Fredonia So Close, Yet So Far; Buffalo State Continues To Win
Not all losses are created equal.
Fredonia, in losing a thriller to top-ranked and undefeated RIT in the last minute of the contest, may have gained more than it did from a lot of wins this season. Exceptional defense and goaltending is something they need to bring out of that game for the rest of the season. Earlier in the week, they defeated Humber College in overtime.
Meanwhile, Buffalo State just continues to win, beating the Milwaukee School of Engineering twice. Oswego also won twice convincingly, while Plattsburgh split its two games. Geneseo and Brockport lost their only contests.
PLATTSBURGH (Ranked No. 5) — Just when it looks like Plattsburgh State has pulled out of its funk, the Cardinals play a bad game. Just when it looks like the Cardinals have fallen into a hole, they come back with a great effort — all of which translates to .500 hockey the last few weeks. This past week, the bad game came first, losing to Elmira, 4-1. It was scoreless after the first period, but after the second, it was 2-0, Elmira. In fact, it was 4-0 before Plattsburgh even got on the scoreboard on a goal by Guy Come. Next, Plattsburgh had its great effort, in a 3-0 win over Middlebury. Niklas Sundberg got the shutout with 32 saves as Plattsburgh was outshot, 32-21. Mark Coletta and Ryan Wilson scored first-period goals while Rob Retter added one in the second. The key to the victory was Plattsburgh keeping Middlebury scoreless on eight power-play opportunities. The Cardinals look to break out of this inconsistent play before conference games resume with contests against Williams and Colby.
OSWEGO (Ranked No. 9) — The Great Lakers ate up their competition and spit them out this past week. The first victim was Manhattanville, which Oswego State beat 9-4 and outshot 46-22. Oswego scored four power-play goals, but was actually behind after the first period, 2-1. After taking a 4-2 lead, Oswego saw it cut by one; however, the Lakers scored the next four goals to put the game away. Chris DiCarlo got a hat trick, Mike Lukajic scored a pair of goals, and single tallies were registered by Joe Pecoraro, Nate Elliott, John Hirliman, and John Sullivan. Joe Lofberg got the win. Next was Hamilton College, and this time the score was 8-3 and the shots were 39-23. Oswego took a 5-0 lead before Hamilton got on the board as Sullivan and Steve Cavallaro each got a pair of goals. DiCarlo, Brian St. John, Matt Vashaw, and Pecoraro also scored, and Tyson Gajda got the win with 20 saves. Oswego has an exciting week coming up with a home-and-home series against RIT.
POTSDAM (Ranked No. 10) — The Bears took a week off. They return to action Saturday at Elmira.
FREDONIA — The Blue Devils nearly did what no other team in the nation has been able to do — knock off top-ranked RIT. Fredonia State did not allow RIT to take the lead until 1:06 left in the game, which ultimately led to a 4-2 loss. Wasted was a superb effort by the defense, which was the first team to hold RIT’s power play scoreless, and goaltender Will Hamele, who stopped 51 of the 54 shots he faced as he was able to see virtually everything through screens and traffic. Dave Mugavero put Fredonia ahead. As he was coming out of the penalty box, he picked up the loose puck with nobody between him and the RIT netminder and put some nifty moves on before sending the puck home. RIT would tie it up before the first period ended, but Dan Showalter put Fredonia back in the lead with a second-period goal. RIT would again tie it up before the period ended. The latter half of the third period saw intense pressure by RIT, but the Fredonia defense and Hamele were equal to the task until the 18:54 mark, when Hamele left a rebound in front, and RIT knocked it in. An empty-net goal at the buzzer finished it up. Earlier in the week, Fredonia beat Humber College, 4-3, in overtime. Showalter tied it up with his second for the night with less than three minutes to play. Humber completely lost its cool late in the game, resulting in numerous major and 10-minute penalties, unsportsmanlike conducts, and game misconducts, allowing Fredonia to play two men up in overtime, during which Mugavero’s second goal won the game. Fredonia hosts Elmira and Hobart this week.
GENESEO — The Ice Knights started the week off losing a barnburner to Elmira, 8-6. Elmira took a 3-1 lead after one with the single Geneseo goal scored by Tony Scorsone. Matt Lester led off the second with a power-play goal, cutting the lead to 3-2. Elmira would move back in front by two on a goal with a minute left in the second. Then came the wild, wild third period which saw momentum swing higher then Poe’s pendulum. Geneseo ripped off four straight goals in the first six minutes as Aaron Coleman and Lester scored, before David Bagley netted two within 20 seconds. Then the pendulum came swinging back the other way, and Elmira scored four of its own unanswered goals, the final an empty-netter, to win the game. Geneseo hits the road with games at Lebanon Valley and Neumann.
BUFFALO STATE — The Bengals just keep on rolling as they swept the Milwaukee School of Engineering in a pair of games, 2-1 and 5-2. This gave Buffalo State six straight wins and eight of their last 10. And before someone says, “But their competition wasn’t that strong,” well, perhaps. However, wins over Manhattanville and Fredonia are included in that stretch, and the Buffalo State of last year would not have been able to maintain this type of consistency over the long haul, no matter what the competition. In the first game, a first-period goal by Joe Urbanik and a second-period goal by Mark Yoder sandwiched around the opposition’s only goal was enough for the win. Nick Berti made 36 saves, including 19 in the third period, for the win. Game two saw the Bengals jump out to 3-0 and 4-1 leads on goals by Sean Mask, Todd Nowicki and two by Yoder. Jason Carmardo finished up the scoring, and Berti made 31 saves. Buffalo State takes its streak to Hobart on Tuesday in its only game this week.
CORTLAND — The Red Dragons would rather talk about their second game than their first over the weekend. That’s because they started out with a 9-3 loss at RIT. Cortland State’s downfall was giving the best power play in the country eight opportunities; RIT took advantage of five of them. It was 5-0 going into the second before Greg Menchen scored, and 8-1 before Matt Donskov and Shaun Spaniol tallied. Cortland bounced back strong the next night, defeating Manhanttanville, 4-3, in overtime. After falling behind 2-0, Trevor Bauer and Brendan Hyde tied it up. Cortland again found themselves trailing in the third period, but it only took 38 seconds to tie it back up, thanks to Mike Schall. Tim Kneer won it 19 seconds into the extra period. John Larnerd made 26 saves for the win. The Red Dragons have a pair of games this week, traveling to the Massachusetts School of Liberal Arts and then coming back home to host Elmira.
BROCKPORT — The Golden Eagles had just one game this past week, but their losing ways continued in a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Hobart. The Statesmen took a 2-0 lead after one period. Drew Morley tied it late in the second period. Brockport State couldn’t mount much of a challenge in the third period, getting just four shot at the Hobart net, and Hobart’s third goal midway through the third period clinched the game. Steve Tippett made 34 saves as Brockport was outshot, 37-14. Brockport travels to Manhattanville and then returns home for RIT.
Upcoming Game Of The Week
This one’s easy. It’s a series, not a game — the home-and-home between Oswego and RIT. Oswego always seems to play RIT tough, and this year the Great Lakers are having a fine season. And when you play 120 minutes (and maybe more) of hockey in two rinks that epitomize the college hockey spirit, with Oswego given two chances to knock off the top team and playoff implications for RIT, you’re guaranteed to have some fireworks.