OSWEGO, N.Y. — In a game no one expected to be close based on yesterday’s results, number one ranked Oswego needed a third period goal when the goaltender didn’t have his stick and added an empty netter to pull out a 4-2 victory against Geneseo.
“Geneseo fights hard,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “I thought they played extremely well. They beat us to a lot of loose pucks. They made a lot of good decisions with the puck. We were uptight. We looked lethargic. It could have been a different game early on when we did have a jump, and we had nothing to show for it.”
“I thought both teams played hard,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “It was a good battle. Again, we get certain opportunities we didn’t cash in on. We got a great effort out of our goaltender. When you get the effort out of the goaltender when you have a talented team like Oswego, that’s when you need to cash in on them. You need to bury those if you’re going to beat a team like Oswego.”
After Rubeniuk lost his stick, he decided not to take a few steps out of the crease to pick it up when the puck was in the neutral zone. Oswego regained possession and brought it into the Geneseo zone. After a mad scramble in front of the net where a stickless Rubeniuk was unable to push it away, Eric Selleck jammed it in with 8:25 left in the game.
“I think he made the right decision not to go get it [the stick],” Schultz said. “I’d rather him be conservative and maybe wait for a defenseman’s stick. That’s just one of those plays in hockey where you have to make a decision, but I think he made the right decision.”
“We certainly know that if you lose your stick, that’s not a good thing, especially when the puck is on the ice and you are jamming it around the net, and you don’t have your paddle down,” Gosek said.
Despite Oswego swarming the Geneseo net early in the game, the first period ended without a goal. Andy Rubeniuk played a key part, stopping all 13 shots, including a lightning quick glove save on a point blank blast. As the period wore on, the Ice Knights started getting their legs going, and applied some pressure on Kyle Gunn-Taylor.
When the red light finally lit, it took another 1:42 to keep the game tied, as the teams traded power-play goals.
The Lakers did the honors first at 5:04 of the second. First, Geneseo nearly scored short-handed when a shot at the doorstep was stopped by Gunn-Taylor. Later in the power play, Luke Moodie had the puck in the crease, danced around Rubeniuk, and easily deposited the puck into the net.
Shortly afterwards, Geneseo found themselves with a man advantage. They were rewarded when Dan Brown’s slap shot from the left point beat Gunn-Taylor.
Once again, the teams traded goals in short order, this time within 45 seconds, and once again when the teams were not skating at full strength.
This time it was Geneseo that briefly took a lead at 13:28 while both teams were skating a man down. Danny Scagnelli’s seemingly slow, harmless shot was stopped by Gunn-Taylor. However, he left the rebound right in front of him. Phil Rose raced in and pushed it past the goaltender.
When the Oswego penalty expired, they quickly scored a power-play goal with the limited man advantage time they had. Neil Musselwhite found himself on the side of the left post with the puck and tucked it in, as Rubeniuk appeared to have lost sight of the puck.
Once again, the game remained tied heading into another intermission.
After Oswego took the lead for good on the only five-on-five goal of the night, Chris Laganiere added an empty-net tally with 13 seconds left to seal the win.
“This is the third time we had a chance to beat the number one team in the country,” Schultz said. “We opened up against Neumann, the defending national champions. We played Plattsburgh when they were number one. Now Oswego. Good efforts put forth, but nothing to show for it.”
The conference schedule comes to an end for the first semester. Oswego (10-1-0, 8-0-0) next plays at Utica on Tuesday, and Geneseo (4-7-0, 3-5-0) hosts Western New England on Saturday.