Oswego State men’s hockey advances with shootout win


The Oswego State men’s hockey team was able to come from behind to tie against the SUNY Potsdam Bears to open play in the Comfort Inn Complex Winter Classic. The Lakers and Bears tied 3-3 prior to a shootout.

Rocco Andreacchi scored the lone goal in the shootout while Cal Schell was perfect between the pipes. The shootout win sends the Lakers to the championship game.

SUNY Potsdam scored first in the opening 20 minutes after Jack Bloem intercepted a pass from Ryan Bunka and put the puck glove side on Eric Green who started in the net for Oswego State. Bloem recorded his third goal of the season on the shot. 

After the Bears goal, the Lakers controlled the rest of the period and were able to generate more chances in the offensive zone. Oswego State head coach Ed Gosek noticed the team’s play on the offensive side of the game and the improvement that needs to happen moving forward.

“We had the opportunities, and our forwards did not come through,” Gosek said. “We have to be better on those for the amount of chances we had. There was a lot of grade A opportunities, and we did not bury on any of them.”

In the second period, the Bears would add another before Oswego State found the back of the net and were able to crack Stephen Friedland, the starting netminder for the Bears. Connor Sleeth got the offense going with his third goal of the season that was assisted by Shane Bull.

However, SUNY Potsdam would have an answer as Josh Bifolchi beat Green to push the game back to a two-goal lead. This would be the last straw for Green as the goaltender was pulled and Schell took over in net for the Lakers. Cal Schell would make 11 saves during his 34 minutes in net.

“[Cal] hopped right in and there was no one rooting more for Green then him,” Gosek said. “He came in and did what he had to do and finished it off…coming in and relieving is never easy and he kept [SUNY Potsdam] off the board and did what he had to do to let us at least play in the championship game.”

Oswego State would be the next team to strike as Connor Gatto made an individual effort to weave through defenders and find Jackson Arcan on the powerplay. The Lakers were one for five on the man advantage, but Gatto’s individual effort and Arcan’s finish brought Oswego State within one goal.

“[Gatto] has earned what he has gotten,” Gosek said. “He is very unassuming and very humble kid that works hard. He is not the kid that you notice…he is good in our own end. Despite his small stature, he is always on the right side of the puck defensively. In the offensive zone, he is patient and makes things happen. He found Arcan on that one…he has earned his way onto the powerplay.”

Heading into the final period, the Lakers were one goal behind the Bears who led 3-2. Oswego State continued to find high quality chances in the offensive zone. It was off an offensive faceoff that Shane Bull redirected a shot from Ben Addison at the point that found the twine and even the contest. 

“[Shane] played extremely well and he has played consistent last weekend and this weekend with his play,” Gosek said. “I just think we did not take away the goalie’s eyes away. Shane got in a situation where he could present his stick and get some tips. He had the nice pass to Sleeth on the one goal. He was all over making things happen on both ends of the ice.”

The game would reach an overtime period at the end of regulation. Both teams had chances, but the Lakers failed to capitalize on a 2-0 breakaway with Alex DiCarlo and Connor Sleeth who missed the net. However, the individual effort in the shutout advances the team to the championship as the game would be put into the overall record as a tie.

Oswego State only has nine games left to go in the regular season and tomorrow will be the final non conference game of the campaign before eight straight SUNYAC games leading up to conference playoffs. 

The winner of Plattsburgh State and Wentworth Institute of Technology will faceoff against Oswego State in the Comfort Inn Complex Winter Classic on Jan. 7. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena.

Photo Provided by Jim Feeney

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