The Oswego State men’s hockey team picked up a pair of victories at home against Plattsburgh State and SUNY Potsdam on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5 in the Deborah F. Stanley Ice Arena.
Whiteout weekend is a special event at Oswego State, the team wears their classic white jerseys and all of the fans in attendance wear white shirts to create a wild atmosphere. The Lakers were able to pick up a 5-1 win against their rival, the Plattsburgh State Cardinals and the fans were ecstatic throughout the whole contest. Oswego State struck first with a Matt McQuade goal with just over four minutes left in the first period. McQuade continues his hot start to his season, his first as a Laker, picking up an assist later in the contest and giving him four points on the year. Two second-period goals off of the sticks of Tommy Cahill and Shane Bull gave the Lakers a 3-0 lead heading into the final period. Defenseman Ryan Dickinson scored with under just five minutes to go in the third, but the Cardinals answered back with their first goal of the game courtesy of Jack Ring with 4:33 left. The Lakers capped off their victory with an empty net goal from Thomas Rocco with eight seconds left on an assist from Drake Semrad. Goaltender Cal Schell made his Oswego State debut and did so in extraordinary fashion, stopping 28 of the 29 shots he faced, also earning himself SUNYAC player of the week, along with his teammate Bull.
The Lakers were right back in action the next day as they took on the SUNY Potsdam Bears in game number two of the whiteout weekend. The scoring got started early as Bull scored just 2:33 into the game, extending his goal-scoring streak to three. That would not be the only scoring for the period, Connor Smart scored his first goal of the season with 6:19 left in the period, a big goal for him after being a scratch the night before. Not long after the Smart goal, Bull would net his second of the period to extend the Laker lead to three. In the second period, the Lakers would go up 4-0 at the 17:53 mark on a goal from Alex DiCarlo, his first of the season after missing the first two contests of the season. The Bears would storm back as they scored just under ten minutes left on a goal from Garrett McCarthur and another goal from Drew Rose with about five and a half minutes left in the period. Fortunately, the Lakers were able to weather through the storm and hold off Potsdam’s late comeback, getting an insurance goal from captain Ryan Bunka with 9:11 left on an assist from Bull who earned his third point of the game. Cal Schell left the game after the first period, with Richie Parent taking over and holding his own in order to secure the win. A massive weekend for the Lakers as they picked up two conference wins and moved up two spots in the Div.III rankings, going from number ten up to number eight.
So far so good for the Lakers, they are now 3-1 and seem to have found their style of play early in the season. With that being said, there are some areas of their game that do need some work, such as the special team’s units who have been lackluster through four games. Head coach Ed Gosek does believe that the special team needs to improve going forward.
“When it comes to special teams, we need to get better,” Gosek said. “I will continue to move people around, change some things up here, pretty simple, what are we doing? How is it working? Our percentages are not good on special teams.”
The production that the Lakers have received from their new players this season has been a major factor in their impressive start. Three newcomers are currently top five in point production so far this season, with those players being Rocco and McQuade with four each, followed by Daniel Colabufo with three. Gosek praises the impact these players have had on his team this year.
“They have all had an impact on our team, they all have good hockey IQ, they all have good speed and they are all pushing some of the returners,” Gosek said. “That’s a positive, they are all fitting in, their personalities, they are hard workers and they are an important part of this team now and going forward.”
One player who has made his mark so far this season has been Shane Bull. So far this season, Bull leads the team in goals this year with four and the more impressive note is that he has played both forward and defense. Bull attributes his competitiveness as the key to his success so far this season.
“Just compete and bring my A-game every single night,” Bull said. “I just wanna have that puck and take it to the net whenever I can.”
The Lakers will begin their road trip on Nov. 11 when they take on SUNY Cortland in another big early-season conference game.
Photo via Oswego Athletics