Oswego State men’s ice hockey team headed to Frozen Four

ADRIAN, Mich. – Senior forward Paul Rodrigues (Etobicoke, Ontario) provided memories of last year’s NCAA semifinal game when he scored on a pass from Luke Moodie (Sr., Oakville, Ontario) with 6:28 left in overtime, as the No. 3/5 Oswego State men’s ice hockey team (24-4-0) defeated No. 6/7 Adrian (23-2-3) in the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Quarterfinal Saturday night at the Arrington Ice Arena.

Oswego State out-shot the Bulldogs, 55-33, and snapped Adrian’s 17-game winning streak, as the Lakers make their unprecedented fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Frozen Four. Oswego State will face Norwich on March 15 at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y. Game time is slated for 4 p.m.

Adrian was called for tripping three minutes into the first period followed by a roughing penalty to give the Lakers two power-plays early in the frame. It was the second chance that allowed Chris Brown (Sr., Centreville, Ontario) to handle the puck along the near boards before lacing a backhand pass cross-ice to Muise near the top of the left faceoff circle. Muise carried the puck into the slot and wristed a shot that beat Bulldog goalie Scott Shackell blocker side at 6:11. Tyler Leimbrock (Sr., Bolton, Ontario) was also credited with an assist on the play.

Late in the first, Oswego State nearly took a two-goal lead but Shackell stretched out his left leg as far as he could to get his toe on a Jon Whitelaw (Sr., Huntsville, Ontario) shot. The Lakers took their 1-0 lead into the locker room, while owning a 20-6 shots on goal advantage.

It became a tie game at 3:35 in the second period when an Oswego State hooking penalty led to Adrian’s first goal of the game. Josh Ranalli’s wrist shot in the slot beat Laker goalie Andrew Hare (Sr., Burlington, Ontario) after he received a pass from Josh Cousineau. Two minutes later, Cousineau danced through the Oswego State defense forcing Hare to commit before Cousineau found Shaquille Merasty camping out on the right post for the open net goal.

Midway through the frame, both squads started to increase the physicality with each team sending players to the box.

With the period drawing to the close, Moodie threw a puck on goal along the goal line. Shackell made the stop, but the rebound went right to Whitelaw, who pounded the puck home. Tim Carr (Sr., Burlington, Ontario) assisted the goal that evened the score at two with 1:10 left in the stanza after Adrian out-shot the Lakers, 12-8.

The third period was a seesaw battle, but Whitelaw had two isolated chances against Shackell, as the host goalie came up with the save on both opportunities. The Bulldogs swarmed the net late in the game as Oswego State was caught in a long shift, but the hosts were kept off the board as the teams skated into overtime.

Adrian nearly ended the game in the first minute of extra time, but Hare and the Laker defense somehow managed to keep the puck out of the net.  Oswego State started to press the issue as the Lakers applied pressure in the offensive zone.

After the Bulldogs cleared the puck, Taylor Farris (Sr., Oakville, Ontario) sent a pass right back to Rodrigues as he curled outside the blue line. He carried it in the zone when he passed to Moodie on the near boards and Rodrigues crashed the net. Moodie slid a pass under the defenseman’s stick to Rodrigues for his fourth career overtime goal.

Oswego State’s Hare finished the game with 31 saves, while his counterpart, Scott Shackell registered 52 saves in a losing effort. Both teams went 1-for-4 on the power play.