OSWEGO, N.Y. – The top-ranked Oswego State men’s ice hockey team (8-1-0, 7-1-0 SUNYAC) had a late third-period surge, but fell short of completing the comeback as it suffered a 2-1 loss to seventh-ranked Plattsburgh (7-2-1, 6-1-1) on Saturday night at the Campus Center Ice Arena.
The game also marked the end of the first half of the SUNYAC schedule for both teams.
With the teams skating 4-on-4 in the early stages of the first period, Paul Puglisi blasted a shot along the ice from the center of the blue line that went between Andrew Hare’s (Sr., Burlington, Ontario) legs at 5:10. Jared Docking and Jake Mooney earned assists on the play. The Lakers killed off a two-player disadvantage for 49 seconds than skated another player down for the next two minutes, 37 seconds without allowing Plattsburgh to strike again.
Alex Brenton forced a turnover near the blue line while the Cardinals were fending off a bench minor for too many men on the ice. He skated in alone, and wristed his shot past Hare at 13:00 in the first period to put Plattsburgh ahead 2-0, which was the score at intermission.
A series of Plattsburgh penalties gave the Lakers a skater edge from 2:52 to 7:32, including two stretches of a 5-on-3 advantage that spanned 49 and 31 seconds, respectively, but were unable to get on the scoreboard. Oswego State had a chance late in the period when Paul Rodrigues (Sr., Etobicoke, Ontario) had a point blank shot on Mathieu Cadieux, but ripped his shot off the right post.
Heading into the final period still trailing 2-0, the Laker penalty-kill unit fought off two more penalties in the first five minutes. Oswego State had back-to-back power plays midway through the frame following a pair of Cardinal hooking penalties. During the second power play, Cadieux made a series of strong saves to keep the Lakers off the board. However, with four seconds remaining on the second power play at 11:07, Bobby Gertsakis (So., Pickering, Ontario) blasted a shot high that bounced off the glass back to the crease where Chris Muise (Sr., Oakville, Ontario) buried the rebound to bring the sellout crowd to its feet.
Oswego State turned up the intensity from that point forward and rarely let the puck out of its offensive zone. The Lakers then pulled Hare with 1:03 remaining in regulation followed shortly by Plattsburgh calling timeout. However, Oswego State was unable to tie the game with the extra skater.
The Lakers finished the game 1-for-8 on the power play, while Plattsburgh went 0-for-6, but scored the short-handed goal in the first period.
Hare stopped 24 shots, including 13 saves in the first period, in his first loss of the season, while Cadieux finished the game with 34 saves.
The Lakers face a pair of ECAC West opponents next weekend, as they host Utica on Friday night at 7 p.m. and travel to Hobart on Saturday for a 7 p.m. tilt.