SUNYAC Roundup: Dec. 6

Oswego increases its lead
The SUNYAC schedule is now half over, and Oswego has been the story this semester. The Lakers are undefeated both in the conference (8-0) and overall (11-0), and they are now a unanimous number one pick in the national poll.

“It’s a credit to these guys,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said.

Oswego wrapped up the first half with a strong 4-0 win at Geneseo. Hank Van Boxmeer scored the first goal on an obvious offsides, but in reality, the Lakers got it done while Geneseo did not. Justin Fox made it 2-0 on their second power-play goal. Taylor Farris and Jon Whitelaw wrapped it up in the third period, but the game was over after Geneseo failed to score during a five-minute power play.

“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,” Geneseo coach Chris 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.”

The key player of course was Paul Beckwith, who made 35 saves for the shutout.

The night before, Oswego took care of business at Brockport. They opened up a 3-0 first period lead, cruising to a 4-2 win, letting up only 17 shots. Luke Moodie scored twice while Tom Galiani got both of Brockport’s goals.

Geneseo, Morrisville tied for second
My pick for game of the week lived up to its billing. Buffalo State and Morrisville played a thrilling 3-3 tie. However, this cost Morrisville an opportunity to sit in second place by themselves, especially since they had a 3-0 lead over the Bengals.

That lead was built on a pair of first period goals by Geoff Matzel, the first coming 55 seconds after the opening face off on a power play. It initially appeared Rob Sgarbossa put the game away with an early third period goal.

Then, Morrisville got into penalty trouble and the Bengals came roaring back.

“We were undisciplined,” Grady said. “I think we panicked a little bit. We didn’t play within ourselves. We got away from our game.”

Justin Knee scored with a two-man advantage, and Drew Klin got another power-play tally 39 seconds later. Buffalo State saved the best for last when they had another power play, pulled their goalie, and Sean Murray scored with two seconds left in regulation.

“It was planned to get our senior defensemen up top,” Buffalo State coach Nick Carriere said. “We ended up winning the draw, and we got it to Nick [Petriello] and he found a way to get it through. The guys just mucked it out and found a way to get it in.”

“A game like that makes it feel like a win for them and certainly a loss for us,” Morrisville coach Brian Grady said.

Now, Grady had to get his troops to forget what happened and prepare for Fredonia the very next night. Something he is familiar with.

“We’ve been through it last year,” he said. “We know we have to come with our best effort. Three weekends ago we had a less than excellent effort against Potsdam, and we came back and beat Plattsburgh. We’ve done it, and we know we can do it again. We got enough left in the bank to come to the table to play hockey.”

He was right. All the scoring was in the second period as Matzel again scored twice sandwiched around a Mitch Kulikoski power-play goal for Fredonia, for a 2-1 win. Caylin Relkoff made 33 saves.

With Geneseo beating Cortland Friday night, 6-2, thanks to a pair of goals by Ryan Bulach, the Ice Knights and Mustangs are tied for second (with Morrisville currently holding the tie-breaker), one point ahead of Buffalo State.

Brockport wins first game
The Golden Eagles finally won a game this year, defeating Cortland, 4-2. After Joey Christiano put the Red Dragons ahead in the first period, Brockport scored three unanswered goals (Mike Baxter, Galiani, Pay Hayden), one in each period, to take a 3-1 lead.

Jarrett Gold cut the lead to one on an extra-attacker goal with 1:31 left. However, Brendan Rothfuss put the game away with an empty-net tally 50 seconds later. Joe Reagan made 39 saves for the win.

In the battle of the North Country, Plattsburgh beat Potsdam, 4-1, outshooting the Bears, 47-19. Plattsburgh’s Eric Satim scored early, only to have the game tied up by Brandon Cuoto. Then Satim scored again followed by Kyle Kudroch and Barry Roytman.

SUNYAC Players of the Week (selected by the conference)
Player of the Week: Geoff Matzel, Morrisville (F, Jr., Chittenango, N.Y.) scored twice against Buffalo State in a 3-3 overtime draw on Friday, and netted both scores in a 2-1 defeat of Fredonia the following night. The game-winner against Fredonia was a short-handed tally. He currently leads the Mustangs in scoring with seven goals and five assists for 12 points.

Rookie of the Week: Patrick Hayden, Brockport (D, Springfield, Penn.) netted his first collegiate goal to stake Brockport to a 3-1 lead and the Golden Eagles would need that goal, getting past Cortland 4-2 Saturday night for Brockport’s first win of the year.

Goaltender of the Week: Paul Beckwith, Oswego (Jr., Cleveland, Ohio) stopped 50 of 52 shots he faced in two more SUNYAC wins. He stopped 15 shots in Friday’s 4-2 win over Brockport. On Saturday, Beckwith stymied Geneseo by making 35 saves for his second shutout of the season in a 4-0 decision.