The second-ranked Oswego State men’s hockey team posted a convincing 9-2 win over sixth-ranked Bowdoin on Saturday night at the Campus Center Arena to advance to the NCAA Division III Men’s Hockey Semifinal round. Senior assistant captain Neil Musselwhite paced the Laker offense with four goals, while sophomore defenseman Hank Van Boxmeer broke out for two goals and two assists in the victory. Oswego State, which improved to 26-2-0 overall, will face third-ranked St. Norbert on Friday, March 19 in Lake Placid, N.Y. at a time to be announced. The Polar Bears finished the season with an overall record of 19-7-1.
Bowdoin struck first by capitalizing on a pair of Oswego State charging penalties at 5:14 in the first period when Mike Corbelle’s (Sr., Byfield, Mass.) blast from the right point got past Laker netminder Kyle Gunn-Taylor (Sr., West Seneca, N.Y.). Captain Colin MacCormack (Sr., Bedford, Nova Scotia) was credited with an assist on the play as the Polar Bears quieted the crowd.
The Lakers evened the game two minutes later as both teams skated 4-on-4. Brad Dormiedy (Sr., Ajax, Ontario) moved the puck from the defensive zone to neutral ice before finding Neil Musselwhite (Sr., Burlington, Ontario), who was skating up the right side. Musselwhite got around the Polar Bear defender, moved through the crease, and got the backhand past Bowdoin goaltender Chris Rossi (Sr., Barrington, R.I.). The Polar Bears gained another two-skater advantage later in the period, but Oswego State was able to kill both penalties and keep the score knotted at 1-1.
It would not be until late in the period when the Lakers seized the lead for good. Luke Moodie (Fr., Burlington, Ontario) carried the puck deep into the Bowdoin defensive zone before finding Eric Selleck (So., Spencerville, Ontario) at the right face-off circle. As a Polar Bear player went down to block the shot, Selleck passed over to Hank Van Boxmeer (So., Orange, Calif.), whose blast from the blue line found its way through traffic at 14:38 to put Oswego State ahead 2-1.
Van Boxmeer struck again early in the second period with six seconds remaining on a Laker power play when he ripped a slap shot that popped Rossi’s water bottle off of the top of the net. Matt Singleton (Fr., Brooklin, Ontario) and Moodie received assists on the goal that gave Oswego State a 3-1 edge. The Lakers took advantage of a Bowdoin line change at the 7:34 mark with seven seconds left in another Oswego State power play when Musselwhite’s slap shot from the left face-off went off of Rossi’s glove, and bounced into the air behind Rossi into the net. Gunn-Taylor was credited with an assist on the play for his first career point.
Minutes later, Dormiedy carried the puck across the blue line, ripped a slap shot past Rossi after faking a pass to Musselwhite on the left side to give the Lakers a four-goal lead midway through the second period. The goal prompted Bowdoin head coach Terry Meagher to call timeout and switch Rossi for Richard Nerland (So., Calgary, Alberta).
However, the change did not slow down the Oswego State offense as Musselwhite completed the hat trick at 17:47 in the middle stanza when Dormiedy drew the Bowdoin defender on a 2-on-1 rush before passing to his linemate for the tap-in goal. The Lakers closed out the second period with their third power-play goal of the game when Justin Fox (Jr., Whitby, Ontario) deflected a Tyler Lyon (Sr., Foxboro, Ontario) slap shot past Nerland to give Oswego State a 7-1 lead at intermission.
Midway through the third period, Musselwhite tacked on his fourth goal of the game when he and Chris Laganiere (Jr., Owego, N.Y.) traded passes back-and-forth during an odd-man rush. B owdoin answered seconds later, though, when Rob MacGregor (Fr., Collegeville, Pa.) flipped the puck over Gunn-Taylor’s left shoulder at 10:49 with assists going to Kyle Shearer-Hardy (Jr., Montreal, Quebec) and Brendan Reich (Jr., Montvale, N.J.) to make the score 8-2. The final Oswego State goal came at the 12:50 mark when Van Boxmeer laced a two-line pass through center ice to Tyler Leimbrock (Fr., Bolton, Ontario) in stride, as he skated in on Nerland unabated for the goal. Michael Gilchrist (Fr., Rochester, N.Y.) also earned an assist.
The Lakers finished the game 3-for-7 on the power play compared to the Polar Bears, who went 1-for-8 with the skater advantage, including 1-for-6 in the first period. Oswego State out-shot Bowdoin 33-23, but that differential occurred solely in the second stanza as the Lakers owned a 16-4 shot advantage.
Oswego State’s Kyle Gunn-Taylor improved to 18-1-0 on the season after stopping 21 shots and allowing two goals. The Polar Bears’ Chris Rossi recorded 17 saves on 22 shots, while Richard Nerland finished with seven saves on 11 shots. Musselwhite’s four-goal performance tied the NCAA championship record for most goals in a single game, which has occurred on four previous occasions with the most recent taking place in 1997 when Norwich’s Curt Healy posted four goals against Plattsburgh.
The Lakers, who are advancing to the NCAA semifinal game for the first time since 2007, will face St. Norbert on Friday, March 19. St. Norbert defeated Gustavus Adolphus 3-1 to earn a spot in Lake Placid.
Fans looking to attend Friday’s contest can find ticket information at NCAA.com.
Courtesy of Oswego State Sports Information