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The Oswego Lakers take down #4 Utica

The Oswego Lakers Men’s Hockey Team earned their third win of the season over a top-five team with Saturday night’s victory over Utica.

A regional rivalry was renewed on Saturday night as the #4 Utica Pioneers Men’s Hockey Team visited the Deborah F. Stanley Arena and Convocation Center. Both teams were a part of the Utica Thanksgiving Showcase two weeks prior, but as a matter of circumstance did not play each other.

The Pioneers entered Saturday night’s contest as a well-rested team. Their last game was over a week ago when they defeated Stonehill 7-2 at home. The Lakers, on the other hand, had just played twenty-four hours before hosting the Pioneers. They were looking to regain some momentum after suffering a 5-2 loss on Friday night against Cortland

The Central New York Hockey Schedules for December 9, 2023

The home team opened the game with a lot of energy and parlayed that into an early first-period lead. At just 2:03 into the opening frame, Utica goaltender Ethan Roberts made a save off a shot by Trent Grimshaw, but Cam Symons put the loose change in the back of the net. With the home crowd roaring, the Lakers got the early momentum they were looking for.

Utica’s Preston Brighton (#19) and Oswego’s AJ Ryan (#27). Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

It took about ten minutes, but the Pioneers got their legs under them in the latter half of the period. They would tie the game with 5:44 left when Aiden Hughes fired a shot from the right circle past Oswego goaltender Brandon Millberg to tie the game at one. That score would hold for the rest of the period.

After a defensive-minded opening to start the second period, the home team turned it on. They outshot the visitors 14-3 and scored the period’s only goal. With just under five minutes remaining, the Lakers struck on the power play. Matt McQuade’s shot from the right circle was tipped in front and in by Oswego leading scorer Shane Bull to make the score 2-1.

The Pioneers had an opportunity to tie the game in the closing minutes of the period, but could not convert with twenty-four seconds of five-on-three power play time. The remainder of that penalty carried over giving Utica 1:28 seconds of power play time to start the third period.

Oswego captain Quinn Warmuth (#8) prepares to defend against Utica’s Aiden Hughes (#13) and Chris Carroll (#11). Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

The Lakers killed the abbreviated power play the Pioneers opened the period with and then added to their lead. Tyler Flack scored his tenth goal of the season in highlight-reel fashion. He stickhandled through the Pioneer zone from the right to the left before snapping a shot into the top of the net from the bottom of the left circle at the 5:10 mark.

After the Flack goal, Utica began to apply pressure and it paid off. They got within one with six minutes left when Michael Herrera redirected a Domenick Evtimov shot past Millberg and in.

The Lakers nearly added an insurance goal with five minutes remaining when Bull set Flack up on a point-blank chance with a cross-ice pass, but Roberts made a left pad save. Utica head coach Gary Heenan pulled Roberts for an extra skater with just under a minute remaining. The Pioneers could not take advantage, and the Lakers hung on for a 3-2 victory. With the win, Oswego improves to 8-5-0 overall, while Utica falls to 6-2-3.

For more information about Utica Pioneers hockey, visit https://uticapioneers.com. For more on the Oswego Lakers, visit https://oswegolakers.com.

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