OSWEGO, N.Y. – This weekend the Lakers will host the Plattsburgh Cardinals in the SUNYAC Championship game. This will be the first time since 2017 that the Lakers will host the Cardinals in the SUNYAC Championship.
The SUNYAC Championship is set for WHITEOUT 2.0 on Saturday, March 4th at 7PM.
Oswego will be hosting SUNYAC Rival for the conference Crown for the first time since 2017 and the way both teams got there in 2017 seems to be a bit of a deja vu.
In 2017 the Buffalo State Bengals prevailed over the Fredonia State Blue Devils by a score of 2-1, Geneseo took the first round victory over Brockport 7-0. In the second round the Cardinals took down the Knights of Geneseo by a score of 5-2, Oswego went on to take down Buffalo State by a score of 6-2. What will be exactly six years in the making, Oswego will take on the Cardinals in a SUNYAC Conference Championship rematch, hoping the results differ from 2017.
In the 2017 Conference Championship game, Shawn Hulshof recorded a goal and an assist for the Lakers along with the “Real Deal” Kenny Neil matching Hulshof, Galati earned two assists and Matt Zawsdzki had 23 total saves in the contest. With ten penalties in the contest, this year will seek to be a bit different, both teams have potent powerplays.
Fast forward six years and we sit in anticipation of the SUNYAC Championship back at the shores of Lake Ontario. With a very solid freshman goalkeeper, a strong blue line and a wonderful puck moving offense, the 2022-23 Laker roster looks to take their first conference championship trophy since March 8th, 2014.
This season the Lakers have battled injuries, adversity and some tough losses throughout the year but all that matters now is the game ahead of them. With a powerplay percentage of 20.4% efficiency the Lakers look to take advantage of any penalties endured by the Cardinals on Saturday. Oswego has held opponents to only 17 powerplay goals on the year and look to continue that trend. With only two unassisted goals all season, it really shows that they really are about sharing the puck.
Oswego has the advantage in faceoffs against opponents this year winning 910 faceoffs and only losing 772. This will help the Lakers pertain the puck in the offensive zone on icing calls that may happen throughout the contest.
Leading the Lakers in points this season is junior forward, Shane Bul. The Brooklin, Ontario native has racked up 19 assists and nine goals in 26 games played this season. Bull has a positive +/- rating of 17 which is second just behind veteran defenseman Ryan Dickinson (+20). Bull also leads the Lakers in assists with 19. Bull creates plays by getting into the corners and not being afraid to get hit, many assists of his come from his relentless forecheck and he will look to continue that this weekend.
Second in points for the Lakers is Alex DiCarlo, the Niagara Falls, Ontario native leads the Lakers in goals with 13 on the season in just 23 games. DiCarlo matches his goals with 13 assists coming into the weekend, totaling 26 total points. DiCarlo is a huge threat on the powerplay with an unbelievably quick release that goalies continue to struggle with tracking, DiCarlo is of course a household name at this point in Laker Hockey Country, yet he still surprises us with his vision, playmaking ability and just overall hockey knowledge.
In the net, Freshman Cal Schell has had an unreal first year for the Lakers, starting off the season with a 6-0 record, he did something that had never been done in Oswego State Men’s Ice Hockey history. In 1236:58 minutes of play this season, Schell has a goals against average of 2.13, allowing only eight powerplay goals and one short-handed goal. With 535 total save, Schell has a save percentage of .924. Schell comes into this weekend with a record of 14-7-1 with two shutouts on the season.
On Plattsburgh State’s side, Junior Bennett Stockdale out of Ottawa, Ontario has led the charge on offense with 15 goals and 10 assists, Bennett has scored only one goal in the three meetings between the Lakers and Cardinals this season.
Defenseman Jacob Modry sits second in points with four goals and 19 assists this year. Modry also leads the Cardinals with a positive +/- rating of 21. Modry isn’t shy to block shots either with 19 on the season, if the Lakers would like to get pucks to the net they are going to have to avoid lanes that WILL be clogged by Mitchell Hale on the offensive as well as Modry and Matt Araujo on defense.
WHITEOUT 2.0 tickets are available in person at the box office until sold out! Get your tickets now, they are going FAST!
The doors will open at 5:30 on Saturday, make sure you grab your seats as Renz Vecinal, a junior communications major will perform O’ CANADA and the STAR SPANGLED BANNER, trust me if you haven’t seen him yet, you will want to! GO LAKERS!!
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