OSWEGO, N.Y. — Oswego has struggled this year when they let up the first goal, going 1-4-2. However, the opposite is a guarantee; if they score first, they win. That’s exactly what they did against Curry in the consolation game of the Pathfinder Bank Oswego Hockey Classic, scoring two quick goals en route to beating the Colonels, 4-1. That upped their record after scoring the first goal to 7-0 this season.
“Obviously, getting the early jump was a positive for us,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “It was pleasant especially to get two early ones because it allowed us to play looser.”
“It’s always difficult,” Curry coach Rob Davies said of falling into an early hole. “More difficult tonight just because Oswego is playing in the consolation game of their own tournament and obviously they wanted to change the outcome of last night.”
Oswego wasted no time in making sure they got that first goal. Peter Magagna took advantage of a horrible giveaway by a Curry defender 35 seconds into the game, as the Curry player tried to clear it from the corner across the slot area. It wound up on Magagna’s stick in the left face off circle. He easily beat Zachary Cardella, who didn’t stand a chance.
The Lakers made it 2-0 with just 2:17 gone in the game on their first power play. Brendan McLaughlin skated the puck right in on goal after another Curry giveaway to beat Cardella up close. It was Oswego’s second unassisted tally.
Oswego nearly made it 3-0 when Magagna thought he had converted a nice cross-ice pass from McLaughlin. Magagna shot it back the other way beating the goaltender. As Magagna raised his hands to celebrate, the puck bounced off the opposite post and back out, never crossing the line.
The two did pair up successfully early in the third at 3:19 to make it 3-0 and virtually ensure the win. This time Magagna fed McLaughlin, who was left completely unmarked in the low slot area. He simply shot it past Cardella, not needing much power.
This came after a second period which was as even as it gets. Both teams had seven shots on goal, Oswego had three power plays to Curry’s two, and both teams had some decent chances to score only to come up empty.
Later in the third period, just after Oswego killed off a penalty, Matt Whitehead went in on breakaway. He didn’t try anything fancy, trying to stuff it through the five-hole, but Cardella wouldn’t have any of it, slamming his pads shut.
Curry ruined Ryan Scott’s bid for his eighth career shutout, scoring a power-play goal with their goalie pulled with 57 seconds left.
“I feel bad for him.” Gosek said.
Oswego answered right back 18 seconds later when Ryan Ellis converted a pass from McLaughlin. McLaughlin ended the game with two goals and one assist. His linemate, Magagna, was named to the All Tournament team.
“We wanted them together last night, but Ellis was sick with the flu,” Gosek said. “Tonight, let’s hope that’s a step in the right direction.”
Cardella ended up with 29 saves, including some very tough ones that kept his team within striking range.
“I can’t fault Zach for the goals,” Davies said. “You are not going to win many games scoring only one goal.”
Ryan Scott, who was benched for a while due to poor play, turned aside all but one of the 26 shots he faced, including a pair of breakaways.
“I thought we played better tonight, even though we didn’t get the results that we wanted,” Davies said. “I thought we took some selfish penalties, and those guys sat the remainder of the third period. You have to give Oswego credit; there is a lot of pressure on them. I thought they [Oswego] took a step in the right direction.”
Oswego improves their overall record to 8-4-2, and host New England College on Saturday.
Curry drops to 7-5-1, returning home to play Colby on January 8.
Next year’s Pathfinder Bank Oswego Hockey Classic field was also announced. Oswego will be bringing in Babson, Skidmore, and Augsburg January 2-3, 2009.