OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego State men’s ice hockey team has been selected in the top five of both national preseason polls.
Oswego was named the No. 3 team in the country by USCHO.com on Tuesday night while D3hockey.com also placed the Lakers at No. 3 on Wednesday afternoon.
In the USCHO poll, Oswego earned 255 points, trailing University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point by just 16.
The unanimous No. 1 team is defending champion St. Norbert College, who nabbed all 20 first place votes and 300 points.
Fellow SUNYAC members earning a ranking by USCHO are Geneseo at No. 4 with 212 points and Plattsburgh in ninth, collecting 130 points. Oswego will face the Knights and Cardinals twice each while also facing Utica College and Hobart College, who are both receiving votes.
For the D3hockey poll, the Lakers held the same position in the poll but garnered 262 points, just nine back of No. 2 UW-Stevens Point. St. Norbert was again a unanimous selection at the top spot, taking all 20 first place votes.
Oswego opened the season last Saturday with an impressive 5-3 win over the U.S. National Under-18 team in an exhibition game.
The Lakers became just the second Division III team to beat the U.S. U-18 squad in the last two years.
In 2014-15, Oswego will fuse 24 returning players with five freshman and two transfers in its quest for a sixth-straight Frozen Four appearance and a second national championship.
Captain Bobby Gertsakis, along with assistant captains Nick Rivait and Denton King, will anchor a deep and experienced defense. Not only do the defenseman wreak havoc on opponents’ offenses, Gertsakis and Rivait are some of the nation’s best in starting the team’s offensive transition.
Gertsakis (0.87) ranked seventh nationally in assists per game during the 2013-14 campaign while Rivait placed 25th (0.74).
On offense, Oswego will be powered by reigning SUNYAC Rookie of the Year and the team’s point leader (36) from a year ago, Matt Galati. Galati will be aided by a host of teammates, including fellow 30-point getters from last season, Alex Botten (34) and Mike Montagna (30).
Transfer Joey Davies (University of Alaska-Fairbanks) has already showed his potential to be an offensive threat with two goals and an assist against the U.S. U-18 squad.
The Lakers will begin the regular season at 7 p.m. on Friday when they travel to start its SUNYAC slate against Buffalo State.