OSWEGO, N.Y. – Ben Waldman continued his post-season tear as he scored the game-winning goal 11:34 into overtime as No. 6-seed Fredonia upset the top-ranked Oswego State men’s ice hockey team, 2-1, in a SUNYAC semifinal game Saturday night in Oswego. The Laker offense ran into another hot goaltender in Mark Friesen, who registered 43 saves, including eight in the extra frame.
Oswego State, which fell to 22-4-0, will now await word from the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Selection Committee on Sunday, March 6 as to whether it will make the national tournament. Fredonia, which moved to 14-12-1, will travel to Plattsburgh to face the Cardinals on Saturday, March 5 at 7 p.m. with the winner earning an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The Blue Devils jumped out to the early lead as Alex Morton scored his tenth goal of the season on the game’s first power play with Mat Hehr earning the assist at 6:08. The score stayed at 1-0 heading into the first break.
Oswego State came out of the locker room with increased intensity as it began to apply more pressure to the Fredonia defense and Friesen. Midway through the period, Paul Rodrigues caused a neutral ice turnover to create a 2-on-1 opportunity. Rodrigues held on to the puck on the left side before sliding the pass through the slot to Luke Moodie on the left side. Moodie slid the puck behind Friesen as it went across the crease before the net became dislodged at 8:50 to tie the game at 1-1.
The Lakers continued to knock on the doorstep throughout the rest of the frame and well into the third period, but the game quickly became a battle between goaltenders as Oswego State goalie Paul Beckwith made 10 saves and Friesen made 17 saves in the final regulation period.
The home team had several scoring chances in overtime, but Friesen and the Blue Devil defense was up to the task. With the puck in the Oswego State zone, Mitch Kulikoski jumped on an errant clearing attempt, swinging the pass to Hehr, who found Waldman for the game-winning goal at 11:34.
Beckwith finished the game with 35 saves compared to Friesen’s 43. Oswego State went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Fredonia went 1-for-3.
The Blue Devils pulled off the same feat in 2007 when they defeated the Lakers in overtime, 3-2, in the SUNYAC Semifinal round. Oswego State went on to win the national championship that year after receiving an at-large berth.