OSWEGO, N.Y. – Paul Rodrigues started the scoring with two first-period goals for the Oswego State men’s ice hockey team and it never looked back as the Lakers opened SUNYAC play with a 5-2 win over Buffalo State Friday night in Oswego. The line of Ian Boots, Justin Fox, and Chris Laganiere combined to record three goals and four assists to clinch the victory for Oswego State, which improved to 3-0-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the league. Buffalo State was playing its first game of the season as it went to 0-1-0.
The Bengals had the first scoring opportunity four minutes into the game when Drew Klin had a point-blank shot on Laker goalie Paul Beckwith, but he was in position to make the initial save and stop the subsequent rebound. Oswego State went on the power-play after a Buffalo State holding penalty. The Lakers took advantage of the extra attacker when they put a flurry of shots on goal in front of goaltender Kevin Carr before Paul Rodrigues put away the loose puck 47 seconds into the power play. Jon Whitelaw and Luke Moodie were awarded assists on the goal, as Oswego State took a 1-0 advantage.
The Lakers doubled their lead at the 13:01 mark when Kevin Huinink’s slap shot from the right point was deflected by Chris Muise, who was in between the circles, and then again by Rodrigues for his second marker of the game. An Oswego State slashing penalty led to Buffalo State’s first goal of contest when Beckwith stopped Jason Cleaver’s shot from the right point, but the rebound went onto the stick of James Durham for the open net goal at 17:56 with 11 seconds remaining on the penalty. Kyle Granville also received an assist.
However, with 27 seconds left in the frame, Ian Boots found Chris Laganiere, who laced a pass from the left circle to linemate Justin Fox. Fox, who was crashing to the net up the center of the rink, made no mistake on the one-time shot to help Lakers go ahead 3-1 heading into the locker room.
The score stood at 3-1 following the completion of the second period, but the Bengals pulled back to within one goal at 4:04 when Zach Hale capitalized on an Oswego State turnover in its defensive zone while the Lakers were short-handed. Cleaver earned his second assist of the evening with Justin Knee also earning a helper. The goal lifted the spirits of the visiting team as it turned up the pressure in the stanza.
As the tension mounted in front of the home crowd, Boots provided a much-needed goal for the team as his wrist shot went just under the crossbar after receiving a pass from Dan Bremner at 14:05. Oswego State regained control of the tempo from that point on. Fox tacked on an empty net goal in the final minute as the Lakers escaped with the 5-2 victory.
Paul Beckwith tallied 29 saves on 31 shots, while Carr finished with 32 saves. Both squads were successful on the power play, as Oswego State went 2-for-7 and Buffalo State went 2-for-6.