PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – In a game that saw five combined special-teams goals, it was a pair of even-strength strikes that handed the No. 2 Oswego State men’s ice hockey team (21-4-0, 14-2-0 SUNYAC) a 4-3 loss to No. 9 Plattsburgh (18-6-1, 12-3-1) Saturday night.
The Lakers remain the No. 1 seed in the upcoming playoffs, and will host the lowest remaining seed following Wednesday’s play-in games on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.
Ticket information will be released on Sunday. The Cardinals are the No. 2 seed, and will host the highest remaining seed next Saturday as well.
The Lakers dealt the first blow when Jon Whitelaw (Sr., Huntsville, Ontario) dug out a puck along the far boards to Paul Rodrigues (Sr., Etobicoke, Ontario), who was deep in the zone. He hit Bobby Gertsakis (So., Pickering, Ontario) with a pass, as he was crashing to the back pipe. Gertsakis, then, extended his goal-scoring streak to four games with the power-play goal at 14:42 in the first.
Plattsburgh evened the score late in the frame with a power-play marker of its own when Mark Constantine got the puck past Laker goalie Andrew Hare (Sr., Burlington, Ontario) with assists going to Kevin Emmerling and Jared Docking.
With the score tied at 1-1 heading into the second, the Laker offense turned up the pressure on Cadieux, who made a several strong saves to keep the game tied. It was not until the 14:01 mark that the deadlock ended when Emmerling put away a rebound on another Cardinal power play to put the home team back in front.
Minutes later, Plattsburgh gained another power play following a Laker interference penalty. Matt Singleton (Sr., Whitby, Ontario) blocked a shot at the blue line creating a breakaway on Cardinal goalie Mathieu Cadieux, who came out of the net to try to poke the puck away.
Cadieux got a small piece of the puck, causing it roll around in the crease with Cadieux well out of position. David Titanic (Jr., Markham, Ontario) put a stick on it, scoring his ninth goal of the season.
Both squads appeared to be headed into intermission knotted at two, but Nick Jensen scored his sixth goal of the season at 18:39 to send Oswego State into the locker room trailing, 3-2.
Hare kept the Cardinals off the board early in the third when he stopped a pair of shots on a breakaway that would have resulted in a short-handed goal. However, Plattsburgh eventually doubled its lead at 7:45 when Emmerling capitalized on a Laker turnover behind the net and lifted his shot over Hare for his second goal of the game.
Midway through the period, Plattsburgh committed two penalties to give Oswego State a 5-on-3 situation. The Lakers scored 12 seconds into the two-skater advantage when Luke Moodie found the back of the net with a series of tic-tac-toe passes from Rodrigues and Whitelaw.
Oswego State pulled Hare with 46 seconds remaining in regulation, but was unable to net the equalizer to force overtime.
The Lakers ended the game 2-for-6 on the power play with one short-handed goal compared to Plattsburgh, which went 2-for-6 as well. Hare finished the game with 31 saves, while Cadieux ended with 26 stops.