Contributed By Bill Foley
OSWEGO – Laker fans will be in a frenzy this weekend as it’s time for the annual emotional Whiteout Weekend with Potsdam and archrival Plattsburgh coming into the Marano Campus Center for Friday and Saturday 7 p.m. SUNYAC games.
The SUNYAC standings are in early season chaos and Oswego Coach Ed Gosek noted both games will be highly competitive and will play a critical role in the final standings.
While fans eagerly await the Cardinals there is no way anyone should look past Potsdam.
Gosek said,”Potsdam is a wild card and can be very, very, very good. Last year they had strong defense and a solid power play. They have enough skilled players that can finish. We have to limit what we give them. We are not looking for a run and gun game with them. We need to take care of our own end first.”
The Bears lone win of the year in league play was a 4-3 decision over Plattsburgh, but overall the Friday night visitors are 5-6.
Bryce Ferrell is the lone double digit scorer with 11 points behind five goals and six assists.
Following him in scoring are Vinny Guimonds (4-5-9), Tyler Young (1-8-9), Devin Panzeca (2-6-8) and Joseph Richardson (3-4-7).
Nate Skidmore has played nine games in goal this year and possesses a 2.88 Goals Against and a .915 save percentage.
Saturday the fans will start lining up early in anticipation of the game against Plattsburgh.
In the past several years the Lakers have had better luck in Plattsburgh than on home ice. In fact, the last Laker win in the Morano Center on Whiteout Weekend against the Birds came with a 3-0 decision in 2011-12.
In the six games since then there have been two 3-3 ties, and one goal losses of 1-0, 2-1, 5-4 in overtime, and 2-1.
Coach Gosek said, “The pressure is on us” on the home ice.
Looking at Plattsburgh he explained, ”They have two tough losses to Middlebury and Adrian in tournament action I think both teams are trying to find their identities. Plattsburgh works hard, is fast, will play at a fast pace, plays as a team and are just well prepared and disciplined.”
Continuing he said,”It is a rivalry and both teams get up for this one. The tradition continues.”
The 4-4-1 Cardinals are paced offensively by Rich McCartney (7-2-9), Pat Egan (3-5-8), Cam Owens (3-4-7), Ryan Kuhn (1-5-6) and Christian DiFelice (1-4-5).
Sophomore Jimmy Poreda has eight games under his belt in net and possesses a 1.61 goals against with a .946 save percentage.
Oswego is paced in scoring as a trio of players have eight points including Travis Broughman (4-4), Anthony Passero (2-6) and Tyler Currie (1-7). Meanwhile, Michael Gillespie has six (1-5) while Josh Zizek I(4-1), Joseph Molinaro (4-1) and Derek Brown (1-4) all accounted for five points.
Between the pipes David Richer sports a 2.42 Goals Against while marking up a save percentage of .891.
Looking at his own team,which just came off a 1-1 weekend, he said,”Against Brockport on Friday night it was a special teams game. To be successful the special teams have to be there. We were 3×6 on the power play and “Ithe penalty killing was very good. That was the difference between Friday and Saturday nights as we were 0x3 in the power play and Geneseo was 2×4.”
In regards to the league he said, “The league is so tight. Every team has a good goalie and good team defense.”
Reflecting a bit more, he noted,”We are able to control our own destiny as several teams have played more league games due to the two games with Morrisville. Last year we lost two games and tied won and won the league. Who would have predicted that? We need to improve in areas and play with intensity. We are a different team when we play with the lead or play from behind.”
These will be the final two games before the semester break and Gosek said,”We would like to try to get some momentum going as we have Williams coming in after Christmas.”
Oswego enters the weekend 5-2 overall and looking ahead to the upcoming break Williams College invades on Saturday December 29 (7 p.m.) and Sunday December 30 (3 p.m.) while the following Friday and Saturday the Lakers host the Pathfinder Classic with Oswego meeting Salve Regina in the first round on Friday, January 4 at 7 p.m.
Also during the break the Lakers will be at Skaneateles to play Nazareth (Tuesday, January 8), host Utica (Friday, January 11), and travel to Elmira (Saturday, January 12) before returning to SUNYAC play at Cortland on Friday, January 18.
Bring Holiday Cards to the Game
The Lakers are involved with “Cards for Kids by Jackie” and are looking for support from fans attending this weekend’s games.
The “Cards for Kids” is being organized by a SUNY Oswego professor and Laker Anthony Passero is one of the students helping with the project.
The goal is to get as many holiday cards as possible for the siblings of victims of mass shootings.
Last year, more than 2,000 cards were sent and the goal for this year is 5,000.
Fans interested in sending a card should bring it with you this weekend and drop it off in a card box which will be located at the Blue Line Club table.
Cards should be written generically, to someone between the ages of two and 25.
The envelope can be unsealed and unaddressed. The cards can be homemade or store bought.
Cards will also be available at the Blue Line Club table for people to write if they would like.
Buffalo State 2-3-1