MINNEAPOLIS – The Oswego State men’s ice hockey team tied the game against Adrian 1:18 into the third period, but a Bulldog goal just over a minute later proved to the game-winner, as the Lakers fell, 5-3, in the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Semifinal contest on Friday afternoon at Ridder Arena. Oswego State saw its season end at 23-5-0, while Adrian improved to 25-3-1.
The Lakers had two odd-skater rushes early in the first period, but were unable to get quality shots on Bulldog goaltender Brad Fogal. Scoring started midway through the frame when Adrian went on the power play at 12:39 after Oswego State was whistled for a tripping penalty. The Bulldogs capitalized on the opportunity as Laker goaltender Paul Beckwith stopped the initial shot by Joel Workman. However, Zach Graham was ready to pounce on the rebound to give Adrian the early 1-0 lead at 14:19. Brad Houston also received an assist on the play.
The Bulldogs struck again with 14.9 seconds remaining in the period when Andrew Dovey took control of an Oswego State turnover in its defensive zone. His shot from the left face-off circle found its way just inside the right post to put Adrian ahead 2-0 at the break.
Oswego State went on the attack 49 seconds into the second frame when the Bulldogs committed an interference penalty. Stephen Mallaro’s blast from the center of the blue line clanged off the top of the crossbar, but Andrew Mather one-timed a pass from Mallaro at the right face-off circle at 17:25 to pull the Lakers to within one. Jon Whitelaw was also credited with an assist on the play.
Adrian had another power-play chance at 8:26 after a boarding penalty, and it took 22 seconds for the Bulldogs to score as Shawn Skelly’s shot went between Beckwith’s legs into the back of the net to regain the two-goal edge. Oswego State had another extra-skater opportunity at 11:15 after a tripping penalty was called, but came up empty.
However, Adrian sent another skater to the penalty box shortly after the tripping penalty expired. Mather made the Bulldogs pay as he wristed a pass from Whitelaw into the top right-hand corner of the goal at 14:45 to make the score 3-2. Chris Laganiere received the second assist on the goal, which proved to be the last marker of the period.
All-American Ian Boots leveled the score 1:18 into the third period when he wristed a shot high glove-side past Fogal after he was fed a pass from David Titanic and Andrew Mather. Adrian answered back quickly at 2:23 when Skelly scored his second goal of the game with an assist going to Miller.
Both squads had power-play chances midway through the period to either cushion the lead or level the score. Oswego State controlled the puck in its offensive end for much of the way down the stretch, but were unable to find the back of the net, forcing the Lakers to call timeout with 1:12 to play and pull Beckwith. The Bulldogs added an empty-net goal with 42.6 seconds left by Mike Towns after a pass from Kyle Watson. Oswego State left the goal empty after facing a two-goal deficit, but could not capitalize.
Paul Beckwith finished the game with 26 saves, while Brad Fogal ended with 39 stops.