No. 5/7 Oswego State men’s hockey continued their point streak to six games with a hard fought 3-0 win over the College at Brockport Golden Eagles. Thanks to goals from Cameron Berry, Joseph Molinaro and Mitch Herlihey the Lakers are now in sole possession of second place in the SUNYAC with a record of 4-0-1, and 6-1-1 overall. With the loss, the Golden Eagles fall to a record of 6-4-1 and 3-2-1 in conference play.
The Lakers were looking to stay sharp after grinding their way to a 2-2 tie last night in a difficult environment like the Ira S. Wilson Ice Arena at SUNY Geneseo, and they got the job done. The lack of execution in the offensive zone was the story for Oswego State tonight, another game where they severely out chance their opponent but can not separate themselves on the scoreboard.
The first period was scoreless, and was highlighted by the inability of both teams to create quality offensive chances. The period ended with a 5-5 tie in shots when both teams had two man advantages.
The scoring got started in the second period, thanks to an outstanding pass by sophomore Aaron Huffnagle, who had two primary assists tonight.
Huffnagle was able to barrel his way to the net and drop the puck to the other side of the crease to find a waiting Berry who slammed the puck past the Golden Eagles goaltender Matt Schneider, who made 23 saves on 25 shots tonight.
“We recruited him because he’s crafty,” Oswego State head coach Ed Gosek said. “I’m pleased with how he’s playing. He’s distributing the puck, he’s carrying it when he should, he’s moving it well.”
This goal also set off the Teddy Bear Toss, a yearly tradition by the fans to throw stuffed animals on the ice that will be donated to charity. At the end of the frenzy that followed Berry’s goal, there were 734 stuffed animals thrown on the ice.
After the Lakers first goal, both teams started playing a chippy style of hockey. Lakers forward Michael Gillespie stepped up in front of the net and dropped Golden Eagles forward Luke Bennett to the ice for spraying Cedric Hansen with ice after the whistle, a sequence that began a string of penalties that would continue through the end of the game.
Once Oswego State got a lead, it was evident they became more confident in the offensive zone. Even players like fourth liner Trent Durocher who has one career point had a top notch scoring opportunity.
“I thought Durocher played a good game tonight,” Gosek said. “He was physical and played his role well.”
The Lakers next goal came on another exceptional Huffnagle pass, this time to Molinaro. Huffnagle was able to force his way to the middle and rather than shooting, he sent the puck across the crease to Molinaro who had no difficulty sending it to the back of a wide open net.
The scoring would stay quiet until there was one second remaining in the contest, when Herlihey was able to notch his first goal of the season and seal the game as a 3-0 final.
These two points are huge to the Lakers, who were tied with the Golden Eagles heading into tonights game. A win tonight, coupled with a SUNY Geneseo overtime loss to SUNY Cortland puts Oswego State in a fantastic position moving forward, especially with two games in hand on the Ice Knights.
Oswego State will return to action next weekend with their annual north country trip, visiting SUNY Potsdam and Plattsburgh State.