Laker Gameday Preview: Dec. 6 at SUNY Potsdam

No. 8 Oswego State (6-1-2, 4-1-1 in SUNYAC) started to right the ship on Friday night by knocking off No. 4 SUNY Plattsburgh on the road, 3-1.

The Lakers entered Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena on a three-game winless streak before Thanksgiving. They were a roster filled with banged up players. However, a 10-day rest period following a Nov. 25 loss at home to SUNY Geneseo was just what was needed.

Oswego State saw a reemergence of its fast-pace, high-power offense, which kept the Cardinals out of the offensive zone. Such an effective game plan returned the team to the win column.

Now, the Lakers finish off their road trip to the North Country at SUNY Potsdam. The Bears, usually an easy win, have started off this season well. Currently 4-3-1 (2-3-1 in the SUNYAC), SUNY Potsdam is led by senior goalie Jon Hall in net. An early season victory at SUNY Geneseo has the Bears looking more threatening than usual.

Usually known for it’s physical play, SUNY Potsdam is No. 1 in Div. III for penalty minutes at 21.38 minutes per game. On Friday in Cortland, the Bears and Red Dragons combined for 25 penalties and a total of 77 minutes in the box. This may become a factor as the still somewhat injured Lakers deal with a rough style of play.

The Lakers will need the same effort as Friday, especially from sophomore goalie Matt Zawadzki, who made 30 saves, in order to end the fall semester with it’s seventh win.

Scoring/Special teams breakdown:

Scoring offense: Oswego State-5.00 goals per game (T-4th nationally)

SUNY Potsdam-3.25 goals per game (27th nationally)

Scoring defense: Oswego State-2.33 goals allowed per game (T-22nd nationally)

SUNY Potsdam-3.25 goals allowed per game (48th nationally)

Power play: Oswego State-35.29 percent [12 of 34] (4th nationally)

SUNY Potsdam-15.79 percent [6 of 38] (51st nationally)

Penalty kill: Oswego State-82.80 percent [24 of 29] (27th nationally)

SUNY Potsdam-80.90 percent [38 of 47] (38th nationally)

Goalie matchup: 

Oswego State

Sophomore Matt Zawadzki: (4 GP, 1-1-1, 2.89 GAA, .891 save percentage)

SUNY Potsdam

Senior Jon Hall: (4-3-1, 3.27 GAA, .913 save percentage)

Player to watch: Oswego State sophomore goalie Matt Zawadzki: The Lakers pulled out an impressive victory over No. 4 SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday night, in large part, due to Zawadzki’s play when pressure came his way. The sophomore has the ability to raise his play in big games. As the Lakers look to finish the fall semester on a high note, his play on the backend will be crucial. The beat up, tired squad may not be able to hold the Bears out of their zone like they did against the Cardinals, especially as SUNY Potsdam’s physical play slows them down. Watch for Zawadzki to play a role in his team’s win.

Prediction: 4-2 Oswego State