GENESEO, N.Y. — Oswego may have clinched second place, but they still had hopes of finishing first. The Lakers made sure they were not mathematically eliminated by storming past Geneseo, 5-0. Tim Potter made 20 saves for his second shutout since transferring to Oswego this semester.
“We had a heart to heart with him [after the Brockport game],” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “We came back with him and the players have confidence in him. I thought early on when it was a zero-zero game and a 1-0 game for us, he made some key saves for us. It could have been a whole different game. That’s when you need your goalie to make the saves and keep things going in the right direction.”
“I thought the first 10 minutes of the game were by far our best 10 minutes of the game,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “We didn’t capitalize on our opportunities that we got. With the amount of puck possession we had in the offensive zone, you hope the puck goes into the net and keep the momentum on our side. But we didn’t finish and after that first 10 minutes, they took the momentum over, and we just started making boneheaded mistakes in our defensive zone.”
After being turned away numerous times by a strong Jeff Pasemko, the Lakers finally broke through with 1:14 left in the first.
Jared Anderson fired from the middle of the blueline which Pasemko stopped. However, he left the rebound out in front of him. Mark Lozzi took the puck, went around the left of Pasemko, and easily depositing it into the net.
Oswego jumped out to a 2-0 lead at 13:57 of the second period, but the majority of the excitement occurred after the goal. Oswego sent a slew of players towards the net, overwhelming Geneseo’s defense. This allowed Lozzi to slam home a loose puck from the slot for his second of the night.
After the goal, when Derrell Levy went to his bench to celebrate, Chris Kestell bumped him to the ice. When Oswego saw the referees were not going to do anything about it, they decided to take matters into their own hand. They chased down Kestell by now in front of his own goal to give him a piece of their mind as well as jaw at Pasemko.
Stefan Decosse decided he didn’t like the lecture and grabbed an Oswego player. At that point, all the skaters on the ice including Pasemko jumped in. After a lot of wrestling, a few phantom punches, and a pulled off jersey, the officials finally got control.
“I don’t know if it was anything intentional,” Gosek said. “A guy bumps Levy and our guys take exception to it and tempers flared up a little bit. What I was pleased with was the remainder of that period and the third period, we didn’t get involved, and Geneseo didn’t either. I thought we did a much better job channeling our emotions in the right direction.”
“I didn’t see what happened or how it all started,” Schultz said. “From what I understand a couple of guys were getting into our goaltender’s face. It was the old school mentality of protecting your own goaltender. I didn’t see enough to comment on it.”
Despite all that fighting, just one player from each team (Oswego’s Peter Magagna and Geneseo’s Jimmy Powers, who was the one who lost his jersey) received double minors and a 10-minute misconduct.
The mini-brawl initially inspired Geneseo, but Tim Potter continued to stonewall the Ice Knights. Oswego finally counterattacked, making it 3-0 at 17:13.
Garren Reisweber once again displayed his exceptional skill with a brilliant solo effort. He skated by the defense on the right side, deked Pasemko while turning around, and backhanded it into the net.
Joe Hall essentially clinched the game for Oswego by scoring virtually a shorthanded goal early in the third period. Hall took the puck away and went in on a breakaway, headed straight to the net, and shot it over Pasemko’s shoulder. Nothing fancy. Just effective. The penalty expired just as he scored, so technically it was not counted as a shorthanded tally.
Neil Musselwhite did mop up duty when he redirected a perfect lead pass from Matt Whitehead at 10:16.
“We were trying to generate speed,” Gosek said. “We skated tonight. We moved the puck. We were unselfish.”
Oswego (17-5-1, 11-2-1) is four points behind first with two games left. However, their next game on Friday is against that first place team, their arch rivals, Plattsburgh.
Geneseo (11-11-1, 6-7-1) remains in a fight for their playoff lives. Currently, they are fourth, a home ice position for the play-in round, but only one point ahead of three other teams. If they fall behind all three, they are out of the playoffs. They get to play at one of them, Buffalo State, on Friday.