OSWEGO, N.Y. – Another chapter was added to one of the most storied rivalries in college hockey as Andrew Hare registered 27 saves to give the No. 1-ranked Oswego State men’s ice hockey team (20-2-2, 13-0-2 SUNYAC) a 3-0 win over fourth-ranked Plattsburgh (16-4-4, 11-3-1 SUNYAC) Friday night in front of a sellout crowd. It was Hare’s second shutout of the season that locked the top seed in the conference playoffs for the Lakers, who are unbeaten in six straight games against the Cardinals.
After a Plattsburgh interference penalty created a 4-on-4 situation, Tyler Leimbrock (Jr., Bolton, Ont.) got the ensuing faceoff back to Jesse McConney (Jr., Barrie, Ont.) at the blue line. McConney snapped a shot through traffic past Cardinal goalie Mathieu Cadiuex for his sixth goal of the season to get the home team on the scoreboard at 6:06 in the first.
With five minutes left on the scoreboard in the period, Plattsburgh nearly leveled the contest while on the power play, but Laker goaltender Andrew Hare (Jr., Burlington, Ontario) made two consecutive saves to keep the Cardinals from lighting the lamp. Minutes later, Jon Whitelaw (Jr., Huntsville, Ont.) doubled the margin to two goals when he was the beneficiary of a series of passes from Luke Moodie (Jr., Oakville, Ont.) and Paul Rodrigues (Jr., Etobicoke, Ont.) during a 3-on-2 rush.
Plattsburgh gained momentum at the end of the second period, though, when it gained a two-minute, two-skater advantage for the final 42.6 seconds of the frame, spilling over into the third period trailing by two goals. However, the Laker penalty-kill unit and Hare were up to the challenge keeping the shutout bid alive.
Oswego State took a three-goal lead at 7:05 in the third when a Zack Josepher (Jr., Wantagh, N.Y.) blast from the center of the blue line was deflected by a Plattsburgh defenseman right onto the tape of Chris Ayotte’s tape. Ayotte (Jr., Cornwall, Ont.) one-timed his shot top-shelf on Cadieux’s glove side with 23 seconds remaining on a Cardinal tripping penalty. Whitelaw was credited with the second assist. Plattsburgh tried to make a final charge, but was unable to get any shots past Hare.
Special teams were also a big component of the Laker win, as the power-play unit went 1-for-4, while fending off seven Cardinal power plays.
Andrew Hare moved to 17-2-2 on the year, while Cadieux finished with 25 saves in the losing effort.
Oswego State closes out the regular season tomorrow night against Potsdam at 7 p.m., as the program also recognizes its six seniors.