Coming off a decisive victory over SUNY Cortland last Friday night, the Oswego State men’s club hockey team (3-2-1) was back in action at the Campus Center Ice Arena on Friday night, defeating Binghamton University 4-1.
Oswego State’s Dylan Niewiemski had to make the game’s first save, but it would be Harris Pittinsky of Binghamton who was peppered with shots throughout the opening period.
The Lakers were aggressive and put 17 shots on net in the first period, with two of those chances beating the Bearcats’ sophomore net minder.
The hosts outshot Binghamton 17-6 in the period, in part due to Oswego State’s dominance of the puck throughout the opening 20 minutes.
The Lakers used the many holes in the Bearcats’ defensive zone coverage in the first half of the period to pass and shoot at will, revealing Pittinsky’s discomfort in the crease.
Although their offensive control was unbroken for the first eight minutes, it only took the Lakers two minutes to put the game’s first goal on the board.
At the 18:02 mark, junior forward Ben Paige received a pass from senior forward Bobby Drexler
Paige took it to the goal line, just inside the left faceoff circle, where he slid it behind Pittinsky and into the net.
A slashing penalty on senior Robert Thomaris gave the Lakers another scoring opportunity, and they were sure to take advantage on the power play.
Oswego State scored its second goal of the game just over a minute into the power play, increasing its lead to 2-0 early in the period.
Freshman forward Michael Pisarevsky beat the Binghamton goalie’s glove side to extend the Lakers lead. The goal was Pisarevsky’s second of the 2013 season.
The freshman’s goal would once again swing the momentum the home team’s way as the Lakers continued to attack and keep the puck in Binghamton’s zone.
But with just over two minutes to play in the period, the Bearcats earned an offensive zone faceoff, which led to a Binghamton goal before time expired.
The visitors won the faceoff and moved the puck from the right circle to the front of the net.
Senior Brian Shkolnik picked up the puck and slipped it past Niewiemski, cutting the Oswego State lead in half.
The goal was Shkolnik’s first of the season. The first period ended with a 2-1 Oswego State lead.
Off the opening faceoff of the second period, Binghamton pushed the puck into its offensive third and put pressure on Niewiemski.
Outside of an unfruitful run at the net by freshman Michael Lucarelli around the 16:30 mark, the Lakers failed to cut into the Bearcats’ puck possession until their first power play of the period.
A slashing call on Binghamton junior Scott Muhlstein at 12:10 in the period opened up the ice for the hosts. Pittinsky continued to play well throughout the period, as he handled the majority of Oswego State chances.
The best chance the Lakers had during the man advantage was blocked by Binghamton and taken the other way. Although the visitors didn’t capitalize, the sequence further exposed the let up in the Oswego State pressure.
The Lakers fell back into a counterattack style of play for the period, allowing Binghamton to win the 50-50 pucks.
With the open range made available to them, the Bearcats settled in and were able to pepper the Oswego State net. The Bearcats finished the period with 11 shots, the highest single-period total of the night.
However, Niewiemski continued to impress the campus center crowd and Lakers’ head coach Jay Peacock, and managed to hold Binghamton scoreless in the period, saving all 11 shots and reaching 26 total saves.
“We’ve got this ace in the hole named Dylan Niewiemski,” Peacock said. “He just keeps coming up with [saves].”
Each team would have one last rush on net for the period, but each defensive unit had enough left in the tank to fill the gaps in front of their respective net and push the puck out, holding the score at 2-1 in favor of the Lakers.
Out of the locker room for the third period, Oswego State had re-discovered its aggressive, up-tempo style from the opening period.
In the first six minutes, shots were flying all around Pittinsky and then, at the 13:54 mark, Pisarevsky struck again.
The line of Pisarevsky, fellow freshman Kegan Storjohann and junior Richie Santini controlled the puck and advanced it to Pittinsky’s doorstep.
Santini fired a shot on goal, which the Bearcats’ net minder pushed onto the back netting. However, Storjohann found the puck and managed to keep the Oswego State possession alive.
The freshman from Arizona brought the puck around to the right pipe and slid it cross-ice onto the stick of Pisarevsky for the finish.
The sequence gave each player his sixth point of the season, tied for the team-high.
The young line was facilitating chances all night and Pisarevsky said he felt good about its play and the team’s performance as a whole.
“I’m lucky enough to be on a line with guys who get me the puck,” Pisarevsky said. “Once we get the puck in the zone, we’ve got a lot of speed. Everyone can skate and we get the goals flowing.”
The Lakers changed lines for the ensuing faceoff but the new cast of players quickly had the same success.
Freshman forward Andrew Schutt won the faceoff and found graduate student Chris Timmons. He fed it back to Schutt, who gave it off to senior DJ Mazzoni for the score.
Mazzoni weaved around Pittinsky and finished Oswego State’s fourth and final scoring play of the night, just 16 seconds after scoring its third goal.
Schutt, along with Storjohann, Pisarevsky and Brendon Wormley, ignited Oswego State’s offense on Friday night and Peacock said he was very pleased with the performance of his freshmen so far this season.
“Last year our freshmen scored three goals all year long. Last Saturday versus Cortland, they scored eight,” Peacock said. “That’s how they contribute to this team and they go, and they go, and they go.”
From that point on, the intensity level skyrocketed. At the 8:21 mark, Paige put a shot on the Binghamton net, which Pittinsky squeezed up against the left pipe with his pad.
Several Lakers came on to try to force the puck in, but they instead ran into Pittinsky, leading to immediate retaliation from the Bearcats.
A scrum ensued behind the Binghamton net, which led to three players earning two minutes in the penalty box.
Oswego State’s Paige and Pisarevsky each received two minutes for roughing, while Binghamton’s David Dvorak got two for charging.
Oswego State picked up two more penalties in the following six minutes, allowing the Bearcats to push the puck in the Laker zone toward Niewiemski.
The sophomore held steady and kept Oswego State on top, as the team secured its third win of the 2013 season.
The Lakers will continue their campaign next weekend with two games against nationally ranked opponents in the Buffalo area.
They will take on No. 23 Niagara University on Friday night, followed by a matchup with No. 22 University of Buffalo on Saturday.
Oswego State is set to host “Pink the Rink” on Sunday, Oct. 27 to support and raise awareness for breast cancer.
The Lakers will take on Syracuse University at 1:30 p.m. at the Campus Center Ice Arena.