By Nicholas Casella, intern
It is a dream scenario for Oswego’s and Plattsburgh’s hockey teams that they will meet for the third time this season, in the SUNYAC final. The game will be played in the SUNY Oswego Campus Center Arena at 7 p.m. Saturday in front of a sold out crowd.
The bitter rivalry has not lessened recently as Plattsburgh swept Oswego last year in all three matches, including the SUNYAC final overtime thriller, 5-4. But the Lakers have rebounded this season, besting the Cardinals twice in the regular season, 5-2 and 3-2.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well we really donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t rate too much into that. I mean right now our main concern isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Plattsburgh. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not disrespect to them its just right now weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re more worried about ourselves and how we handle the last three or four games.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The second ranked Lakers (24-2-0) may have a little more incentive to win than the Cardinals (18-4-4). Plattsburgh has ended OswegoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s season for the past two years, leaving the Lakers with something to prove.
Oswego coach Ed Gosek thinks that the keys to victory are work ethic, discipline, and solid goaltending.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Playoff time of year, when two teams are pretty equal, which we are. It usually comes down to goaltending, and special teams, penalty kill, and power play.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Lakers nearly faced a huge upset in their last game against Morrisville falling behind 3-0 but managed to come back to win 8-5 behind a hat trick from freshman Tyler Leimbrock and two goals from senior Neil Musselwhite.
Playing an opponent as skilled as Plattsburgh, Oswego can ill afford to commit the same mistakes and expect to come out on top. It is going to take a well balanced game offensively and defensively.
The sold out crowd will be donning the traditional white T-shirt for the game in hopes of creating a Ã¢â‚¬Å“white-outÃ¢â‚¬Â atmosphere.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got great fans and there are expectations,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Gosek. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The expectations here are to consistently have a team that works hard, is competitive and is right there.Ã¢â‚¬Â
If you cannot make it to the game it will be broadcast via live webcast at www.oswego.edu/athletics/live, or on the radio at 88.9 WNYO.