White Out Weekend 2013 is in the books and the conclusion was an exciting one as the men’s ice hockey team played to a draw with its archrival, and No.1 team in the nation, the Plattsburgh State Cardinals, 3-3.
The first 20 minutes of play did not see a goal; however, both teams competed at a high level from the start.
The balance in play was visible in the scorebook, as the Cardinals held only a one shot edge at the first intermission, 14-13, and the two sides were tied in faceoff wins, 9-9.
Another measuring stick for the evenness was the play by both goalies. Besides shutting out the opposing offenses with quick glove saves and their ability to get in front of pucks, each net minder did well to cover up the saucer and stop play when possible instead of releasing it in dangerous situations.
The Lakers quickly put one up on the board in the second period as the captain picked up where he left off last night. Senior David Titanic snagged a puck delivered by freshman Andrew Barton just inside the right faceoff circle and snuck a backhand around Plattsburgh State senior goalie Mathieu Cadieux.
Just a minute and a half later, Oswego State sophomore defenseman Mac Scott was sent to the box for interference and the visitors wasted no time capitalizing.
Sophomore defenseman Rich Botting sent a pass from senior defenseman Barry Roytman over Laker freshman goalie Matt Zawadzki’s right shoulder to tie the game at one, just seven seconds into the man advantage.
Over the next eight minutes the two squads traded off on scoring chances before Zawadzki and the Oswego State skaters made a statement that defined their defensive effort for the evening.
At 13:18 of the period Mike Wills was sent off for hooking and the Lakers penalty kill went to work in a big way. With just under a minute left on the power play Cardinal sophomore Justin Fox found fellow sophomore Kevin Emmerling in the low slot with an open net in front of him, until Zawadzki came in time to make an incredible save with his blocker. The skaters around him would clear the puck soon after to end the threat.
The effort would be rewarded just a couple minutes later as freshman Shawn Hulshof was at it again, scoring his third goal of the weekend to give the Lakers back the lead.
Hulshof found open ice in the slot and fired a shot over Cadieux’s shoulder, just inside the upper right corner of the net. The goal was assisted by his linemates, freshmen Matt Galati and Dylan Smith.
Oswego State continued to play well in its own end for the rest of the period and went into the second intermission still holding the lead, but Smith was caught right at the end of the frame, two minutes for holding.
The penalty would prove costly, as the Cardinals found their second goal of the game within that two-minute span to open the third.
It was the team’s leading scorer, junior Alex Jensen with his fourth goal of the year, beating Zawadzki over his right shoulder off a pass from freshman Kyle Hall.
Less than four minutes later, Hall would tally a goal of his own to give Plattsburgh its first lead of the game at 5:18 of the period.
However, that lead would not last long with the Lakers defense stepping up once again in a big way. This time it was junior assistant captain Nick Rivait and sophomore Denton King.
The pairing teamed up to contain Alex Jensen who was streaking towards Zawadzki. They got the puck, found Mike Wills and the junior transfer did the rest, beating Cadieux over his right shoulder with a one timer.
The Cardinals would see their best chance at a game winner slip away as sophomore Connor Gorman could not get off a solid shot on a wide open net just around the midway point of the period.
From that point on the defense and goalies of both teams shined, especially the Laker penalty kill. The four-man shifts did not allow Plattsburgh to score when freshman Chris Waterstreet was sent off with just over two minutes remaining for interference.
Oswego State did a good job of keeping the puck in its offensive end throughout the five-minute extra period, but no goal came as the game finished without a victor.
The contest marks the end of the men’s ice hockey team’s fall semester schedule. The squad has the rest of this month off before a 10-game stretch in January leading up to the spring semester.
The campaign starts on Jan. 3 in the first round of the Lakers’ annual Pathfinder Bank/Oswego Classic when they take on Curry at 7 p.m.