OSWEGO, N.Y. – In a battle of nationally-ranked teams, the second-ranked Oswego State men’s ice hockey team (10-2-2) suffered a 3-0 loss to 11th-ranked Neumann University (9-3-0) in the championship game of the Pathfinder Bank/Oswego Hockey Classic Saturday afternoon. It marked the first time the Lakers were shut out since January 18, 2002 against RIT in a 5-0 decision.
The first period was a back-and-forth affair as both teams had scoring chances, but were unable to convert for a scoreless game at the intermission. Oswego State had two power-play opportunities that produced seven shots on goal in the middle of the frame that were stopped by Knight netminder Ross MacKinnon.
Neumann ended the deadlocked contest 8:20 into the second period when Steve Gervais one-timed a wrist shot in the slot top shelf past Laker goalie Andrew Hare (Jr., Burlington, Ont.). Jordan Zalba hit Gervais with the pass from behind the net for his second goal of the season. William Lacasse was also awarded the second assist. The Knights struck again at 16:47 when tournament MVP Cory Park banked in a rebound after Hare made three saves while Neumann was on the power play.
Oswego State got on the scoreboard at the start of the third period after the Lakers had just killed off a penalty to start the frame. Chris Ayotte (Jr., Cornwall, Ont.) skated in alone against MacKinnon, but Ayotte’s wrist shot went off the right pipe to keep the shutout bid intact. Midway through the stanza, Zalba added his second point of the night when he scored during a 5-on-3 situation at 11:20 with the assist going to Mike Rey to put Neumann ahead 3-0.
Andrew Hare finished with 25 saves for the host squad, while MacKinnon, an all-tournament selection, tallied 32 stops in the shutout victory.
Oswego State was whistled for 12 penalties totaling 62 minutes compared to the Knights, who were called for four penalties totaling eight minutes.
Joining Park and MacKinnon on the Pathfinder Bank/Oswego Hockey Classic All-Tournament Team were Oswego State’s Taylor Farris (Jr., Oakville, Ont.) and Luke Moodie (Jr., Oakville, Ont.), Connecticut College’s Sean Curran, and Hamline University’s Danny Muck.
The Lakers return to action at the Campus Center Ice Arena on Friday, January 13 when they host Curry College at 7 p.m.