OSWEGO, N.Y. — CJ Thompson had a hat-trick, his second in two games, as the host Oswego Lakers defeated New England College 5-2 to advance to the championship of the Pathfinder Bank Classic tournament.
Thompson scored two goals in the first period and one in the second to pace the Lakers to their 12th win on the season. Oswego remains unbeaten at 12-0-3, its best start in school history.
“We played hard, and got off to a good start,” said Laker coach Ed Gosek. “The power play was clicking. We got sloppy in the third period and have to be careful of that, facing a good team (Elmira) tomorrow.”
“Give them credit, they’re a talented team,” said New England coach Tom Carroll. “We made mistakes early and they all wound up in our net.”
Oswego took an early lead when Garren Reisweber took a feed from Kyle McCutcheon and beat New England goaltender Matthew Lyon with a wraparound.
The goals came fast near the end of the period, which ended 3-1 in favor of Oswego. CJ Thompson got his first of the game on the power play at 16:33, and Paul Rota scored just 16 seconds later to put New England on the board. With 56 seconds to go in the period, Thompson got his second of the game, roofing the puck past Lyon.
The teams again traded goals later in the second period. NEC cut the lead to 3-2 at 12:42, but the Lakers answered just 20 seconds later. Micky Serra scored on a breakaway for the Pilgrims, and Thompson completed the hat-trick off a feed from Tyler Laws with 4:28 to play in the second.
Brendan McLaughlin’s power play goal with 2:30 to go in the second finished the scoring.
New England had plenty of chances in the third period, outshooting the Lakers 10-5, but was unable to convert.
“The game was called like it was two-three years ago,” said Gosek. “Not may power plays for either team.”
Oswego was 2-3 with the man advantage, while New England failed to convert on its three chances.
Thompson gave credit to his linemates for his second consecutive hat-trick. “(Garren) Reisweber and (Neil) Musselwhite are great players, great skaters. I’m glad we got the power play goal tonight. We’ve been working really hard on it and it was nice to have it pay off.”
“We moved CJ to the line with Reisweber and Musselwhite to try to balance the scoring, and it’s really been working, “said Gosek.
“I can’t explain it,” said Thompson of his second consecutive three goal game. “Everything’s just clicking right now. The whole team is playing great.”
“The difference in the game was that they scored on our mistakes and we didn’t score on their mistakes,” said Carroll. “They’re a very talented team and you can’t make the kind of mistakes we made in the first period and expect to win.”
New England falls to 4-4 on the season and will take on St. Thomas in the consolation tomorrow, while the Lakers will host Elmira in the championship game.
“We’re exited to play tomorrow night,” said Gosek, whose team will face Elmira for the third time this season. “It’s tough to beat a very good team three times (in a season). We’ll have our work cut out for us.”