Oswego ascended to the top of the USCHO.com rankings for the first time in this young season. However, they now face a tough obstacle to stay there — the loss of their number one goalie for an indeterminate amount of time.
Paul Beckwith sustained an injury to his right knee in the season opener against Elmira. Since then, he has not suited up for the Lakers. The extent of the injury is not fully known, and thus no return date has been set.
According to the Oswego student newspaper, the Oswegonian, Beckwith plans to also get examined by his personal doctor when he returns home during the Thanksgiving weekend.
“It could be a month, or it could be the entire season,” Beckwith said.
Oswego has been in this situation before. In Beckwith’s rookie season, an injury left the Lakers with only Chris Hyk, so they looked for a replacement. They wound up bringing in two transfers for the second semester — Tim Potter from Clarkson and Kyle Gunn-Taylor from Buffalo State.
Potter didn’t work out and didn’t return the next year. It was now down to Gunn-Taylor, who was a senior, Beckwith, and a freshman, Dan Jones.
Gunn-Tylor wound up with most of the playing time, as Beckwith suffered from nagging injuries, leading Oswego to the national semifinals.
When he graduated, it was now Beckwith and Jones. Beckwith finally got to play a full season healthy, leading the Lakers to yet another national semifinal.
There was another transfer midway through the year, Andrew Hare from Niagara University. He played in only two games for Oswego.
Now, with Beckwith out again, it will be down to Hare and Jones … unless of course another transfer is found during the holiday break.
So far, Hare has played in all but the most recent game since the opener, going 4-1-0 with a 1.72 GAA and a .937 save pct.
“He’s been consistent in net,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “He’s very sound technically.”
Jones played against Brockport, letting up one late goal on 28 shots, earning Goalie of the Week honors.
“He came in against Brockport, and played very well,” Gosek said.
With Beckwith conceivably gone for the year, the team will have to rely on Hare and Jones.
“They both are capable,” Gosek said “They both worked hard in the offseason to up their play. Both have the support of their teammates. They are very confident with both of them in net. It’s nice to have that depth.”
That depth has allowed Oswego to weather Beckwith injuries in the past. They will have to do it again this season.
Is the Jinx Over?
There’s been a running joke on the USCHO message boards about how it always appears whenever something malfunctions at a hockey rink, I’m there.
I’ve been in three different rinks when fire alarms went off (Geneseo, Brockport, and Oswego). I was at a Geneseo game when the glass shattered, causing a lengthy delay. For an RIT game, it was glass falling out.
The problems seemed to magnify last year. I was at an RIT game when the Zamboni broke down midway through cleaning, sitting powerless on the ice. Then, to top it all off, on my first trip to Potsdam in many, many years, a coolant pipe burst during the first intermission, causing a leak. The damage was too great to continue, and the game had to be postponed for a day and moved to Clarkson’s Cheel Arena.
USCHO photographer Angelo Lisuzzo jokes that rinks will start putting my picture on the entrances to inform security not to allow me in. At least, I think he’s joking…
This year, I believe the jinx may actually be gone. There’s been a fire alarm at the Oswego-Utica game, and I was not there. A Zamboni broke at last weekend’s Plattsburgh at Potsdam game, and again I was not there.
However, I am currently knocking on wood and plan on bringing a rabbit’s foot to games.
Beware Buffalo State and Fredonia this weekend.
SUNYAC Players of the Week (selected by the conference)
Player of the Week: Trevor McKinney, Buffalo State (F, Jr., Oakwood, Ontario). Netted two goals and added an assist to lead Buffalo State to a 7-2 victory over host Morrisville State. Buffalo State struck first when McKinney scored a power-play marker for the only goal of the first period. McKinney added another power-play marker early in the second period before assisting on the final goal of the period to put the Bengals up 5-1.
Rookie of the Week: Nick Zappia, Cortland (F, Manlius, N.Y.). Helped lead the Red Dragons to a 1-1 weekend. He scored three points on two goals and an assist in a 7-5 win versus Brockport on Friday night. Zappia netted his first career goal late in the second period to tie the game at 5-5, and added an empty-net insurance goal with 44 seconds to play to seal the win.
Goalie of the Week: Daniel Jones, Oswego (Jr., Richmond Hill, Ontario). Registered a 7-1 win over Brockport in his first appearance of the season. Jones stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced, including 13 in the first period as the Lakers were on the penalty kill for nearly 10 minutes of the frame. The goal allowed by Jones came in the final two minutes of the game.