OSWEGO, N.Y. — It doesn’t matter how long you hold a lead, even if it’s for zero seconds.
It just matters you have the lead when the game is over.
Fifth-ranked Plattsburgh never had the lead until 1:55 into overtime as the Cardinals twice came back from two goal deficits to defeat archrival Oswego 5-4.
“It was a good win for us,” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said. “It was a character win because we came back twice from two down.”
“Mistakes allowed them to get back in the game,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said.
Dillan Fox, who scored the tying goal, and Pat Egan went in on two-on-one. Fox, on the right side, slid the puck over to Egan, who one-timed it past Matt Zawadzki, who couldn’t move over in time, leaving an open section of the net.
“The goal at the end there in overtime, we don’t pick up,” Gosek said. “Our defenseman pivots the wrong way. His partner comes over and covers for him. No forward picks up the guy who is wide-open back door. Puck’s in the net.”
No. 11 Oswego came flying out of the gate, the Lakers scoring on their first two rushes, at 44 seconds and 1:10.
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Mitchell Herlihey took advantage of Spencer Finney having trouble covering a loose puck and jammed it in. A defensive breakdown allowed Oswego with a virtual three-on-none which Kenny Neil scored on his second chance.
“We knew they were going to come out of the locker room ready to play,” Emery said. “They certainly did. My goal coming into the game was to weather that which we did not.”
Plattsburgh salvaged the period at 8:23 when Chris Taff received a cross-ice pass from Cam Owens and one-timed it nearside over the glove.
At the start of the second period, Plattsburgh caught Oswego standing around on the power play, and Kevin Emmerling one-timed a blast from the slot.
The first Plattsburgh comeback was complete.
Oswego again scored two quick goals, 3:02 apart late in the second period. Alex Botten took a centering pass at the low slot for an easy one-timer. Matt Galati crashed the net to redirect the puck in and Oswego was back with a two-goal lead.
“Oswego is one of the most opportunistic teams there is,” Emery said. “Those two goals at the end of the period were bad mental defensive mistakes.”
This time, Plattsburgh scored the quick goal to open a period, 26 seconds into the third. Connor Gorman from beyond the left dot shot it softly on ice. Zawadzki didn’t have the angle on it, and it snuck by him just inside the far post.
At 6:05, Fox tied it after constant pressure while the goalie lost his stick.
The second Plattsburgh comeback was complete.
Then the trend changed and Plattsburgh grabbed the only lead which mattered, quieting the sellout home crowd.
“We had guys that made individual mistakes that cost us,” Gosek said.
Finney made 26 saves while Zawadzki stopped 20 shots.