OSWEGO, N.Y. — Oswego exploded for four goals in the final six minutes to blow out Elmira, 7-2, in the opening game of the 2009-10 campaign.
“Our guys created a lot of breaks,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “A lot of bounces went our way. And a lot of bounces didn’t go their way. I thought the veterans played very well.”
“I think the game was closer than what the score was,” Elmira coach Aaron Saul said. “They really starting pouring it on in the end. We stopped moving our feet.”
The second line led the way with Chris Laganiere scoring twice and getting an assist, Justin Fox getting a goal and three assists, and Eric Selleck also scoring a goal along with two assists.
“I thought that line was solid,” Gosek said. “Fox showed us there is something there.”
In a wide open, free flowing contest, strong goaltending and missed shots initially kept the scoring down.
“The defensive zone is the toughest thing to do in hockey as far as covering your own end,” Saul said. “When you don’t have enough time in practice, it’s hard to cover everything you want to. I think that happened tonight with us breaking down and them capitalizing on their goals.”
The teams traded goals in the first period less than two minutes apart. Elmira got the first score of the season at 7:50. Brian Davidson from behind the net fed Larry Willard in the slot. Despite having a defender draped on his back, Willard was able to one-time it past the outstretched right skate of Paul Beckwith.
The Lakers got it back on the power play much to the delight of the home crowd. Selleck from down low on the right side picked up a rebound on a shot by Fox. Wilcox backhanded it into the near side.
Salem State transfer Fox got his fist Oswego goal thanks to the work of his teammates, giving Oswego a 2-1 lead just 29 seconds into the middle period. Laganiere at center ice fed Selleck on the right side with a pass off the boards. This created a 2-on-1 with Selleck bringing the puck into the zone. He calmly centered it to Fox who came straight down and wristed it past Casey Tuttle on the stick side.
Oswego opened a two-goal lead at 4:22 of the final period on Tyler Leimbrock’s first collegiate goal. Similar to the Lakers’ first goal, Brad Dormiedy provided the feed from behind the net into the slot area. Leimbrock, with defenders all over him, was able to whack at the puck sending it past Tuttle just inside the post.
Then came the Lakers’ onslaught. First it was Laganiere converting on a perfectly executed two-on-one. after being fed by Fox. He got his second a minute-and-a-half later tipping in the puck after a cross-ice pass from Fox.
Elmira came back 17 seconds later for their second goal when Rusty Masters put it past Beckwith. Oswego got it right back 29 seconds later when Dormiedy found himself wide open in front of the net. Paul Rodrigues finished out the scoring less than a minute later.
“I was pleased,” Gosek said. “A lot of those were from hard work, finishing checks. Beckwith made the saves when he had to. I was pleased the way he followed the puck and controlled the rebounds.”
Elmira outshot Oswego, 32-27, with Beckwith notching 30 saves. Tuttle stopped 20 shots in the loss.
“We have to do a better job of locking up men,” Saul said. “We have to capitalize on our opportunities early in the game. Tomorrow is a new day.”
These two teams meet again Saturday night in Elmira to complete their home-and-home.