Laker Gameday Preview: Feb. 21 v. SUNY Potsdam

The storylines of Saturday night’s game are many. No. 1 Oswego State can seal up home-ice advantage with a win or tie, while SUNY Potsdam, currently fifth in the SUNYAC, can jump to No. 3 with a win and a loss by SUNY Geneseo at Buffalo State.

The Lakers are coming off a 65-minute clash with No. 9 SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday night in their annual White Out game. The contest ended in a 3-3 tie keeping the Cardinals within striking distance for the No. 1 spot in the conference on the final day of the regular season, if Oswego State slips up.

It is Senior Night in Oswego as the program honors its six graduating players. The team will be once again without captain Bobby Gertsakis who is dealing with an ankle injury. Each of the other five seniors will dress, including Eli Kim-Swallow who is making just his second start of the season.

SUNY Potsdam enters the Marano Campus Center Arena winning four of its last five, securing its first berth into postseason play since 2013. Led by reigning SUNYAC goalie of the week Jon Hall, the Bears have a chance to finish over .500 with a victory.

Senior Ken Simon and freshman Dylan Vander Esch have paced SUNY Potsdam to a tie for the fourth-best offense in the SUNYAC. The balanced Bears team travels to Oswego looking more dangerous than in years past.

With Oswego State down Gertsakis and sophomore defenseman Stephen Johnson, it will need its top-ranked offense to be in top form in order to take pressure off sophomore goalie Matt Zawadzki and the less experienced pairings patrolling the blue line.

The Lakers will continue to rely on their second line of freshman Mitchell Herlihey, sophomore Shawn Hulshof and senior Mike Montagna to set the tone for the offense and create chances. If that line can break through against Hall early, the defensive gap will be less exposed.

The biggest home game of the season was played on Friday night, but there is still much on the line as the Lakers and Bears take the ice one last time in regular season play on Saturday in Oswego.

By the numbers

2-Senior Eli Kim-Swallow has two career goals, which both came on White Out Weekend against SUNY Potsdam during his sophomore year. He makes his second start of the season on Saturday night.

5-Due to captain Bobby Gertsakis missing Saturday’s game with an ankle injury, only five of the Lakers’ six seniors will play in their final home game.

6-Oswego State has six players in the top 100 for scoring in Div. III. SUNY Potsdam is without a player on the list.

15-SUNY Potsdam freshman Dylan Vander Esch has 15 of his 20 points this season in SUNYAC play. He is third in the conference for freshman scoring only behind SUNY Cortland’s duo of Dan Broderick and Darren McCormick.

Scoring/Special Teams Breakdown

Offense

Oswego State: 4.78 goals per game (1st in Division III)

SUNY Potsdam: 4.22 goals per game (8th in Division III)

Defense

Oswego State: 2.13 goals per game (12th in Division III)

SUNY Potsdam: 3.17 goals per game (T-46th in Division III)

Power Play

Oswego State: 33.73 percent [28-of-83] (1st in Division III)

SUNY Potsdam: 16.84 percent [16-of-95] (42nd in Division III)

Penalty Kill

Oswego State: 84.20 percent [64-of-76] (T-23rd in Division III)

SUNY Potsdam: 83.20 percent [89 of 107] (T-31st in Division III)

Goalie Matchup

Oswego State: Matt Zawadzki (10-1-2/2.17 GAA/.922 save percentage)

SUNY Potsdam: Jon Hall (11-7-2/2.95 GAA/.921 save percentage)

Player to Watch: Oswego State senior Chris Carr

Prediction: 6-3 Oswego State