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Oswego St. loses heartbreaker to Plattsburgh St in SUNYAC semis

The Oswego Lakers men’s season came to a crushing end when their archrivals, the Plattsburgh Cardinals, scored 3:15 into overtime of the SUNYAC Semifinals. The game was not without some controversies.

A supposed high stick goal by Plattsburgh and a close crease violation negating an Oswego goal resulted in a possible two-goal swing.

“Disappointed,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “Platty is a very good team. They played hard. But I thought we had the better grade A’s throughout the game. And we didn’t finish them.”

Those grade A’s started early in the first as Oswego had an open net, but couldn’t get to the loose puck.

The Lakers did get the first goal of the game moments after a Plattsburgh penalty expired. As Brannon Butler left the box, Tyler Flack shot it from down low on the right side, beating Jacob Hearne at exactly the eleven-minute mark.

Oswego St Lakers Men’s Hockey rolling into SUNYAC Tournament

On Plattsburgh’s first power play, they smacked the post. Later, the Cardinals had a two-on-one and smartly spread it out. However, the Lakers’ defender did an excellent job cutting off both the shot and pass, negating any threat.

Early in the second, the first talking point of the game occurred. Oswego had trouble keeping the puck in when Jack Ring stopped it right at the blue line on the left point. He floated one towards the net that somehow found its way in.

Oswego claimed Joshua Belgrave tipped it in with a high stick. Though Belgrave’s stick was clearly straight up in the air, it did not appear from multiple replay angles that he actually touched it. And they did award the goal to Ring, unassisted. However, Oswego players on the ice immediately pointed to the high stick as the puck did drop at that moment.

The Oswego St. Lakers celebrate a goal against Plattsburgh St. during the “Whiteout Game” on February 10. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

On the other end, Oswego thought they had a power play goal to retake the lead. Cam Symons standing in front of the goalie made a perfect tip of a shot from the point to deflect it in. Or so he thought. The ref immediately waved it off, saying it was a crease violation.

This time multiple replays appeared to show Symons was outside the crease when he applied the tip, though he may have been in it briefly enough for the ref to make the call.

Thus, the game remained tied after two, and after the puck went across the crease in a collision in front of the Plattsburgh net early in the third, that, too, was waved off.

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Plattsburgh finally broke the tie at 13:22 of the third period when Ryan Hogg took an innocent-looking shot from the right circle. The low shot somehow eluded Cal Schell on the near side for a 2-1 lead to the visitors. Ultimately, once again the goal was the result of Oswego failing to clear the zone when they had the opportunity.

It didn’t take long for Oswego to strike back when given the only power play of the third period. Shane Bull blasted a one-timer from the right dot at 17:29.

To overtime, the game went. And of course, being a playoff game, it was the old-fashioned five-on-five, play until someone scores.

It didn’t take all that long, as it never went past the amount of time regular-season overtime goes. Once again, it was Hogg who played the hero, notching his second of the night.

His shot from the right point found its way through a screen.

Gosek explained, “It was just like the second goal. It goes D to D. We don’t get out on the angle. He’s screened. Doesn’t see it. And it’s in.”

Hearne wound up with 35 saves for the win as Oswego outshot Plattsburgh, 37-25.

Plattsburgh (21-4-2) not only goes on to the SUNYAC Championship game but are surprise hosts after Cortland stunned Geneseo, 3-2.

Meanwhile, with no hope for an at-large bid, Oswego’s season ends at 16-9-1.

“Our guys played hard,” Gosek said. “I’m proud of everything, the adversity they faced all year long. I couldn’t be prouder.”

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