SUNYAC Roundup: Dec. 13

Oswego Finally Losses
It was only a matter of time before Oswego finally lost a game. Going undefeated these days in college hockey is a near impossibility. The Lakers dropped a game against always tough Hobart, at the always tough “Cooler” in Geneva, N.Y., 5-2. Hobart outshot Oswego, 42-27, taking 1-0 and 3-1 leads before putting the game away in the third.

“They played very well,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “We weren’t good. We weren’t good on Friday. We weren’t good on Saturday. It was just the little things.  Saturday, we were outworked, out-executed, outcoached, out-everything. Give them credit. Hobart is a good team. Hobart deserved to win. It wasn’t a fluke.”

The day before, Oswego escaped at home with a 2-1 victory over Utica.

“We felt we served it up to Utica, and they didn’t take it,” Gosek said. “We were hoping from a coaching standpoint after we didn’t play well on Friday, we thought they would work harder on Saturday. They didn’t do that.”

Jon Whitelaw scored early in the game, then Justin Fox got the game-winner late in the second on a power play. The key to the game was Dan Jones’ 13 saves in the final period, including stopping a breakaway.

Jones was also in net the next day as starter Paul Beckwith is out 3-6 weeks with an upper body injury.

“Not his fault,” Gosek said of Jones. “We did not play well in front of him. It’s a shame for him because he’s paid his dues.”

As for Beckwith, he’s due to return to practice when the holiday break is over, but whether he is cleared to play in the PathFinder Bank/Oswego Hockey Classic won’t be made till that week. A tournament which includes Hobart…

Fredonia Sweeps

The Blue Devils had a nice trip to Rhode Island, taking two games from Johnson and Wales. In the first, they fell behind 1-0 after one, but scored twice in the first two minutes of the second on goals by Mitch Kulikoski and Ben Waldman. After the Wildcats tied it, Fredonia scored two more times before the period ended with Kulikoski’s second and a Alex Morton tally.

Johnson and Wales opened the scoring in the third, but Brett Mueller, Andrew Christ, and Waldman put the game away, 7-3. Kody Van Rentergem made 24 saves.

The next day was a bit tighter, though it started out nicely for Fredonia, scoring the first three goals of the game — Waldman yet again, Jordan Oye, and Chris de Bruyn. Two Johnson and Wales goals early in the third made it exciting, but Jeff Holloway held the fort down, winding up with 18 saves for the 3-2 win.

Early in the week, Plattsburgh defeated Skidmore, 4-1, as Josh Leis made 17 saves. Dan Sliasis and Kyle Kudroch gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead before Skidmore got one back. Kyle Taylor and Matty MacLeod put the game away in the third period.

SUNYAC Players of the Week (selected by the conference)
Player of the Week: Ben Waldman, Fredonia (F, So., Pittsford, N.Y.) scored his first three goals of the season as Fredonia posted two wins at Johnson and Wales over the weekend. He scored twice and added an assist in a 7-3 win Dec. 10, and led off the scoring Dec. 11 in an eventual 3-2 victory.

Rookie of the Week: Mike Zannella, Buffalo State (F, Ithaca, N.Y.) tallied his first two-goal game of his young career, netting both Bengal goals in a 3-2 loss to Utica. Zannella evened the scoring 1-1 early in the second period and then struck again midway through the third for the 3-2 final.

Goaltender of the Week: Dan Jones, Oswego (So., Richmond Hill, Ontario) registered a win in his first collegiate start against Utica on Friday after posting 27 saves. He also made two pivotal saves on a breakaway chance with five minutes remaining to preserve the one-goal lead. Jones suffered the loss on Saturday in a 5-2 decision at Hobart despite making 37 saves. Two of the five goals he allowed were in five-on-three situations.