College Hockey:
Friel’s Second Is OT Winner For Plattsburgh

Cardinals Take SUNYAC Title, Look Ahead To NCAAs

— The Plattsburgh State Cardinals are the 2003-04 SUNYAC champions, thanks to their second straight overtime victory.

Dave Friel scored his second goal of the night 37 seconds into the extra period to defeat Oswego, 3-2, and give Plattsburgh a two games to none series win.

With the teams tied up after 40 minutes, the third period went by without a goal as Plattsburgh clamped down, allowing only six shots from Oswego. That meant that once again, the two teams headed for overtime.

In OT, after Oswego missed a chance on a rush off a faceoff, Plattsburgh — skating four-on-four — took the puck the other way. Tyson Gajda left some daylight along the post, and Friel backhanded it on net. Though Gajda got a piece of his pad on it, the puck managed to trickle in.

The game started out as all Oswego-Plattsburgh games have this year: with Oswego scoring first. Tony DeFour converted at 7:13 of the opening period.

Plattsburgh tied it up on the power play at 18:13 when Chad Kemp scored.

The scoring continued to follow the pattern from the night before. The Cardinals took a 2-1 lead at 15:28 of the second period on another power-play goal. This time, Dave Friel notched it.

And like the night before, the Lakers outshot Plattsburgh in the middle period, this time 20-10. It paid off as Oswego tied it up before the period ended.

The Lakers got a late power play, and though they didn’t technically convert, they did take advantage, as Mike Lukajic scored just after the power play ended with the Lakers still maintaining control of the puck.

The tying goal came with just seven seconds left in the second period. Ryan Woodward picked up his second assist for the night.

For the game, Oswego outshot Plattsburgh 35-30. Once again, Craig Neilson got the win with 33 saves, while Gajda took the loss with 27 stops.

Plattsburgh has now won 17 SUNYAC championships (with one shared with Oswego) and seven in the last eight years. Oswego is the next closest with seven titles.

Oswego placed two players on the All Tournament team — Woodward and Lukajic. Paul Kelly, Doug Carr, and Neilson were named from Plattsburgh along with Tournament MVP Kemp.

Oswego, a national finalist one year ago, ends its season at 19-9-3.

Plattsburgh gets an automatic bid into the NCAA playoffs with a record of 22-4-3. The Cardinals will await Sunday’s announcement to find out who and where they play.

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