BUFFALO, NY – Kenny Neil’s goal in the final minute of regulation lifted the Oswego State men’s ice hockey team over host Buffalo State 4-3 on Friday night at the Ice Arena. The Lakers erased a three-goal deficit in the second period and Neil’s second goal of the contest secured the victory in the team’s SUNYAC and regular season opener.
Buffalo State grabbed the lead in the first period as Nick Melligan scored at 14:03 on a pass from Ben Kramer. The 1-0 advantage lasted through to the first intermission.
In the second period, Oswego was whistled for two penalties just 1:08 apart and Buffalo State capitalized with a goal from Melligan at 3:08. Bobby Gertsakis was then caught for a high-stick and Melligan took advantage once again, capturing a hat trick just 45 seconds later, giving the Bengals a 3-0 lead.
Oswego was not discouraged, however, and clawed back into the contest before the second intermission.
Buffalo State’s Nick Berst was called for a game misconduct for checking from behind at 5:18 and the Bengals’ Taylor Pryce compounded the penalty with a holding penalty just 18 seconds later.
Chris Carrscored the Lakers’ first goal of the season at 6:46 on the power play. The senior’s goal was assisted by Mac Scott and Stephen Johnson.
Neil notched his first goal of the outing under two minutes after Carr’s, cutting the Bengal advantage to just one goal at 3-2. Neil’s second goal came with the help of Gertsakis and Shawn Hulshof.
Buffalo State was again penalized for checking from behind at 8:51, earning its second game misconduct, this one on Ben Kramer. The Lakers would score the equalizer before the period was over as Gertsakis cashed in a score off a Brandon Adams pass at 18:52.
Oswego controlled action in the third period and the hard-work came through at 19:16 as Neil scored from Hulshof and Mike Montagna.
As a team, the Lakers doubled-up the Bengals in shots (38-19) while holding a 33-30 edge in faceoff opportunities.
In net, Matt Zawadzki started for Oswego, making six saves and and allowing three goals in 23:53. Justin Gilbert relived the sophomore and shutout Buffalo State over the final 36:07, collecting 10 saves.
Oswego will bring its 1-0 record down the road for a 7 p.m. contest against conference-foe Fredonia on Nov. 1.