OSWEGO, N.Y. – The second-ranked Oswego State men’s ice hockey team (10-2-0) special team units did not appear to have missed a beat after three weeks off, as the Lakers defeated Plymouth State (8-2-0), 6-2, on the first day of the 2012 Pathfinder Bank Oswego State Hockey Classic.
Head coach Ed Gosek’s squad scored four power-play goals, all in the first period, as the Panthers were called for 12 penalties for 46 minutes in the game. The Laker penalty-kill unit was a perfect 0-for-3.
Captain Jon Whitelaw (Sr., Huntsville, Ontario) returned to action for the first time since November 9 in a big way by recording three points on a goal and an assist, while Chris Ayotte (Sr., Cornwall, Ontario) scored back-to-back power-play goals in the final four minutes of the first period.
The Lakers went on the offensive attack early when they had three power-play chances in the first five minutes of the contest. However, Plymouth State was the team to get on the scoreboard first. Andrew Wigg caused a turnover at the Oswego State blue line for a short-handed, breakaway goal that went in the top left corner of the net in the first shot that Daniel Jones (Sr., Richmond Hill, Ontario) faced at the 4:40 mark.
It did not take long for the Lakers to even the score still on the power play, as Jesse McConney (Sr., Barrie, Ontario) laced a slap shot from the center of the blue line that found its way just inside the right post past Jack Astedt. Chris Brown (Sr., Centreville, Ontario) fed McConney for his second goal of the season at 5:12.
The line of Whitelaw, Luke Moodie (Sr., Oakville, Ontario), and Paul Rodrigues (Sr., Etobicoke, Ontario) teamed up to score two goals in a 90-second span midway through the frame. Whitelaw wristed a shot from the left faceoff circle into the back of the net during a 2-on-1 rush after the Panther defenseman committed to Rodrigues, who was skating up center ice, at 10:47. The trio struck again eight seconds into a Plymouth State high-sticking penalty when Moodie buried a shot in the slot after a series of tic-tac-toe passes from Rodrigues and Whitelaw.
Kyle Greco pulled the Panthers to within one goal at 3-2 one second after Oswego State killed off a high-sticking penalty of its own. Travis Stevens and Zach Fox were awarded assists on the play, which occurred with 4:43 left in the stanza.
However, Plymouth State was whistled for a pair of penalties before the end of the period and Chris Ayotte made them pay. He delivered two one-timers near the right faceoff circle early in both power-plays to give Oswego State a 5-2 lead at intermission.
The second period yielded no scoring for either squad, and the lone goal of the third period came at 1:15 when Chris Carr (So., Burlington, Ontario) converted a turnover in the neutral zone into his fourth marker of the season.
Daniel Jones picked up his second win in his first start of the season after turning away 27 saves, including 12 in the third period. Jack Astedt stopped 31 shots with 19 saves coming in the first period alone.
Oswego State will face Lawrence (5-7-0) in the championship game Monday at 4 p.m. in the Campus Center Arena. Castleton State will square off against Plymouth State at 1 p.m. in the consolation contest.