SUNYAC wrap: Feb. 20

Oswego makes it a hat trick
Three was the magical number for Oswego. It took a third consecutive SUNYAC regular season title with a pair of 3-0 shutouts this weekend.
Of course, the victory over Plattsburgh was the biggie. Andrew Hare stopped all 27 shots to shutout the rivals during White-Out weekend.
“Definitely one of the games I wanted to pull off,” Hare said. “My team played good in front of me and blocked a lot of shots for me. Pretty much made it easy for me.”
“He tracked the puck very well,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “There were times there was traffic in front, but he’s out as far as he can; he’s taking the bottom of the net away. I thought there was a lot that went into his pads through a screen, and I thought he did a good job controlling rebounds. Very, very solid.”
“The story of our team this year,” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said. “We can’t put the puck in the net. I’m a big believer you got to make your own breaks out there. Oswego is the most opportunistic team in the country. We can’t be playing catch up when we are two behind.”
It’s Oswego’s first shutout against Plattsburgh since February 13, 1998. The Lakers are now 6-0-1 in their last seven meetings against the Cardinals.
Oswego jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Jesse McConney on a one-timer off a faceoff and Jon Whitelaw completing a perfectly executed three-on-two. Chris Ayotte wrapped it up in the third period on a one-timer off a rebound on the power play.
“We were opportunistic in the first period,” Gosek said. “The puck gets turned over at the top of the circle when they come on the line rush and we make it 2-0.”
“I didn’t think overall, outside of the goals for and goals against, we played a bad game,” Emery said. “It’s the little things that stand out when we’re not scoring.”
Oswego did it again the next night against Potsdam. This time Hare made 19 saves, nearly half of them in the first period, Potsdam’s strongest.
It took Oswego till the second period to score twice, by Tyler Leimbrock on a power play and Whitelaw. Matt Singleton got an empty net goal while shorthanded to clinch it.
Hare now has a 153:14 shutout streak going back to early in the second period of the Buffalo State game.
The last playoff spot nobody wanted
It certainly seemed that way, as neither Brockport nor Potsdam did anything to earn the spot the last weekend.
Potsdam only needed one win in the last two games to clinch it, but couldn’t pull it off. Friday was its best shot, but it allowed Cortland to stay close, eventually dropping a 6-3 decision to the Red Dragons.
Mike Foy gave Potsdam a first period lead while short-handed, only to have Nick Zappia tie it up. Nick Avgerinos put the Bears back up by one for the first intermission, only to have Peter Lompado and Zappia give Cortland a 3-2 lead after two.
Matt Viola tied it up, only to have Chris Kaleta regain the lead for Cortland. Adam Bevilacqua provided an insurance goal late in the game, and Kaleta put in an empty-netter.
Meanwhile, for Brockport it was 2003 redux. Back then, it lost out on a playoff spot with one second left in the game. This year, it lost out on a playoff spot with 7.6 seconds left in the game.
It only had one game against Morrisville, but with Potsdam losing its games, it left the door open for the Golden Eagles.
Steve Sachman scored early in the first to give Brockport the lead. Todd Hosmer tied it early in the third. By the end of the game, they may or may not have known Potsdam already was about to lose and only needed a tie to get in. Instead, the end turned into an unmitigated disaster.
Brendon Rothfuss committed a major penalty and game misconduct for hitting from behind. To rub salt into their self-inflicted wound, Ian Finnerty committed a cross checking penalty. Some felt the calls were not warranted. Nonetheless, with Morrisville now up by two men, Daniel Morello scored the game-winner with 7.6 seconds left.
With the loss, Brockport ties Potsdam for the last spot, a tiebreaker the Golden Eagles lose.
Thus, Potsdam travels to Buffalo State on Wednesday.
Geneseo gets a home spot
The Ice Knights clinched a playoff spot, beating Morrisville on Friday, 3-2. This ensured them a tie for fourth, since Buffalo State and Fredonia squared off. The key for Geneseo was which of those teams would lose. It turned out to be the right team for Geneseo — Fredonia — because Geneseo wins that tiebreaker.
Thus, Fredonia travels to Geneseo on Wednesday.
Buffalo State’s win came thanks to a Nick Melligan game-winner with 4:53 to go. Geneseo’s victory came after taking a 3-1 second period lead and then holding on as Cory Gershon made 24 saves.
In the one game which didn’t mean anything in the standings, Plattsburgh beat Cortland, 3-2, in overtime. Zachary Blake got the winner with 56 seconds left. Plattsburgh’s scoring troubles continued, as they fired 52 shots in the game.