OSWEGO — Achieving the first seed and home-ice advantage for the entire SUNY Athletic Conference tournament is likely out of reach for the Oswego State men’s hockey team following this past weekend.
After tying Brockport State (2-2 in overtime) on Saturday and falling to third-ranked SUNY Geneseo (5-3) on Sunday, the Lakers (11-9-1, 8-3-1 SUNYAC) are now five points behind the Knights for the top seed in the league. With just a two-point lead over third-place Buffalo State, and four games left to go for both teams, the fight for second place is on.
With the one point earned this weekend against Brockport, Oswego State has clinched a spot in the SUNYAC playoffs. If it can hold onto the second seed, the team will host the SUNYAC semifinals on Feb. 29.
Oswego State faces Morrisville State (9-11, 5-7 SUNYAC) this weekend with two road games on Friday and Saturday. Both games have a 7 p.m. start time.
The Mustangs, who were projected to finish ninth in the league, currently sit in sixth place and are trying to stay in the playoff picture.
Morrisville played last Saturday against Canton on the road (a 6-4 Mustangs win) after the Friday game against the Kangaroos was postponed to next Tuesday due to inclement weather over the weekend. Six players had two-point games against for the Mustangs. Christian Vella led the team with two goals. Eric Melso and James Boisvert both added a goal and an assist. Nick DeVito, Ben Sprague and Jesse Anderson each contributed two assists.
Bennett Weycker and Ryan Bochert rounded out the scoring for Morrisville, while Owen Liskiewicz stopped 41 shots for his first win of the season in the five games that the freshman has played.
Prior to Canton, Morrisville’s last win was on Jan. 8 against Lebanon Valley College in a 4-0 shutout. The team’s previous SUNYAC win was over two months ago on Dec. 6 in a 3-2 overtime victory over Potsdam.
The Mustangs only have one player averaging at least one point per game, with DeVito leading the team at 21 points. He also has a team-leading 15 assists. Eric Melso is second on the team, adding 18 points this season behind 12 goals.
Jared Young has played in 17 games this season, while starting in six of them, boasting a 7-8 record. He has a .895 save percentage alongside a 4.06 goals-against average. Liskiewicz has a .880 save percentage and a 4.92 goals-against average.
Morrisville has a minus-35 goal differential and no players are above a zero-rating in terms of plus-minus numbers. Boisvert is the lowest on the team with a minus-15 rating. As a whole, the team’s power play unit is converting at 19.3%, while its penalty kill is clipping at 72%.
Oswego State’s Alex DiCarlo extended his point streak to five games following a goal against Brockport and an assist against Geneseo. Travis Broughman regained the team lead in points (23) and goals (12).
Steven Kozikoski played in both games this past weekend for the Lakers, marking what could be considered his toughest test for the sophomore between the Golden Eagles and Knights. He made 48 saves on 54 shots over the course of the weekend.
The Eagles, who received two votes this week in the USCHO polls, were able to tie the game at two with just a minute to go in the second period. Oswego State’s defense coughed up a puck in its own zone, leaving Brockport’s Robert Flannery alone in front of Kozikoski. Neither team scored in the third period or the five-minute overtime.
Broughman and DiCarlo both scored in that game, with Michael Gillespie adding two assists in the game and Broughman contributed an assist, as well. DiCarlo’s goal was on the power play. Against Geneseo, Carson Vance recorded a goal and an assist, his first multi-point game since Dec. 6 at Buffalo State. Max Novick and Gillespie also scored for the Lakers.