Oswego, Plattsburgh begin to nudge ahead
It’s a familiar site. Oswego and Plattsburgh, neck and neck, pulling ahead of the rest of the field. This was helped by both teams sweeping the weekend, including key wins against close pursuers. It also helped that one team which was hoping to make a serious run this year, Geneseo, crashed and burned.
The weekend started with two convincing wins by the leading duo.
Oswego outshot Fredonia, 41-17, taking a 2-0 first period lead en route to a 4-1 win. Andrew Mather (power play), Luke Moodie, Chris Brown (second period), and Ian Boots (third period) put the Lakers up 4-0 before Mike Muhs broke the shutout on a power play midway through the third. Andrew Hare make 16 saves.
Mark Friesen was pulled after letting up the fourth goal, despite making 34 saves.
Meanwhile, Plattsburgh was cruising to a 6-1 win over Brockport. After Nick Jensen and Matty MacLeod (short-handed) gave the Cardinals a 2-0 first period lead, Ryan Farnan scored a natural hat trick in a span of 5:53 in the second period. Plattsburgh poured 59 shots on Oliver Wren.
Troy Polino broke the shutout, then Jensen finished the scoring 13 seconds into the third. Mathieu Cadieux made 22 saves before Sam Foley got some playing time, making three saves.
Saturday were the key contests. Coming into the weekend, Plattsburgh was tied with Geneseo, while Oswego was one point ahead of Buffalo State. The latter circumstance remained the same, but Geneseo had already lost to Potsdam before Saturday’s game.
Plattsburgh shutout Geneseo on two second period goals by Vick Schlueter (power play) and Matty MacLeod, 2:09 apart. Cadieux kept the Ice Knights at bay with 23 saves.
Oswego needed two third period goals in a span of 31 seconds to beat Buffalo State. It started with the teams trading goals in the first and second periods, each time Oswego scoring first. First, Paul Rodrigues did it before Nick Melligan tied it on a power play. Then, Chris Brown did it on a power play before Matt Bessing tied it.
Justin Knee gave the Bengals their first lead of the night at 1:34 of the final period. Rodrigues and Tim Carr scored those quick goals in the middle of the period, and Kyle Badham notched an empty-netter to clinch the 5-3 win. Hare made 22 saves for the win, while Kevin Carr stopped 35 in the loss.
So now Oswego continues to lead the league, but is just one point ahead of Plattsburgh. Buffalo State is two points behind the Cardinals. Geneseo falls into a three-way tie for fourth, another two points behind the Bengals, along with Potsdam and Fredonia. Potsdam has a game in hand on the other two teams.
The logjam up front is starting to separate, but it remains tight in the middle of the standings.
– Potsdam swept the weekend, starting out with a stunning 7-3 shellacking of Geneseo. Potsdam took a quick 2-0 first period lead. After Geneseo looked like they were going to flex its muscles, tying the game in the second, 16 seconds later the Bears went on a roll with five unanswered goals. Two were scored within 40 seconds, and two were scored within 38 seconds. Geneseo played all three goalies, while Dylan Ellis made 33 saves for the win. Adam Place and Bill Tsekos wound up with two goals each while Sy Nutkevitch got four assists.
– The next night, Potsdam used a three-goal burst to break a 1-1 tie en route to a 5-3 win over Brockport. Place scored twice again and also got two assists, while Nutkevitch also got two goals and two assists. Ellis made 37 saves.
– Buffalo State wiped out Cortland, 8-0. The Bengals scored three in the first and five in the second. Jim Durham scored twice within 54 seconds. Dave Lansdowne and Trevor McKinney also scored two goals each. Carr got the shutout with 28 saves.
– Fredonia and Cortland played to a 5-5 tie. Fredonia led 1-0 after one. Then, Cortland scored three consecutive goals only to have Fredonia score four straight, including a Jared Wynia hat trick, all in the second. Three of them were on the power play. The two-goal lead didn’t last, as the Red Dragons scored twice early in the third, the first while short-handed, to tie it. Despite eight shots and a Fredonia penalty in overtime, nobody scored.
Oswego, Plattsburgh begin to nudge ahead