GENESEO, N.Y. – Special teams and goaltending helped the No. 1-ranked Oswego State men’s ice hockey team withstand its toughest road test so far by shutting out host 10th-ranked Geneseo, 4-0, Saturday night. The Lakers went 2-for-4 on the power play, while goaltender Paul Beckwith posted his second shutout of the season with 35 saves.
Upon completion of the first half of the SUNYAC schedule, Oswego State now holds a five-point lead with an 8-0-0 conference record and an 11-0-0 overall mark. The Blue Knights moved to 8-3-2 overall and 5-2-1 in the league.
The Lakers silenced the home crowd early in the first period when Hank Van Boxmeer netted his second goal of the season with 16 seconds remaining on a Geneseo holding penalty at 5:16. Van Boxmeer intercepted a clearing attempt at the blue line, and took a shot that was deflected past Blue Knight keeper Cory Gershon. The goal proved to be the only score of the frame.
During the latter stages of the second period, Oswego State capitalized on another Geneseo penalty when Ian Boots and Andrew Mather fed Justin Fox for the goal at 16:43, doubling the Laker lead with one stanza remaining.
Another defenseman, Taylor Farris, stepped up in the third period with his first goal of the year at 3:11 after receiving a pass from Chris Muise and Mather. The Blue Knights would have power-play chances after the goal as the Lakers were whistled for a minor penalty and a major penalty. However, Oswego State stepped up to the challenge, killing off both opportunities to preserve the shutout. Jon Whitelaw tacked on the final goal of the game at 18:55 with the assist going to Stephen Mallaro.
The Lakers were outshot 35-25, but Beckwith came up with the big saves, including 17 in the second frame. Cory Gershon finished the game with 21 saves.
Oswego State returns to action on Friday in Oswego when it faces non-conference Utica at 7 p.m. for United Way Night. All fans are asked to bring non-perishable food items to help stock the five Oswego County food shelves.