OSWEGO, N.Y. – After falling into an early two-goal hole, the Oswego State men’s ice hockey team (1-0-0, 1-0-0 SUNYAC) fought back to earn a 7-4 win over Cortland (0-1-0, 0-1-0 SUNYAC) on Friday in the season opener for both squads. Seven different Lakers from three separate lines scored for a balanced Oswego State offensive attack, as Chris Ayotte, Luke Moodie and Jon Whitelaw each finished with one goal and two assists.
The first period provided enough entertainment for an entire contest, as the teams combined to post five goals in the stanza.
Tyler Leimbrock (Sr., Bolton, Ontario) nearly opened the scoring for Oswego State 2:50 into the contest, but the goal was waved off by the officials due to the net becoming dislodged. On the ensuing shift, Cortland skated down the length of the rink, and Ryan Wagner pounced on a rebound left in front of the net. A.J. Moyer earned an assist on the play.
With both squads skating 4-on-4 minutes later, Moyer capitalized on a Laker defensive miscue when his shot from the right face-off circle went just inside the far post at the 5:26 mark. The goal prompted head coach Ed Gosek to switch goaltenders after Andrew Hare (Sr., Burlington, Ontario) made one save on three shots.
Luke Moodie (Sr., Oakville, Ontario) got the Lakers back into the game when his shot from the slot made it a one-goal contest 15 seconds into a Cortland slashing penalty. A series of tic-tac-toe passes from Jon Whitelaw (Sr., Huntsville, Ontario) and Chris Ayotte (Sr., Cornwall, Ontario) led to the opening for Moodie at 8:24.
Later in the frame, Paul Rodrigues (Sr., Etobicoke, Ontario) carried the puck into the zone with Whitelaw on the other side of the ice. Rodrigues held on to the puck long enough to draw the defenseman, as he slid the puck to Whitelaw for the goal to tie the game at 15:34.
However, the scoring was not finished for the period as a Cortland highsticking penalty led to a Jesse McConney (Sr., Barrie, Ontario) goal with three minutes to play. Rodrigues fed Whitelaw the puck from behind the goal, who in turn hit McConney with the pass at the center of the blue line. His shot clanged off the left pipe into the net to give the Lakers a 3-2 lead heading into intermission.
Oswego State doubled its lead six minutes into the second period when Zach Josepher (Sr., Wantagh, N.Y.) hustled through the neutral zone to create an odd-man rush for the home team. He was rewarded for his efforts when he wristed a shot into the upper left 90 of the goal. Moodie and Matt Singleton (Sr., Whitby, Ont.) were credited with assists on the play.
Cortland pulled back to within one following a Moyer power-play goal 14 minutes into the stanza, but Ayotte notched his first goal of the season after receiving a pass from Kyle Badham (Jr., Oakville, Ontario) to make the score 5-3 at intermission.
The Red Dragons were not done yet, though, as sloppy play by the Lakers in the defensive zone led to a goal by Michael Lysyj eight minutes into the final period. Later in the frame, Cortland was forced to call timeout at 12:43 when the Red Dragons iced the puck after a long defensive shift in an effort to let the players on the ice catch their breath. The play backfired as Tim Carr’s (Sr., Burlington, Ontario) slap shot from the left point made its way through traffic after Ayotte won the ensuing draw. Assistant captain Chris Brown (Sr., Centreville, Ontario) added a shorthanded, empty net goal with 1:27 remaining to make the final score, 7-4.
Daniel Jones (Sr., Richmond Hill, Ontario) posted 17 saves in relief of Hare to register the win. Geoff Sadjadi made 20 saves in the losing effort.
The Lakers went 2-for-5 with the extra attacker, while Cortland was 1-for-5.
Oswego State will host Elmira on Saturday at 7 p.m.