OSWEGO — Following its first league win of the season, the No. 5 Oswego State men’s hockey team (1-0 overall, 1-0 SUNY Athletic Conference) will host its biggest rival within the SUNY Athletic Conference, Plattsburgh State, this Friday, and then another home matchup against Potsdam Saturday.
Both games are slated to start at 7 p.m.
This weekend will also serve as the Lakers’ annual Whiteout Weekend, bringing thousands of fans in white clothing to both games. The Lakers won each game in last year’s big weekend, which included beating Plattsburgh State for the first time in six years at the Marano Campus Center.
“You can feel the energy (around campus),” senior Jody Sullivan said. “There’s so much support behind us and we’re excited for it.”
Oswego State won 6-3 over Cortland last Friday, with Max Novick providing three points (two goals, assist). Mitch Emerson chipped in a goal and two assists. Carter Allen and Josh Zizek both had two assists. Colton Fletcher notched his first collegiate goal.
Two of the three goals Oswego State let in came in the last five minutes of the third period, at which point Oswego State head coach Ed Gosek said the defensive zone started to miss different assignments and had a lack of awareness, “giving up too much time (for Cortland) to make plays.”
“There’s many reasons why we gave up the many chances that we did, not just the goals,” he said. “It’s why you play the game. We can use the video, drills in practice, talk with guys and work through things to try to be better.”
David Richer was the goaltender in the matchup against the Red Dragons, after playing consistently in both exhibition games earlier in the season. He stopped 27 shots, including 13 in the third period alone.
Gosek mentioned that Richer “didn’t do anything to hurt his chances” of playing against Plattsburgh or Potsdam. During last season’s Whiteout Weekend, Richer played the game against the Cardinals, while Cedric Hansen was between the pipes against the Bears the following night.
“We’re in a situation where it’s not like we’re dealing with two rookies and we’re not sure what they can bring us,” Gosek said. “What's the right thing to do in the interest of the team? We’ll figure that out (today) and let them know that night.”
Coming into the weekend, Plattsburgh is 0-2 (0-2 SUNYAC) for the first time in program history, while Potsdam is 1-0-1 (1-0-1 SUNYAC) and will play Cortland first on Friday.
The Cardinals lost to Brockport and Geneseo in overtime last weekend. Matt Araujo scored both of Plattsburgh State’s goals between the two games.
The Bears and Knights played to a 2-2 tie last Friday, and fell 3-2 to the Golden Eagles on Saturday.
Another change for the Cardinals is their head coach, following Bob Emery’s retirement after 31 seasons with Plattsburgh. His longtime assistant, Steve Moffat, took the reins of the program this season.
No matter who the coach is on the other bench, Gosek said the team is looking forward to another strong rivalry match against Plattsburgh.
“We can’t control Plattsburgh or Potsdam. We try to correct our mistakes or things we need to get better at, and try to reinforce the positive things we’re doing,” he said. “The rivalry is the rivalry. It’s been sustained through a lot coaches that have moved or passed on. It’s not about the coaches. It’s about the programs and the schools.”