Last night both No. 4/4 Oswego State and Plattsburgh State both picked up two conference points. The Lakers beat SUNY Potsdam at the Maxcy Ice Arena in a 7-1 blowout, moving their road record to 2-1-1 and SUNYAC record to 5-0-1. Not far away in the north country, the Cardinals were able to fend off SUNY Cortland at home in the Stafford Ice Arena by a score of 3-1 to boost their conference record to 3-5-0.
There is only one team in the SUNYAC that Oswego State has a losing record against, and it is against the Plattsburgh State Cardinals. The Lakers 36 wins in 120 contests is also their lowest winning percentage against any conference opponent (.300). Last season the Cardinals and Lakers split their regular season games, with each team winning as the visiting team. Plattsburgh State also knocked off the Lakers in the SUNYAC Championship game at the Marano Campus Center Ice Arena, clinching an automatic bid for the NCAA tournament. These teams have perennially been the two strongest teams in the conference, and though Plattsburgh State is currently experiencing a down year, these teams will always bring everything they have against each other.
The lineup for Oswego State will change a little bit tonight, with AJ D’Orazio drawing back in for Jesse Farabee. On defense, Kristoffer Brun will return to the lineup replacing Charlie Pelnik after serving a one game suspension for violating team rules. In net, the rotation will continue as Cedric Hansen takes his turn after David Richer played last night against SUNY Potsdam.
What may be most interesting about the Plattsburgh State lineup for tonight’s game is who will not be dressing. Impressive upperclassmen such as Jacob Engvall, Joe Drabin and Pat Egan are all scratched tonight which puts the Cardinals at a disadvantage. In net, Jimmy Poreda will get the nod from head coach Bob Emery and the coaching staff for his sixth start of the season. Poreda, a freshman, has a 2.95 goals against average and an .880 save percentage so far this season,
Record- 7-1-1 overall, 5-0-1 SUNYAC
Goals- Zizek (9)
Assists- Huffnagle (8)
Points- Zizek (15)
GAA- Hansen (1.74)
SV%- Richer (.929)
Record- 5-6-0 overall, 3-5-0 SUNYAC
Goals- McCartney (8)
Assists- Owens (11)
Points- Owens (14)
GAA- Poreda (2.95)
SV%- Fenton (.887)
Players to Watch
OSW- AJ D’Orazio
D’Orazio was a healthy scratch last night, but the freshman seems to be getting a spot in the lineup when Oswego State head coach Ed Gosek knows the Lakers will need to play a game based around speed rather than size. D’Orazio is a small, speedy forward and he could take advantage of what has been a porous Cardinals defense and goaltending core so far this season.
PLA- Rich McCartney
McCartney has been a star for the Cardinals as a freshman, pacing the team in goals with eight. Tonight will be McCartney’s first game against Oswego State and it will be interesting to see if he will be able to continue to shine in a big game atmosphere tonight, especially on home ice.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room, the Cardinals goaltending thus far has been subpar. With a team GAA of 3.45, it is not nearly strong enough for Plattsburgh State to hang with strong teams in conference games like Oswego State. Especially with the Lakers finally coming through with their first offensive explosion last night, putting up seven on SUNY Potsdam, it seems like a recipe for success for Gosek’s team. Even though the Lakers have the advantage on the ice, the coaching matchup cannot be overlooked, as Emery and Gosek are two of the most accomplished coaches in Div. III hockey. These two men have a friendly rivalry, but always bring their best games against one another. This aspect makes the game hard to predict, but it is never a bad idea to choose a high-powered offense over a struggling goaltender.
Oswego State wins 5-4.