OSWEGO, NY – The No. 1-ranked Oswego State men’s ice hockey team tied No. 9/10 Plattsburgh 3-3 in overtime for the second-straight year at home, getting a crucial point in the SUNYAC standings at the Marano Campus Center Arena on Friday night.
Oswego (17-2-4, 12-1-2) still holds a one-point advantage over the Cardinals (17-5-2, 12-2-1) in the league, so with a tie or win in the regular-season finale against Potsdam on Saturday, the Lakers would secure the regular season SUNYAC crown.
Plattsburgh scored the game’s first goal just 1:44 into the contest, as Connor Toomey took the puck from the neutral zone, around the net and found Brandon O’Quinn for the tally.
Oswego responded at 8:01, however, as Shawn Hulshof intercepted a pass from a Cardinal who was trying to make a line change, and skated into Plattsburgh territory, ripping a shot that beat Brady Rouleau.
It was a sign of things to come, as the two squads traded goals in each period except extra time.
The next goal belonged to the Lakers, as Mitchell Herlihey got off a great chance but Rouleau made a kick save.
That save bounced right to the stick of Mike Montagna, and the senior was not wasteful, banging home the rebound to take what would be Oswego’s only advantage of the night.
Oswego seemed to be dominating the second, so Plattsburgh decided to take a timeout less than halfway through the middle period. It paid dividends as Kyle Hall scored from Ayrton Valente and Luke Baleshta just moments after returning to the ice.
The 2-2 tie would hold into the final intermission.
After 40 minutes of clean hockey, the penalties started to come in the third, as eight infractions were whistled in the final 20 minutes.
The Cardinals’ third, and final, goal came from Toomey as he kept control of the puck during a delayed penalty on Oswego. A few Laker defenders seemed to have poked the puck away but Toomey kept possession and found the back of the net for a 3-2 lead.
Oswego would capitalize on its lone power-play opportunity at 9:17, after Plattsburgh was whistled for tripping.
Alex Botten, Andrew Barton and Nick Rivait formed a triangle by the corner the blue line and boards, and after a few quick passes, Rivait blasted a wrister past Rouleau’s left shoulder and into the twine.
The senior’s goal was his second of the year and was the equalizer that would push the game to a fourth period and eventually a tie.
The Lakers’ special teams was pivotal in the contest, going 1-for-1 on its extra-man opportunity while holding the Cardinals scoreless in each of their five chances, all in the third period.
No penalty kill was more instrumental than the one that consumed all but the final 11 seconds of overtime.
After Mike Wills was called for hooking at 17:49, Oswego fought off the threat to secure the point.
Matt Zawadzki made 30 saves in the contest, including a few spectacular denials, to move to 10-2-2 on the year.
It was a team effort on defense, as shown by Kenny Neil’s block with around eight minutes remaining. Zawadzki made a save but was trying to recover on the rebound opportunity when Neil dove in front of the crease, stopping the puck so the Lakers could prevent a goal and clear the zone.
The Lakers will be back at it at 7 p.m. on Saturday when the Bears of Potsdam come to campus.
Oswego will celebrate Senior Night on Saturday, with a post-game ceremony to recognize its six graduating student-athletes.