Game of the Week
I hate the schedule maker.
The last few years, the consistently most enjoyable SUNYAC rivalry games have been Plattsburgh-Oswego (well, that’s been consistently exciting for decades) and Fredonia-Buffalo State. So what do they do? Both times these rivalry games take place, it happens on the exact same day.
You see why I want to throw an elbow at the schedule maker when I go stalking by?
Since I will be attending the Fredonia at Buffalo State game, I will pick that one as the game of the week. (Hey, it’s my blog, and I’ll do what I want with it…)
I’ve written many times how this series in recent years has almost always been one-goal contests, especially if you ignore empty-net goals, one year involved all ties, and has plenty of overtime hockey. They sure do like meeting in the playoffs as well.
Last year was no exception. Both teams won at home in their three meetings. First, Buffalo State took a 2-1 win in overtime (of course). Then, Fredonia won 6-4 before winning again in the playoffs, 3-2, with all the goals coming in the second period, and only one player on each team scored all those goals.
To say these teams play each other close and tight, to say these coaches intimately know each other’s style, and to say this rivalry has grown to exceptional status this century, is an understatement.
Topping it all off is the fact this meeting is extremely important in the standings. Currently, Buffalo State is two points behind Plattsburgh and three points behind Oswego. Considering those teams play each other the same night, a Bengals victory is guaranteed to put them in the race for a bye.
Meanwhile, Fredonia is two points behind Buffalo State, and in a deadlock with two other teams, Potsdam and Geneseo. The Blue Devils desperately need this game to maintain pace with the leaders.
This scenario is exactly the set up fans love to see. They will be in for a real treat of old fashioned, hard-nosed hockey.
I really like the way Buffalo State has been playing this year. Their only “bad” loss was to Potsdam. They beat Plattsburgh and St. Thomas, and have blown out Brockport, Morrisville, and Cortland. They played Geneseo (a game they really should have won), Oswego, and Wis.-Eau Claire very well in those losses.
For those reasons, I’m going with Buffalo State to reverse the trend of last season, and win at home.
Okay, now we can talk about the Oswego at Plattsburgh game. Always a thriller, this year promises the same.
The high-powered offense of Oswego going up against the struggling offense of Plattsburgh, scoreless in the last 160 minutes. The tough, disciplined style of Plattsburgh going up against the freewheeling, penalty-prone Oswego.
Oswego has won the last five meetings, a rare streak for the Lakers against their biggest rivals. Even though the game is at Plattsburgh, I’m going to go with Oswego extending that streak to six.
Oswego then travels to Potsdam in a perfect set up for an upset. However, I’ll go with Oswego, but they better be careful of the Bears. Plattsburgh will bounce back and dispatch Cortland.
Potsdam will start the weekend beating Cortland, in a game between two teams playing better than expected.
The other Friday game will see Geneseo overcome their horrendous performance two weekends ago and beat Morrisville. Morrisville will then run into a psyched up Brockport and lose again.
The remainder of the games are all nonconference contests. Elmira will beat Fredonia, Geneseo will beat Hobart, and in the upset of the week, Buffalo State will beat Utica. Buffalo State will also win on Wednesday against Hobart.
Game of the Week