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Oswego sweeps; avenges Utica loss
The Utica at Oswego game was an interesting one. It wasn’t a dirty game. It wasn’t a chippy game. In fact, it was, relatively speaking, a clean game. However, due to the officials calling a very tight game, it was filled with penalties. Quite honestly, with the way the game was being called, you couldn’t fault any of the calls. It was called fairly, both ways.

Therefore, Oswego was whistled for 12 minors, one major and a game misconduct, and a 10-minute misconduct at the end of the game which had no effect. Utica picked up 11 minors as well as a major and game misconduct. The biggest difference was the number of times Utica picked up a penalty after the whistle when it was about to go on a power-play.

“That’s inexcusable,” Utica coach Gary Heenan said. “It negates three power plays by taking penalties during power plays. That’s embarrassing.”

Utica still wound up with 12 power plays to Oswego’s nine. However, it’s what they did with them that was the key.

“Special teams was obviously the difference in the game,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “In games like that, you have to have your special teams perform well, and I thought our special teams was better than theirs.”

Oswego scored two power-play goals (though one was just when a Laker stepped onto the ice after his penalty expired) and two short-handed goals (though one was an empty-netter).

“We didn’t want a special teams game,” Heenan said. “We wanted five-on-five hockey. That certainly wasn’t the case tonight. It was a whole special teams game.”

After a scoreless first period, the second period was the difference when Oswego scored on a four-on-four, while short-handed, and on a power play. The latter two came in the final 1:25, with the last one coming with only 1.3 seconds left on the clock.

Tyler Leimbrock scored the first two, with Jon Whitelaw getting the other.

Utica got one back at 8:21 of the final period on the only five-on-five goal of the game. However, five seconds later, Utica took an interference penalty, and 26 seconds after that, Hank Van Boxmeer made it 4-1.

Luke Moodie scored an empty-net, short-handed tally at 17:22 as Utica got desperate. Utica wrapped it up with a four-on-four goal.

Andrew Hare made 17 saves for the win.

The win avenged the 3-2 Utica victory earlier in the season in Utica.

“I think in the past our guys would not have handled the adversity of penalty after penalty after penalty well,” Gosek said. “I think after we had some undisciplined play and behavior against Neumann, we’ve been talking and preaching all week long about accountability and being mentally tougher.

The day before, Oswego beat Curry, 3-1. The Lakers needed two late third period power-play goals to finally put the Colonels away. They were scored by Whitelaw and Moodie. The teams traded goals in the second period with Zach Josepher scoring early and Curry tying it about 11 minutes later. Dan Jones got the start, making 30 saves.

Other highlights
– Plattsburgh pounded Middlebury, 7-0. It was the second consecutive shutout against Middlebury, but only its first win versus the Panthers this season. Mathieu Cadieux got the whitewash with 25 saves. Seven different players scored, including a short-hander by Alex Brenton. Plattsburgh went two-for-three against the second best penalty kill in the nation.

– The next night, Plattsburgh let a game slip away against Williams and had to settle for a 3-3 tie. The Cardinals led 2-0 on goals by Alex Jensen and Barry Roytman, but Williams tied it in the third period. Ten seconds after the tie, Ryan Craig put Plattsburgh back in the lead. However, the Ephs tied it again with an extra attacker with 35 seconds left.

– Fredonia got a split against Neumann. It lost Friday, 5-2, and won on Saturday, 3-2 in overtime. On Saturday, Stephen Castriota scored in the first, but the game was tied after one. Mike Muhs scored on a power play in the third, but the game was tied after regulation. Bryan Ross got the game-winner at 3:07. Mark Friesen made 37 saves.

– Brockport beat Nichols, 3-1. After falling behind in the second, Steve Sachman tied it four minutes later, Pat Hayden got the game-winner at 8:45 of the third, and Brett Jendra got the clincher into an empty net. Oliver Wren made 37 saves.

– On Thursday night, Brockport beat Western New England College, 5-1, as Brockport got off 44 shots. Wren only had to face 16 shots, stopping 15 of them.

– After Buffalo State surprisingly lost to Johnson and Wales, 4-3, the Bengals came back to beat the Wildcats, 7-5. In the winning game, Elijah Cohen got the hat trick. His first goal got the team going after they were behind, 3-0. His second goal tied the game 5-5, and his final tally was the clinching seventh goal.