BUFFALO, N.Y. – The top-ranked Oswego State men’s ice hockey team return to action following 12 days off resulted in a 4-1 victory over host Buffalo State to kick off a five-game road trip Friday night. The Laker defensemen made their presence felt on the offensive end, as the unit combined to score five points on two goals and three assists. Oswego State improved to 16-2-0 overall and 9-0-0 in the league standings with the win. The Bengals dropped to 8-8-2 overall and 4-3-2 in the SUNYAC.
Hank Van Boxmeer opened the scoring midway through the first period for the Lakers with his third goal of the season at 11:45 after receiving a pass from Ian Boots and Tim Carr. The goal was the lone score of the frame as Oswego State went into intermission with a 1-0 lead.
Buffalo State evened the contest at one goal apiece at 6:40 in the second period when Jim Durham scored a rare short-handed goal against the Laker power play unit. The score remained tied until Andrew Mather got the puck past Bengal goalie Kevin Carr at 14:05 for the eventual game-winning goal. Jon Whitelaw and Boots were awarded assists on the play. Whitelaw doubled the lead near the end of the stanza with his eighth marker of the season and assists going to Carr and Kevin Huinink.
Oswego State tacked on another goal before the end of the game as Chris Brown and Paul Rodrigues hit Stephen Mallaro for his third goal of the year at the 11:50 mark to seal the win. Buffalo State had a golden opportunity to cut into the lead minutes later when the Bengals held a two-skater advantage for 1:57. However, the Laker penalty kill unit withstood the pressure, keeping Buffalo State off the scoreboard to preserve the win. The Bengals ended the game going 0-for-6 on the power play.
Oswego State goaltender Paul Beckwith registered 16 saves in his first game since December 4 when he posted a 4-0 shutout win against Geneseo. Buffalo State’s Carr finished the game with 36 saves, including 19 in the second period, in the losing effort.
The Lakers wrap up the weekend at Fredonia on Saturday for a 7 p.m. tilt.