Lakers fight off Potsdam in offensive battle

Coming off a 2-2 tie to archrival SUNY Plattsburgh, the Oswego State men’s ice hockey team received a tougher challenged than it expected during the latter stretch of the North Country weekend, defeating SUNY Potsdam, 6-4, on Saturday night at Maxcy Hall.

Junior forward Tyler Leimbrock netted two goals and the Oswego State defense provided two goals, as the Lakers remain one point in front of SUNY Plattsburgh for the SUNYAC lead.

The second-ranked Lakers (8-1-2 overall, 6-0-2 SUNYAC) jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first 7:08 of regulation on goals by junior forward Jon Whitelaw and junior defenseman Taylor Farris. Whitelaw scored the first goal of the game at 4:37 of the first period with assists awarded to junior forwards Paul Rodrigues and Luke Moodie. Farris gave Oswego State a 2-0 lead a few minutes later on an assist for junior forward Chris Ayotte.

The Bears (5-4-0 overall, 4-4-0 SUNYAC) responded with a power-play goal by Trevor Cope at 9:40 of the first period to cut the deficit to one. Adam Place and Erick Ware were credited with assists on the play.

Junior defenseman Jesse McConney pushed the Laker lead back to two on the power play at 14:42 of the first period. Following a tripping penalty to Potsdam’s Carlo Ahee, McConney received a pass from Whitelaw and beat goaltender Dylan Ellis for his fourth goal this season. Moodie received the secondary assist on the play.

Potsdam scored the first two goals of the second period to tie the game at three. Max Fogal scored at 10:46 while playing 4-on-4 hockey and Cope scored his second goal of the game at 14:56. Kenny Simon and Matt Viola were awarded assists on Fogal’s goal and Sy Nutkevitch and Dan McCamey earned assists on Cope’s second goal.

The Lakers responded with Leimbrock tallying the next two goals to give Oswego State a 5-3 lead with five minutes remaining in the third period. Leimbrock scored his first of the game and fourth of the season at 16:11 of the second period and registered his second of the game and fifth of the season at 15:03 of the third period. Senior forward and assistant captain Ian Boots and freshman forward Eli Kim-Swallow assisted on Leimbrock’s second goal.

Ware attempted to rally the Bears, scoring the team’s second power-play goal of the game at 16:07 of the third period to cut the Laker lead to one. Nutkevitch and Mike Arnold earned assists on the play.

Oswego State sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 35 seconds remaining in regulation by junior forward Chris Muise.

Junior goaltender Dan Jones started the game, but was replaced by Andrew Hare late in the second period. Jones finished with 12 saves on 15 shots, while Hare finished with 11 saves on 12 shots to earn the win in net for the Lakers. Ellis finished with 47 saves in a losing effort for the Bears.

The Lakers finished 1-for-4 with the extra attacker and the Bears finished with 2-for-5 on the power play.

Oswego State outshot the Bears, 53-27, for the game, including 22-9 in the second period. The Laker defense limited the Bears’ offense to no more than 10 shots in a single period.

The Lakers return home on Saturday, Dec. 10, in a non-conference game against Hobart College at the Campus Center Ice Arena.

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