Oswego State men’s ice hockey team closes out 2012 with a championship

OSWEGO, N.Y. – The No. 2-Oswego State men’s ice hockey team (11-2-0) ended 2012 with a 7-2 victory against Lawrence University to earn its fourth-ever Pathfinder Bank/Oswego State Hockey Classic Championship trophy and first since the 2009-10 season.

Jesse McConney (Sr., Barrie, Ontario) was named Most Valuable Player after tallying six points on three goals and three assists, including a pair of goals and a pair of assists in the title game. Chris Ayotte (Sr., Cornwall, Ontario) was also named to the all-tournament team following his third power-play goal of the weekend Monday afternoon.

The Vikings went on the offensive early in the contest when they had a 5-on-3 situation for 1:14 in the opening two minutes. Zach Josepher (Sr., Wantagh, N.Y.), Chris Brown (Sr., Centreville, Ontario), and McConney kept Lawrence at bay for all but five seconds of the two-skater advantage, as the scoreboard remained blank.

The Lakers scored the first of four power-play goals at 7:55 in the first. Brown fed Nick Rivait (So., Kingsville, Ontario) at the blue line. Rivait’s shot was blocked, but landed on the tape of Chris Muise’s (Sr., Oakville, Ontario) stick for the open net.

Just over five minutes later, Denton King (Fr., Pense, Saskatchewan) created an offensive opportunity for Oswego State when he sent a no-look pass from the net along the board into the slot with hopes of finding an open player. David Titanic (Jr., Markham, Ontario) pounced on the shot as he hustled off the bench for his third goal of the year.

Oswego State was not done scoring in the first period, though, as Chris Ayotte lit the lamp with another one-timed blast for the circle at 16:37 to put the Lakers ahead 3-0 at the break after out-shooting the visitors, 17-6.

Lawrence started the second period with increased intensity resulting in a pair of Viking goals to make the score, 3-2. Phil Bushbacher put the visitors on the scoreboard at 7:36 in the stanza, while William Thoren cut the deficit in half on a power-play slap shot off a faceoff with 1:04 left in the period.

The Lakers responded right away in the third period when McConney scored his first goal of the game 19 seconds into an Oswego State power play with a slap shot that found its way through traffic at the 1:19 mark. Jon Whitelaw (Sr., Huntsville, Ontario) and Paul Rodrigues (Sr., Etobicoke, Ontario) earned assists on the play.

Minutes later, the Oswego State power play struck again when Tyler Leimbrock (Sr., Bolton, Ontario) dove for a puck that was sliding through the crease from Muise and Brown. Leimbrock got enough of his stick on the puck to send it past Lawrence goalie Fabian Sivnert to make the score, 5-2.

McConney scored his second goal at 14:19 with another shot from the blue line after receiving a series of passes from Whitelaw and Taylor Farris (Sr., Oakville, Ontario). Oswego State’s final goal came with 2:23 remaining in the game following RJay Berra’s (So., Prince George, British Columbia) second marker of the season with an assist going to McConney.

Oswego State ended the game with a 42-21 advantage in shots on goal, while going 4-for-9 on the power play as Andrew Hare (Sr., Burlington, Ontario) registered 19 saves. Lawrence went 1-for-6 with the extra attacker as Sivnert finished the contest with 35 saves.

Joining McConney and Ayotte on the all-tournament team were Lawrence’s Fabian Sivnert and Brad Scurfield, Castleton State’s Brian Greene, and Plymouth State’s Zach Fox.

Oswego State opens 2013 with a pair of road games at Elmira on Friday and Utica on Saturday.