The men’s ice hockey program’s success between the fall of 2009 and spring of 2013 set the bar extremely high for last season’s team. Anyone not strictly following last season’s team was unaware of how new it was and the growing pains it faced. That unawareness led fans to lack belief in the team when it began losing. The Lakers pulled it together and made an impressive run, but the doubters lingered throughout the season.
This Saturday night, the season may begin with a loss in the exhibition game, but doubters better stay hidden. Losses are inevitably a part of sports. Winning streaks, like the 12-game run during the 2010-2011 season, do not happen every year. Another reason not to panic is the team coming to campus is made up of the best hockey players under 18 in the nation.
The United States under-18 team is filled with NCAA Division I recruits and NHL prospects. On WNYO’s “Around the Lake” on Tuesday, men’s ice hockey head coach Ed Gosek called forward Auston Matthews as his prediction to go No. 1 in the 2016 NHL draft.
A good point to also make is the fact Oswego State is getting one week of practices with its coaches before this game, so it’s running through conditioning tests and preparing all systems to be ready for this game.
The Lakers could lose this exhibition game on Saturday night, but they will still be successful this season. They return nearly every piece from one of the best offensive teams in the country, one of the best goalies and their entire defensive depth chart.
This team will compete for a SUNYAC title and another NCAA tournament berth. So stick around and come to the games. This team will be fun to watch win more than 20 contests.