ADRIAN, Mich. – The Oswego State men’s ice hockey team fell to Adrian College 5-4 in the NCAA Division III Championship quarterfinal on Saturday night in Arrington Ice Arena. Oswego will finish out its season with a record of 19-4-4. Adrian improves to 23-3-3 and will advance to the Frozen Four.
The first period was full of action as each team was able to get on the board. Adrian struck first, scoring with 12:29 left in the first. Oswego wasn’t to be outdone though, evening it up at one just three minutes later. The goal came about after a Mike Wills shot went well wide of the net. Matt Galati was able to gather it to the stick side of the Bulldog goaltender and fire a no-angle shot towards the net. The puck fell near the skates of the tender and Kenny Neil found it first, sliding it past the goal line and tying the game. The Lakers weren’t done there as the team was able to take its first lead at the 2:55 mark. After Adrian went a man down,
Oswego’s power-play unit was able to convert as Bobby Gertsakis faked a shot at the top of the slot and passed it off to Galati. Galati then ripped a slapper that Adrian’s goalie Scott Shackell never saw, giving Oswego its first lead of the game.
It was all even play through the first 17 minutes of the second, as neither team could find the back of the net. Adrian was able to break the stalemate though, scoring a shorthanded goal with just 1:37 remaining in the stanza. The Bulldogs then tacked on another with just 29.3 seconds to go, giving Adrian a 3-2 lead going into the second intermission.
Going into the final stanza, Adrian increased its lead to two goals, as it scored at the 11:01 mark. Oswego was poised to comeback, cutting the lead to one after a Nick Rivait wrister found its way through traffic and beat the Bulldog goaltender with 6:10 left in regulation. The momentum was once again cut off though, as Adrian netted its fifth goal, going up 6-4 just 58 seconds later.
Desperate to get back into the game, the Lakers pulled its goaltender with 2 minutes left to give them a 6-on-5 advantage. The strategy paid off, as Hulshof ripped a shot from the left faceoff circle that squeezed passed Shackell. Montagna was then able to usher the rolling puck into the net and the lead was knocked to one with 1:39 left. The Lakers continued to play with its goalie pulled but to no avail, falling to Adrian 5-4 at the end of regulation.
Matt Zawadzki made plenty of big saves throughout the game, finishing with 27 to his name.
Oswego’s special team’s played penalty kill well, defending all four Bulldog power-play opportunities.