Laker men’s ice hockey team comes back to beat Buffalo

OSWEGO, N.Y. – The No. 1-ranked Oswego State men’s ice hockey team (6-0-0, 5-0-0 SUNYAC) erased a two-goal deficit to defeat Buffalo State (2-5-1, 1-4-1 SUNYAC), 5-4, Friday night at the Campus Center Ice Arena.

The Lakers scored four straight goals over an 11-minute span between the second and third periods to overcome four Bengal power-play goals.

Senior Paul Rodrigues (Etobicoke, Ontario) joined linemates Jon Whitelaw (Sr., Huntsville, Ontario) and Luke Moodie (Sr., Oakville, Ontario) in the 100-point club early in the third period, becoming the 50th member of the group one game after Moodie reached the milestone.

In a penalty-riddled first period that saw the Lakers whistled for seven penalties, the Buffalo State power-play unit capitalized on its chances scoring a pair of goals. The first goal came at 8:49 in the frame shortly after Oswego State fended off a 5-on-3 situation. Ben Kramer took a shot from the point that hit traffic in the slot. Matt Bessing was in the right place at the right time, as he got his stick on the loose puck and put it just inside the left post.

During a Bengal 5-on-3 opportunity later in the stanza, Bessing passed from the left face-off circle to Brett Hope, who was camping out at the right pipe. Hope scored his first goal of the season at 15:12. Three minutes later, David Titanic (Jr., Markham, Ontario) put the Lakers on the scoreboard with his second goal of the year. Chris Brown (Sr., Centreville, Ontario) and Titanic skated into the zone with both teams skating 4-on-4. Brown took a shot on the right side that bounced off a Buffalo State defender to Titanic, who found the back of the net with less than two minutes left in the first.

The score remained 2-1 at the first intermission, but Oswego State was called for roughing with 15 seconds to play giving Buffalo State the extra attacker at the score of the second period. Trevor McKinney made the home team pay ten seconds into the stanza with a wrist shot that went just under the crossbar to make the score, 3-1.

Zach Josepher (Sr., Wantagh, N.Y.) made a key defensive play in the Lakers’ end late in the second, blocking a shot during a 3-on-1 rush allowing Oswego State to counterattack with an odd-man rush of its own. Brown fed Luke Moodie (Sr., Oakville, Ontario) at the bottom of the circle. Moodie, then, rewarded Josepher for his efforts to get back into the play by feeding him a pass for the tap-in goal at 16:34.

The Lakers were not done, though, as they scored a power-play goal of their own with less than a minute left in the period following a high sticking penalty. After a series of tic-tac-toe passes from Chris Muise (Sr., Oakville, Ontario) deep in the zone to Jesse McConney (Sr., Barrie, Ontario) at the center of the blue line to Chris Ayotte (Sr., Cornwall, Ontario), who was waiting at the top of the circle to uncork a one-timer that got past Carr to even the score at 3-3 heading into the final 20 minutes of play.

With the teams skating 4-on-4, Rodrigues completed the comeback with his 40th career goal and 100th career point at 3:29 in the third when some nifty puck handling in the offensive zone allowed him to shed a defender and wrist a shot past Carr to give Rodrigues the milestone.

Rodrigues and Moodie later connected on a 2-on-1 rush at 8:05 to make the score 5-3 in favor of the home team. Moodie tapped in a pass that came across ice from right to left over Carr, who went to the ice. Brown also earned an assist on the play.

Buffalo State pulled to within one at 19:12 after Matt Bessing scored for the Bengals’ fourth power-play goal with two extra attackers courtesy of an empty net. With 31 seconds on the clock, the Bengals called timeout to set up a final play with Kevin Carr out of the net, but were unable to net the equalizer.

Andrew Hare (Sr., Burlington, Ontario) ended the game with 19 saves, including 11 in the first period, to improve to 5-0-0 on the season. Carr finished with 37 stops in the losing effort.

The Oswego State power play went 1-for-7, while the Bengals went 4-for-9 with the extra skater.

The Lakers host Fredonia on Saturday at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to bring canned goods to help stock the local food shelf for Thanksgiving.