OSWEGO, N.Y. – The No. 2/2 Oswego State men’s ice hockey opened Whiteout Weekend in thrilling fashion as a Mitchell Herlihey overtime goal at 1:39 sent the home team past visiting Potsdam 5-4 on Friday night in the Marano Campus Center Arena.
With the triumph, the Lakers improve to 16-3-1 overall and 11-1-1 in the SUNYAC while the Bears drop to 6-13-2, 1-10-1.
Oswego has also clinched a SUNYAC Championship berth and cannot finish outside the top four places with three conference games remaining.
Just over a minute into the overtime, Chris MacMillan gained possession behind the Lakers’ net and sent an outlet pass to Kenny Neil, who was entering the ice on a line change. Neil received the pass and continued momentum up ice before dishing to Herlihey. The junior charged towards two defenders, split the pair, absorbed the hits from each player, retained the puck and slid in front of the goalie for a backhand winner.
In the final period, Oswego was put back on its heels after scoring early in the stanza to gain a 4-1 advantage.
The Bears rattled off three-straight goals – all the results of Laker penalties – to knot the game at 4-4 with 4:54 remaining in regulation. Oswego earned a late power-play chance but were unable to capitalize, giving way to extra-time and some heroics.
Freshman Jody Sullivan started the scoring in the contest very early, putting the Lakers on the board just 36 seconds into the first. Less than 2:30 later, Oswego put another tally up, this time as Stephen Johnson and David Ferreira found Joey Scorpio for a goal. Johnson also assisted on Sullivan’s goal.
The only goal of the second period was Andrew Barton’s, cashing in at 5:24 off passes from Neil and Herlihey.
Oswego’s early final period goal came as Joey Davies worked the puck behind the Potsdam net to Neil, who found senior classmate Shawn Hulshof in front of the net to make it 4-1 Oswego.
David Jacobson earned the win in a relief effort, stopping 22 shots from the Bears in 53:33 of work.
Whiteout Weekend continues at 7 p.m. on Saturday as arch-rival Plattsburgh comes to campus for a conference showdown.