OSWEGO -- The second-ranked Oswego Lakers (5-0, 3-0 SUNYAC) used a late surge to defeat the SUNY Potsdam men’s hockey team 7-1. Luke Moodie recorded a hat trick and Justin Fox scored two goals to lead the Lakers past the Bears.
Freshman forward Jesse Ostring (Ylojarvi, Finland/Sammon Lukio) scored for Potsdam.
The Lakers put intense pressure on the Bears defense right out of the gate. However, junior goaltender Trevor O’Neill (Bobcaygeon, Ontario/Stoffville Spirit) was very sharp, foiling several Oswego scoring chances early.
The Lakers finally broke through on their first power play at the 10:57 mark. Laker defenseman Stephen Mallaro fired a shot from the point that was deflected in front of O’Neill for a 1-0 Oswego lead.
Two Laker penalties minutes later awarded Potsdam a five-on-three advantage and allowed the momentum to shift back in the Bears favor. Potsdam had several near misses on the power play and senior forward Fraser Smith (Fonthill, Ontario/Oakville Blades) was stuffed on a breakaway by Oswego goalie Paul Beckwith late in the period. The score remained 1-0 at the end of the first period.
O’Neill continued to stand out early in the second period making several more tremendous saves on odd man rushes. The play evened out through much of the second period with each team trading penalties and scoring opportunities. The Lakers were able to pad to their lead with just under three minutes remaining in the period as Luke Moodie stuffed the rebound off a soft shot through the pads of O’Neill.
The key play of the game came with just two seconds left on the clock. Moodie found himself alone on the right side of the Bears crease and wrapped the puck around O’Neill’s right pad for a 3-0 Oswego advantage.
The Lakers struck early in the third period, capitalizing on a Bear turnover at the blue line. Oswego defenseman Matt Singleton knocked down a Potsdam clearing attempt and fed Moodie, who completed his hat trick at the 3:26 mark.
The Bears continued to battle and finally got on the board about five minutes later as Ostring hammered home a rebound. Smith and senior defender Zack Juliano (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Valley Junior Warriors) assisted on the goal. The Lakers answered with three goals, including the final two from Fox, to go on to the 7-1 victory.
O’Neill made 29 saves for the Bears and Beckwith finished with 33 stops for the Lakers. Potsdam was 0 for 6 on the power play and Oswego was 2 for 8.
Bears Head Coach Chris Bernard admitted the end of the second period turned the game around and third period mistakes really hurt his team.
“I thought we had an outstanding second period top to bottom. We let down the final three minutes and when you’re playing one of the best teams in the country they make you pay for it,” Bernard said. “We played portions of the third period very well and the breakdowns we had cost us. They’re just a good team like that. If we’re going to compete, we’re going to have to compete for the full twenty minutes. That’s not to say that the guys’ effort wasn’t there, just that we have to execute under that sort of pressure.”
The Bears (1-2, 1-2) are back in action tomorrow night, when they travel to Cortland to face the Red Dragons at 7 p.m.