GENEVA, N.Y. – The Oswego State men’s ice hockey team defeated Hobart College 6-1 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championship. The win, which took place at The Cooler in Geneva, gives the team its 19th of the season and allows it to continue its postseason run. Hobart ends its year with a record of 21-7-0.
Oswego came right out of the gates firing, as the team was able to notch its first goal less than two minutes into the game. Nick Rivait gained the zone for the Lakers, passing it off to Mitchell Herlihey, who was occupying the right-side faceoff circle. Herlihey ripped a shot that was saved by Hobart’s Frank Oplinger who inturn was unable to contain the rebound. Mike Montagna then came swooping in to shovel it into the vacant net, giving Oswego a 1-0 lead with 18:43 remaining in the period. The Statesmen and the Lakers continued to trade shots with Oswego eventually able to take its 1-0 lead into the locker room.
After only netting one in the first period, Oswego skated into the second stanza guns blazing, scoring three goals in the first six minutes. Matt Galati struck first, increasing the Laker lead to 2-0 just 49 seconds into the period. Alex Botten won a faceoff deep in the Hobart zone, passing it back to Sean Federow. The sophomore tip-toed the blue line and fired a diagonal pass down to the corner of the crease where Galati was able to easily push the puck into the net. Oswego’s special teams were on the ice for the third goal of the night, as the Statesmen took a hooking penalty at the 16:29 mark. The play came to fruition as Galati fired a pass across to Botten, who ripped a slapper on goal. Kenny Neil was there to corral the rebound, sliding it past the goaltenders outstretched leg with 16:02 left in the period. With a three-goal lead, the Lakers continued to apply pressure, tallying another less than two minutes later. Herlihey found himself streaking down the opposition’s sideboards with help pursuing down the middle. The freshman hurled a pass towards the low slot where defenseman Bobby Gertsakis, who was helping in on the play, was able to tip it past Oplinger. Oswego would let up a goal at the 9:58 mark, but skated into the second intermission with a 4-1 lead.
The Lakers continued to keep the offense rolling in the third, notching two more en route to its victory. Galati earned his second of the night as he ripped a slapper right off a Botten-won faceoff, giving the Lakers a 5-1 lead. Shawn Hulshof, the SUNYAC Player of the Year, nabbed the team’s final goal as he fired a wrister through traffic that found the back of the net in the waning moments.
Matt Zawadzki earned his 12th win of the season with an outstanding showing, making 33 stops between the pipes for Oswego.
Men’s ice hockey will pick up NCAA play at 7 p.m. on Saturday as the team travels to Michigan to take on Adrian College in the NCAA quarterfinal round. Information on how to acquire tickets for the contest will be released on oswegolakers.com when available, which will be on Tuesday at the very earliest.