OSWEGO – The No. 5 Oswego State men’s hockey team defeated SUNY Athletic Conference rival Plattsburgh State, 3-0, in its annual Whiteout game Friday evening. It is the second-straight season the Lakers have topped the Cardinals during Whiteout Weekend.
Anthony Passero, Carter Allen and Tyler Currie all scored for the Lakers, notching their first goals of the season in the process. Josh Zizek recorded his third assist of the season on the Allen goal. David Richer recorded his first shutout of the season, making 25 saves in the effort.
This was only the Lakers’ second Whiteout win in the last five seasons. Last year’s result was a 4-0 shutout of the Cardinals.
“The guys were excited. A lot of alumni and their families are here,” Oswego State head coach Ed Gosek said. “Forget the records. It’s our big rivalry. For us, there was a lot of enthusiasm and energy.”
Gosek mentioned that Oswego State’s discipline improved, only committing five penalties during the game, three of which put the Lakers short-handed. During the three penalty kills, Jody Sullivan was able to put one shot on net.
The lack of discipline didn’t look like it was going to happen when 22 seconds into the first period Travis Broughman was called for a cross-checking minor. Only 26 seconds into the second period, Carson Vance was called for Hooking.
There was a post-whistle scrum at 17:45 of the third period, sending Josh Zizek and Vance to the box, but it also sent Plattsburgh State’s Christian DeFelice and Mitchell Hale to the penalty box to cancel out any man-advantage.
“Our discipline was better, even though there was that tussling at the end,” Gosek said. “We need to continue to improve, but if there’s a positive out of it tonight, it was a step in the right direction. We didn’t let our emotions get the best of us.”
Oswego State also had a lot of contribution from the blue line in the offensive zone. Allen’s goal came from the high slot after the Lakers started to rush into the offensive zone at 11:28 of the first period.
Currie found the back of the net after he was lagging behind Broughman, and found the rebound past Plattsburgh State goaltender Jimmy Poreda for the third goal of the game at 12:29 of the third period. Gosek added the Lakers have to shoot for those second-chance opportunities instead of trying to pick the corner past the goaltender.
“It just develops confidence with our forwards looking for the trailer coming in and being able to use our defense in the offensive zone,” he said. “It’s another dimension (to our offense) that we haven’t had in a while.”
Outside of the offensive zone, the defense played a lot better than it did compared to Cortland last Friday. Gosek said the blue-liners were able to “grab pucks and control” to help Richer, who recorded his sixth collegiate shutout.
“He tracked the puck extremely well. He seemed like he was on,” he said. “His rebound control was really good. To pitch a shutout, I’m happy for him.”
The Lakers (3-0) host Potsdam today for a 7 p.m. puck drop. In last season’s home matchup against the Bears, Oswego State won 5-2. Josh Zizek had a hat trick and an assist in the victory.
Potsdam faced Cortland Friday and fell 4-2. The loss dropped the Bears’ record to 0-2-1.
“(We) Just have to refocus and clean up some areas,” Gosek said. “It’s our first two-game weekend, so (our focus is) how are we going to manage our energy and all that. We tried to stress that tonight with the short shifts.”