GENESEO, N.Y. — Oswego expanded their grip on first place, defeating Geneseo, 4-0, in a hard-fought game. At the midway point of the SUNYAC season, the Lakers are now five points ahead of second place Geneseo. Oswego also remains undefeated overall at 11-0.
Paul Beckwith got the shutout with 35 saves as well as receiving help from his best friends, the posts, twice. Geneseo outshot Oswego, 35-25.
“We played a good road game,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “A simple game. We weren’t as creative as maybe we’ve been in other games. I thought it was effective in getting the puck in deep and trying to create mistakes from them. We wanted to pressure. We wanted to be aggressive. We wanted to take what they gave us. Obviously, Paulie stood tall.”
“Not looking at the scoreboard, I thought we played a pretty good hockey game,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “We obviously didn’t finish our chances. They executed on their chances. Sometimes the score doesn’t go your way, but February 19 will be coming around really quick, and we’re looking forward to it already.”
The lone goal in the first period was very controversial. Oswego was on the first power play of the day when Geneseo went to clear the puck out of the zone. Hank Van Boxmeer at the left point skated towards the blue line to keep it in. However, the puck went over the line by about a foot, yet the referee never blew the whistle.
Van Boxmeer collected the puck and fired it toward the net. It deflected off a defenseman and eluded Corey Gershon at 5:16. The Geneseo bench was up in arms as Schultz screamed at the refs.
“Offsides. That’s it,” is all the comment Schultz would make after the game.
Oswego came out strong in the first period, but Geneseo weathered the storm outside of the controversial goal. The Ice Knights slowly applied pressure and by the second period, had a number of opportunities to tie the game.
Colin de Jersey rang one off the goalpost on a rocket of a shot from the left point about four minutes into the second. The first Geneseo power play of that period resulted in numerous close calls. Some were stopped with a solid save by Beckwith, others by just missing the net.
On the other end, Gershon had to come up with a great diving glove save by the goal post to keep the game within one.
However, Oswego did finally gain a two-goal lead, scoring their second power-play goal on their second try. Ian Boots’ shot from the right point was saved by Gershon, but Justin Fox was there to bang the rebound home.
The Lakers got their first even-strength goal at 3:11 of the third to make it 3-0. Taylor Farris fired home a loose puck from the left side up close.
Geneseo’s last chance to get back into the game came when Andrew Mather received a boarding major. Geneseo was already on the power play, but they were unable to score on the two-man advantage for 40 seconds and the remainder of the five-minute major. The closest they came was when Jake Yard smacked one off the crossbar with a slap shot from the right point. They wasted the last 39 seconds of the penalty when Kaz Iwamoto was called for slashing.
“I think the big point of the game is we’re up 3-0 and we took the five minute penalty and the five-on-three,” Gosek said. “There’s an example where you can gain momentum off of your penalty kill. I think you could see them fade once we killed that off.”
“It was indicative of the way the night went,” Schultz said. “We did a lot of good things on it, and we just didn’t find a way to put the puck in. It was one of those nights.”
Oswego put the game out of reach with 1:05 left on a tip-in goal by Ian Whitelaw. Stephan Mallaro took the shot which Whitelaw redirected.
Oswego (11-0, 8-0) returns to action next weekend hosting Utica then traveling to Hobart.
Geneseo (8-3-2, 5-2-1) is done for this calendar year. They return to action with a pair of home games against Franklin Pierce on January 7-8.