In front of 2,526 fans in the Marano Campus Center Ice Arena, the No. 9 Oswego State Lakers defeated SUNY Canton by a score of 3-2 to boost their record to 3-1-0, while the Kangaroos fall to 1-3-0.
Despite another notch in the win column, the result was one that did not show growth coming off of last weekends win over SUNY Cortland according to Oswego State head coach Ed Gosek.
“We had some opportunities there and we didn’t take care of it,” Gosek said. “There’s going to be lots of games this year that way until we can start finding the back of the net.”
Even though the Lakers may have not had their best game, the team still met the preseason expectation that Gosek set for them.
“Our goal that we set coming into the year for this early part of the season was quite frankly exactly what the score was tonight,” Gosek said. “Our segment goal was three goals for and two goals against. We felt if we could keep teams to two goals we could have a chance to win.”
Three different Lakers were responsible for the Oswego State goals tonight, coming off the sticks of Josh Zizek, AJ D’Orazio and Cameron Berry.
Zizek was able to start the scoring at the 12:57 mark of the first period with a power play goal off a rebound from the pad of Austin Washkurak following a Joey Scorpio shot from the point.
With that tally, Zizek boosted his team-leading goal total to four on the year. The sophomore paces the team with six points, three more than Cam Berry and Max Novick who sit tied for second place.
The second period showcased four of the games five goals and established a 3-2 Oswego State lead which remained in place until the game was over.
To kick off that scoring frenzy, freshman AJ D’Orazio scored his first career goal as a Laker in the second half of the second period, again on the power play.
D’Orazio said. “I was seeing from my peripherals [Tyler Currie] was winding up for a one-timer so I tried to drive the net and get in front as a double screen. “ D’Orazio said. “My stick happened to be in the right place and you got a 2-0 game at that point.”
Like most new Lakers, D’Orazio talked about scoring a goal on home ice in front of Oswego State fans.
“It’s pretty amazing,” D’Orazio said. “Getting the win was huge and just hearing the fans roar all night, that was awesome.”
Just over a minute later SUNY Canton got on the board with a short side tip-in from the stick of Joe Deveny, coming off a corner pass from Patrick Farnan.
Farnan was able to send the puck towards the net, and Deveny was in the right place at the right time and finished off the sequence to cut the Oswego State lead in half.
Shortly after Deveny’s goal, Berry was the beneficiary of a backdoor pass from a driving Joey Molinaro that gave the Lakers a lead they would not surrender.
With just over 30 seconds remaining in the second stanza, Oswego State would commit their worst mistake of the evening that led to SUNY Canton cutting the deficit to just one goal.
While the Lakers were dominating the offensive zone, freshman Max Novick received a pass while manning the point that he attempted to send towards the net with a one-timer.
However, Novick whiffed on the puck, allowing a surging Tyler Bullard to grab the free puck and fly past defenseman Charlie Pelnik who was caught wide to fire a shot over the glove of Lakers goalie Cedric Hansen.
Bullard’s goal ended the scoring for the game, which limited the pain for Oswego State. The goal was something Gosek was hopeful would be a teaching moment for his young players.
“That’s a freshman not knowing to handle the clock,” Gosek said. “Not understanding how to manage risk versus reward. Those are learning experiences. Those are great video clips.”
One player Gosek was pleased with was goaltender Cedric Hansen, who had not played since the 2-1 overtime loss to Hobart College.
“He made some big saves when he had to,” Gosek said. “We didn’t give him a heck of a lot.”
Overall, it was a sloppy win for the Lakers, who have yet to find an identity outside of being a team who works hard.
“I’m pleased with our work ethic,” Gosek said. “Our execution has got to improve because we’re going to go against teams who have as much or more talent than us. If you don’t execute you’re not going to be successful.”
Next weekend, the Lakers will play host to Buffalo State and SUNY Fredonia, who are both teams that have shown they can beat quality opponents.
Buffalo State is in a down year, but they are also the team who derailed the Lakers 11 game win streak that started last season on the ice of the Marano Campus Center Ice Arena.
SUNY Fredonia has already knocked off SUNY Geneseo this season, a team that was projected to finish second in the SUNYAC according to the preseason coaches poll.
Oswego State will look to correct tonight’s mistakes in practice this week before returning to the ice on Friday night.