Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top 5 Moments in Plattsburgh-Oswego Rivalry

The rivalry between the Plattsburgh State Cardinals and the Oswego State Lakers started in 1975. Plattsburgh does have the advantage in the all time series with a 68-32-4 record against Oswego. 

The fans have played a key roll in this rivalry. The Oswegonian's Mike Kraft had this to say about the rivalry between Oswego and Plattsburgh. "Each fan base has its own traditions, which date back to 1990 when the Cardinal Hockey Booster Club began a tradition of throwing hundreds of tennis balls onto the ice after the first Cardinal goal was scored against the visiting Lakers. The idea to throw tennis balls was due in large part to the color of the tennis balls matching the Lakers road uniforms at the time and that the head coach of the Lakers was Don Unger, who was also the school’s tennis coach. The Lakers countered the tennis ball throwing with bagel throwing in 1998 after the Lakers shut out the Cardinals in Plattsburgh, denying fans the opportunity to throw the tennis balls. The idea behind bagels was that it was to signify that the Cardinals had zero on the scoreboard. When the Lakers retired their bright yellow road jerseys, Cardinals fans began throwing red tennis balls onto the ice, representing the team’s colors." The bagels would be stopped being thrown during the 2006-2007 season when the Lakers moved from the historic Romney Fieldhouse to the Campus Center Ice Arena.

These two teams will meet up this weekend in Oswego at the Campus Center and will make the trip up to Plattsburgh on Saturday February 16th at the Ronald B Stafford Ice Arena on the campus of SUNY Plattsburgh.

Below is my top five moments in this rivalry between two of the top teams in NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey.

Moment number 5: A 7-6 win on February 3, 2006 at Romney Fieldhouse - Coming back from trailing 3-0 and 4-2 to winning 7-6 on the game winning goal from Ryan Korseky. Ryan Woodward scored his 21st goal of the season and assisted on Koresky's winner. Woodward would finish with 23 goals and 24 assists.... last win for the Lakers versus Plattsburgh until the 2008-2009 season!

Moment number 4: Moment number 4 in the rivalry between Oswego State and Plattsburgh takes us to the Ronald B Stafford Ice Arena in Plattsburgh when the Lakers finally ended Plattsburgh's winning streak on Saturday November 7.2009. Eric Selleck and current Lakers Captain Jon "White Lightning" Whitelaw scored two goals each and Chris Laganiere scored what was the Game Winning Goal in Oswego's 5-2 win in enemy territory. 

Moment number 3: Moment number three takes us back to last season as the Lakers hosted the Cardinals to end the month of January. Oswego would have goals from Jesse McConney, Jon Whitelaw and Chris Ayotte. Plattsburgh would have 17 shots on net and Andrew Hare stopped them all to pick up the shutout for the first time at home since Carl Antifonario did it in 1998, setting off the famous "bagels getting thrown onto the ice after Oswego's first goal. The bagels stopped being thrown after the Lakers moved to the Campus Center from Romney Fieldhouse.

Moment number 2: Saturday November 6, 2010, an early season matchup between the Cards and the Lakers. Oswego would jump out to an early 2-0 lead with Luke Moodie and team Captain Andrew Mather getting the goals. Plattsburgh would score two goals in a span of 1:02 to tie the game at the end of the first period. Oswego would regain the lead as Tyler Leimbrock found the back of the net and Plattsburgh's Dylan Clarke would tie the game once again. Then fan favorite Ian Boots would walk right in and on his backhand beat Josh Leis to put Oswego back up by one with 97 seconds left in the game. To cap off the night, Plattsburgh's own Owen Kelly netted the empty net goal for the Lakers 5-3 win and keep the unbeaten streak alive for Oswego against Plattsburgh.

Moment number 1:   The Oswego State Lakers won their 19th game of the season the night prior of January 30th. To get the team's 20th victory of the season, they would have to fend off the Cardinals of Plattsburgh. The Lakers would score just 34 seconds into the game on a goal by Neil Musselwhite. The Cardinals would tie the game six minutes later. The Lakers would take the lead back for good on a Justin Fox tally. Jon Whitelaw would make it 3-1 Oswego early into the second period. Plattsburgh would score late in the third to make it interesting but Oswego held off Plattsburgh for their first win at home versus the Cardinals since February of 2006 at Romney Fieldhouse.

Who will win the first game in the latest installment of the Plattsburgh-Oswego rivalry. We will find out on Saturday night at the Campus Center. If you cannot be there in person, you can listen in to WNYO 88.9FM, watch the live stream courtesy of WTOP-TV 10.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oswego Sweeps Whiteout Weekend- Sets Sights on SUNYAC Title

The number one ranked team in the Country, the Oswego State Lakers are getting ready for their State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Semi-Final match-up against the Fredonia Blue Devils on Saturday night at the Campus Center Ice Arena. Fredonia defeated Geneseo 4-1 on Wednesday night in the SUNYAC Play-In Game for a rematch of last seasons SUNYAC Semis. The other SUNYAC Semifinal will feature the Buffalo State Bengals and the Plattsburgh Cardinals at the Staford Ice Arena. 

The Oswego State Lakers swept both the #4 ranked Plattsburgh State Cardinals and the Potsdam Bears this past weekend on the shores of Lake Ontario. With the win over Plattsburgh, the Lakers clinched the regular season SUNYAC title.
Photo Courtesy of Oswego State Sports Information
Friday night, the Lakers did something that they last did back in 1998, shut out Plattsburgh at home. Friday's 3-0 win over the Cardinals was a first in over 13 seasons. Lakers goals were scored by Jesse McConney, Jon Whitelaw and Chris Ayotte. Special teams were also a big component of the Laker win, as the power-play unit went 1-for-4, while fending off seven Cardinal power plays. Andrew Hare stopped all 27 Plattsburgh shots to get the shut out and as already mentioned, a first since 1998 back at Romney Fieldhouse.

Hank Van Boxmmer, Andrew Mather, Paul Beckwith, Jared Anderson and Ian Boots (Jared Crast Photo)
On Saturday night, the Lakers once again blanked the Potsdam Bears by the score of 3-0. The top team in the Country and also the NCAA East Region celebrated the success of the class of 2012. Hank Van Boxmeer, Jared Anderson, Ian Boots, Andrew Mather and Paul Beckwith was honored after the game for their years of service and dedication to the Oswego State program. The green and gold had to wait till the second period to get on the board with the goal by Tyler Leimbrock. Leimbrock's tally was his 12th of the season near the halfway mark of the second period. Jon Whitelaw bumped the lead to 2-0 as he continued his point streak and Matt Singleton added the empty netter to seal the deal. Andrew Hare only had to make 19 saves for the Lakers.

With his performance over the last two games, Hare was named Male Athlete of the Week from the Oswego State Athletic Department.

Photo Courtesy of Oswego State Sports Information
The State University of New York Athletic Conference released its 2011-12 Men's Ice Hockey All-Conference teams as voted on by the league's coaches on Tuesday and five Oswego State players landed on the squads. Jon Whitelaw was the lone First Team member for the green and gold. Paul Rodrigues and Zack Josepher were named to the Second Team and Andrew Hare and Taylor Farris were selected to the Third Team.

Potsdam/Oswego video courtesy of WNYO- Mike Keeley 

 Plattsburgh/Oswego video highlights Courtesy of WNYO - Mike Keeley

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Its Whiteout Weekend

The number one ranked team in the country, the Oswego State Lakers return to home ice for the final weekend of the regular season as they play host to the Plattsburgh Cardinals and the Potsdam Bears at the Campus Center Ice Arena.

Oswego first plays Plattsburgh in the traditional Whiteout Game, a tradition that started when the Lakers moved from Romney Fieldhouse to the state of the art Campus Center. Back at Romney, they had the tradition of the bagels and bagels were tossed onto the ice after the first Laker goal. They did away with the bagels when the team moved to its new home on campus. The last bagel controversy happened back in February of 2006 when the two long time rivals met at Romney for the last time. Matt Whitehead scored to make the game 3-2 and a bagel was tossed onto the ice. The referees called a delay of game penalty against Oswego, to the dismay of Lakers bench boss Ed Gosek. The Cardinals scored on the in suing Power Play to put the game away and skate off of a weekend sweep of the Lakers and close Romney Fieldhouse on a losing note for the home team.

The first match-up between the rivals this season resulted in a 2-2 tie at Stafford Ice Arena in early December. The Lakers led twice in the game behind goals from Jon Whitelaw and Chris Ayotte, only to see Plattsburgh battle back and tie it.

Since the 2009-2010 season Oswego is  4-0-1 against Plattsburgh. The Lakers and Cardinals are playing for more than just a win against their hated rivals, they are playing for the number one seed in SUNYAC and home ice advantage throughout the Conference playoffs and potentially a top three ranking in the Country.

In an article called SUNYAC Jenga  posted by Russel Jaslow of the USCHO, Jaslow talks about the scenario of what this game means to both teams. "At the top (of the SUNYAC Standings), Oswego and Plattsburgh have clinched a first-round bye. The only question is who finishes first. The only way Plattsburgh can do it cleanly is if they sweep the weekend, including beating Oswego, and the Lakers drop both games. If they tie, the only way that can happen is if Plattsburgh sweeps the weekend and Oswego ties Potsdam. This will give Plattsburgh the regular season title, since in this scenario, the Cardinals would have a 1-0-1 record against Oswego".

According to the latest USCHO D-III Polls, the Lakers are number one after sweeping Fredonia and Buffalo State. Plattsburgh dropped to fourth after losing to the Brockport Golden Eagles last weekend at Tuttle North. The two hated rivals are sandwiched in by Norwich University and Amherst College.

Saturday is Senior Night in Oswego as the Lakers take on the Potsdam Bears. In the first meeting this season, Oswego defeated Potsdam 6-4 at Maxcy Hall. Scoring for the Hunter Green and Gold included Jon Whitelaw, Taylor Ferris, Jesse McConney, Chris Muise and a pair of goals from Tyler Leimbrock. Saturday's contest will be the final regular season game for Defensemen Jared Anderson and Hank Van Boxmeer alongside Forwards Ian Boots and Andrew Mather and net-minder Paul Beckwith.

This game is not only important to the Lakers as they want to win for their Seniors, but for Potsdam, it could potentially mean a chance to play in the SUNYAC playoffs.   “We know the scenarios,” Potsdam coach Chris Bernard told USCHO Corespondent Russel Jaslow. “For us, it’s just a matter of, if you win you’re in". Potsdam can get into the SUNYAC Playoffs with a win either at Cortland or Oswego. Potsdam holds the tiebreaker against Brockport. If both teams lose all their games this weekend, or Potsdam wins one game and Brockport beats Morrisville, the Bears win the tiebreaker based on more conference wins. Jaslow added that "if Potsdam ties its two games and Brockport wins its two games, they will be tied with identical records. They beat each other by identical 5-3 scores, so it goes to conference goal differential. Right now, Potsdam is at minus-six, and of course if it ties both games, it remains at minus-six. Brockport is at minus-15. This means Brockport would have to defeat Morrisville by at least nine goals just to force a coin flip. Not score nine goals, but win by nine goals.Thus, if Potsdam wins one game, they are in. Same with Geneseo if it beats Morrisville" . They can also lock themselves in with a Brockport loss to Morrisville.

This weekend is a busy one and the Oswego Student Media Group will once again provide coverage of this weekend's contests. Friday begins with a special two-hour pregame with interviews and more on WNYO 88.9FM starting at 5pm Friday night. Puckdrop for both games will be at 7:00pm on the radio as well as WTOP-10 as well as streaming online on the Oswego State Athletics site.

Thanks to Russel Jaslow and Michael Keeley for their contribution to this story