the team after seeing their performance on Saturday.
“They have made a huge difference and have made a real contribution to the team,” Peacock said.
Overall, Peacock was happy with his team’s big win because it allowed him to play everybody on the roster, including the backup goaltender.
With the win, the Lakers improve to 2-2. They are set to hit the ice again on Friday when they take on Binghamton University at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center arena.