OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego State men’s ice hockey team (7-4-1) opened the 10th edition of the Pathfinder Bank/Oswego State Hockey Classic with an overpowering 8-1 victory over Castleton University (1-10-1) on Saturday night.
Oswego will now face No. 4 Adrian College in Sunday’s 4 p.m. championship game.
The Lakers will look for revenge on the Bulldogs, who beat the Lakers 5-4 in last season’s NCAA Championship quarterfinal matchup in Michigan.
In four meetings between the two programs, Oswego and Adrian each have a pair of wins.
Sunday action will start at 1 p.m. as Castleton will face No. 13 Williams College in the consolation tilt, after the nationally-ranked Ephs lost 4-1 to Adrian on Saturday.
Oswego was nearly perfect on special teams, scoring on three of its four extra-man opportunities while not allowing a tally from the Spartans on four chances. The only power play the Lakers did not score on was cut short by a penalty of their own, only registering a 32-second man-up situation.
All three power play goals came as part of the six-goal second period. Junior Alex Botten scored from Matt Galati and Stephen Johnson at exactly eight minutes. A little more than six minutes later, that same line was at it again, this time with Johnson getting the goal. With just 6.2 seconds showing in the middle period,Kenny Neil threw a backhanded puck over the Castleton goaltender’s glove for the third power play notch of the night.
Andrew Barton set the tone for Oswego in the game, scoring the team’s first two goals, including one in short-handed fashion. In the first five minutes of play, the Spartans looked to take advantage of a power-play but Barton quickly put a stop to those thoughts.
Mitchell Herlihey dove at the puck to knock it out of the Lakers’ offensive zone, and the result was an outlet pass to Barton that would lead to the score.
After taking the 1-0 edge into the first intermission, Barton got his second of the night, and the eventual game-winner, at 1:02 of the second period. Assists on the play went to Shawn Hulshof and Herlihey. Six minutes later, David Ferreira took his defender one-on-one, looked the goalie off as if he was going to drop a pass back in the zone, and then blasted a goal top shelf.
Between Oswego’s first and second extra-man goals, TJ Sneath and Connor Boyd recorded their first collegiate points, going for a goal and an assist on the team’s fourth score, respectively. Also in on the play was Johnson, earning an assist.
Neil posted the Lakers’ last goal at 4:52 in the third as Galati and Botten used crisp passing to find their classmate for his second of the night.
With just 4:09 remaining, Adrian Ignagni lost his shutout bid but still earned his fifth win of the year, stopping 28 shots, just two shy of his career mark.
The junior is now 5-1-0 on the year while boasting a 1.61 goals-against average.