Game of the Week
It’s rare I don’t go with a Plattsburgh-Oswego contest as my game of the week.
Though it is one of the top rivalries in college hockey, and the game always means something, with three points separating these two teams heading into the penultimate game of the season, it just doesn’t have the impact on the standings as another game does.
That game is a nice rivalry onto itself — Buffalo State at Fredonia. Plus, it has huge ramifications in the standings, being the teams are tied for third place, and one of them could drop out of a home playoff spot if they lose. All of those scenarios I covered in yesterday’s column, so I won’t go over them again here.
Two of their last three contests have gone to overtime, and they are 1-1-1 in that stretch. The last time they met, Buffalo State held 2-0 and 3-1 leads, but had to settle for a 3-3 tie.
Both teams are stumbling recently. Buffalo State has won once in its last four games and twice in its last six games. Fredonia has won once in its last four games, but two of those losses were in overtime, while the other loss was a 10-2 pounding at the hands of Oswego.
So, which of the lesser two slumps do we go with? Fredonia is home, so I will side with Fredonia.
Once again, I got both Potsdam games wrong last week, but for the opposite reasons. I still went 6-3 for the weekend, adding to my total of 88-29-12 (.729)
I might not have selected Plattsburgh at Oswego, but admittedly that is the game I will be attending Friday night. Standings impact or not, it’s going to be a doozy.
A couple of weeks ago, I would have had no trouble picking Plattsburgh. I felt the Cardinals were playing the best disciplined, defensive hockey in the country. Then, things changed a bit.
Plattsburgh started having trouble holding onto leads, blowing a 3-0 lead against Potsdam before finally winning, 4-3, giving away a 2-0 lead to Fredonia before winning in overtime, 3-2, and then losing outright to Brockport for only the second time since God created hockey.
Meanwhile, Oswego has been on a roll, blowing teams out and only allowing more than two goals once in its last nine games.
If I go with the same philosophy I used in picking the game of the week, I have to go with Oswego.
On Saturday, Cortland hosts the second Saves for a Cure game. The jersey auction runs through February 26, and you can place a bid here. Unfortunately for Cortland, I see Plattsburgh ruining the party.
I also see Potsdam taking care of business on Friday against Cortland before losing the finale to Oswego.
Brockport has to sit around on Friday and watch its fate play out in front of its computer screens. It won’t know whether it still has a shot until the night is over, without playing a single second of hockey.
“Friday is a big night,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said. “We can’t do anything except be fans of a couple of teams. Obviously, then we’ll worry about Saturday. Morrisville is a scrappy team. We played some really tight games through the last couple of years. Regardless of whether or not we have a chance to move on, we know our guys want to go out on top, get to the 10-win plateau, seniors want to go out with a three-game winning streak.”
It’s tough to pick this game without knowing the emotions of Brockport heading into it. However, the Golden Eagles are on such a roll, I’ll go with them no matter what.
It’s also tough to pick the Geneseo at Morrisville game due to the state of Geneseo’s roster. However, I think Geneseo will grit it out and clinch a playoff spot without having to worry about watching its computer screens on Saturday.