Coming into this evening’s match up at the Campus Center Ice Arena against the SUNY Geneseo Knights, the No. 9 Oswego State men’s ice hockey team (15-5-2, 8-4-1) was within three points of the Knights for second in the conference. After allowing three first period goals, the Lakers were behind for good, losing 3-2.
From the first puck drop, SUNY Geneseo (17-5-0, 11-2-0) came out faster and more aggressive than its counterpart. The Knights were winning the races to most pucks and taking more shots, five of the game’s first eight. However, when push came to shove, the hosts struck first.
At 6:33 of the opening period, it was freshman Chris Waterstreet who delivered the first goal of the game, as he did in Geneseo as well on Nov. 22.
Sophomore Sacred Heart transfer Morgan Bonner found Waterstreet just inside the slot and the Northville, Mich. native fired home his fourth goal of the year, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Then, just 15 seconds later, freshman Chris Raguseo was sent off for interference, opening the door for the Knights to even up the score and they did just that.
With 41 seconds remaining on the Raguseo penalty the visitors found an equalizer off the stick of senior Zachary Vit. One of the Knights four captains, Vit sent a shot off the pipe and past Laker sophomore goalie Justin Gilbert at 8:07 of the period. The assists on the goal were awarded to juniors Justin Scharfe and Jack Caradonna.
It was only 23 seconds later SUNY Geneseo scored its second goal of the game as junior Ryan Stanimir punched home a loose puck home among a group of blue and white jersey in front of the Oswego State net. When all was said and done on the play, sophomore Matt Solomon had picked up the assist.
As the period continued, the Knights were the team that appeared to have the upper hand and they would take advantage one last time when sophomore David Ripple scored the eventual game winner.
The goal came at 19:13 of the first, with Ripple finding the puck at the left pipe and simply putting it in off the back of Gilbert. Vit and freshman Jack Ceglarski contributed to the goal, as well.
The final horn of the first sounded less than a minute later and from that point on the Lakers switched gears.
In the second period, Oswego State out-shot SUNY Geneseo 18 shots to one and none was bigger than freshman Matt Galati’s at the 3:20 mark.
Just 37 seconds in the period, freshman Alex Botten was called for goalie interference giving the Knights two minutes on the man advantage. The Lakers successfully killed off the Newmarket, Ont. native’s penalty right as SUNY Geneseo was caught for interference, setting the stage for the home team’s second goal.
Under a minute into the power play, the first Oswego State power play unit was able to circle the puck around a few times before finally Waterstreet was able to kick it out to Gertsakis in the high slot so the junior assistant captain could find Galati on the faceoff dot in the left circle for the finish.
The goal was the Toronto native’s 18th on the season and eighth on the power play. The finish was the final goal of the game.
From then on, the play of the goaltenders took center stage as each held down their respective creases for the final 36:40.
Gilbert finished the game with 21 saves, while Knights sophomore goalie Nick Horrigan stopped 35 of 37 Laker shots.
This loss drops Oswego State five points behind SUNY Geneseo for second place in the SUNYAC. Buffalo State (9-9-5, 6-4-4) played to a 2-2 draw at SUNY Fredonia (6-10-6, 4-5-5) tonight, leaving the Lakers just a point ahead of the Bengals for third place with three games left in the regular season.
Oswego State gets right back on the ice tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the Campus Center Ice Arena versus the College of Brockport Golden Eagles. It will be the final regular season home game for this year’s senior class of captain David Titanic and assistant captain Kyle Badham.