Laker Gameday Preview: Nov. 8 v. SUNY Cortland

Not since the 2005-2006 season has SUNY Cortland been able to take down No. 3 Oswego State in men’s ice hockey. Other than several ties, the Lakers have had their conference traveling partners number for nearly a decade.

If last weekend is any indication of the what may occur on Saturday night, a combination of high-power offense from Oswego State and youth in net for the Red Dragons gives the advantage to the home side.

Freshman goaltender Drew Weigman looked impressive in his start at SUNY Fredonia last Friday, but the Blue Devils’ offense is his historically one of the weaker in the conference. The Red Dragons picked up a point in that contest, but finished the weekend winless. The extremely physical side picked up its first game misconduct of the season as junior Jason Kenney was tossed out against Buffalo State in last Saturday’s overtime loss.

Oswego State is coming off an offensive outburst, going back to the middle of the second period last Friday at Buffalo State during which it put up 14 goals in five periods.

Last season, the Lakers defeated the Red Dragons in both their meetings, scoring four goals in each game and only allowing one goal on the road and two at home. Oswego State took its highest number of penalties at SUNY Cortland last November and the lack of poise shown by the team hindered it from what could have been a two-game series it entirely dominated.

The team from the shores of Lake Ontario is once again the much better team, but its visitors tonight never make the game easy.

By the numbers:

2In the first meeting between the Lakers and Red Dragons last season, SUNY Cortland had two players ejected (Sean Sullivan for checking from behind and captain Ryan Wagner for contact to the head).

5-In last Saturday’s 10-2 victory over SUNY Fredonia, the Oswego State fourth line of Mitch Herlihey, Andrew Barton and Krystian Yorke contributed to five of the Lakers’ goals. With Joey Davies apparently out of the lineup for some time, it looks like these three will be the fourth line for the foreseeable future, and one to watch for.

14-The Lakers potted 14 goals in two games last weekend, including the aforementioned 10 on Nov. 1 at SUNY Fredonia. An offense which scored five times on the USADP under-18 team two weeks ago, Oswego State’s should score at will against the penalty-prone Red Dragons.

44-Weigman made 44 saves in his collegiate debut on Oct. 31 at SUNY Fredonia. He did not pick up the win as the Red Dragons tied the Blue Devils, 2-2. But, his play showed that SUNY Cortland may have a formidable goalie for the near future.

Scoring/Special teams breakdown:

Scoring offense:Oswego State-7.00 goals per game (T-3rd nationally)

SUNY Cortland: 2.00 goals per game (T-48th nationally)

Scoring defense: Oswego State-2.50 goals allowed per game(T-29th nationally)

SUNY Cortland-2.50 goals allowed per game (T-29th nationally)

Power play:Oswego State-28.57 percent [2 of 7] (T-12th nationally)

SUNY Cortland-15.74 percent [17 of 108] (55th nationally)

Penalty kill:Oswego State-00.00 percent [0 of 5] (T-47th nationally)

SUNY Cortland-75.00 percent [6 of 8] (T-46th nationally)

Goalie matchup: 

Oswego State

Junior Justin Gilbert: (2 GP, 2-0-0, 1.25 GAA, .949 save percentage)

Sophomore Matt Zawadzki: (1 GP, 0-0-0, 7.54 GAA, .667 save percentage)

SUNY Cortland

Freshman Drew Weigman: (1 GP, 0-0-1, 1.85 GAA, .957 save percentage)

Freshman Kollyn Jones: (1 GP, 0-1-0, 2.85 GAA, .906 save percentage)

Player to watch: Oswego State senior captain Bobby Gertsakis: SUNY Cortland has a tendency to use overly aggressive play to provoke Oswego State into a knock out, drag out style game, which is outside the usually composed nature of the Lakers. The home side may be without both its assistant captains, senior Nick Rivait and junior Denton King, due to injury. So, the leadership of Gertsakis will be crucial to keeping the team poised and focused on the main goal, victory. Also, his quarterbacking of the top power play line will be key as the man advantage opportunities should come early and often, and will need to be capitalized on in order to win comfortably.

Prediction: 5-2 Oswego State