The Oswego State Lakers knew that tonights matchup against the #9 Adrian Bulldogs at the Campus Center would be a tough test for the number one team in the nation. The Lakers jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period and did not look back as they defeated the Bulldogs by the score of 5-2, powered by the second hat trick of the season and career of Neil Musselwhite. A crowd of 1748 braved the cold January night on the shores of Lake Ontario to see two of the top three offenses in D-III hockey go at it.
Oswego got the scoring started on a goal by Neil Musselwhite (pictured) with Jon Whitelaw and Captain Tyler Lyon getting the assists on Musselwhite's 11th on the season. Whitelaw sent a cross ice pass right onto the stick of Musslewhite who was able to beat the Adrian netminder Brad Fogal. The very next shift, Paul Rodrigues was one and one with a Bulldog defenseman and slapped the puck past Fogal into the top left corner of the net for his fourth of the season and gave Oswego a 2-0 lead going into the first intermission. The Lakers outshot Adrian 13-7 after twenty minutes.
Then the Bulldogs came out like an entire different team in the middle frame which resulted in Mike Dahlinger beating Laker netminder Kyle Gunn-Taylor just past the halfway mark in the period to put Adrian on the board. For Dahlinger, it was his seventh on the year with Brad Houston and Sam Kuzyk getting the assists.
However, Oswego State regained its two-goal advantage late in the period when Musselwhite registered his second goal of the contest with 1:08 remaining. Fogal misplayed the puck behind the net where senior Brad Dormiedywas waiting and then he set up Musselwhite for his second of the game and that gave the Lakers a 3-2 heading to the third period.
The third period resulted in two more goals for Oswego and one more for Adrian. As the clock was expiring, the Bulldogs pulled Fogal for the extra attacker allowing Dahlinger to get a rebound past Gunn-Taylor to make it a one-goal contest at 3-2 with 1:43 remaining for his second on the night. Quinn Waller took the original shot that gave Dahlinger the rebound. Adrian kept Fogal off the ice, but the Lakers were able to clinch the victory in the final minute as Stephen Mallaro and Musselwhite registered empty-net goals eight seconds apart.
Neither club was effective on the power play despite numerous opportunities. Oswego State went 1-for-7 with the extra skater, while the Lakers forced the Bulldogs’ top-ranked power-play unit to go 0-for-8.
In an extremely physical contest, the teams combined for 25 penalties and 77 penalty minutes.Kyle Gunn-Taylor made 28 saves to improve to 11-0-0 while Bulldog goalie Brad Fogal stopped 42 shots and fell to 10-3-0.Adrian now has lost three straight and Fogal was in net for all 13 games the Adrian has played this season while the Lakers are now 16-1-0 on the season. The Lakers return to SUNYAC play when they host the Buffalo State Bengals at the Campus Center on January 22, 2010 at 7:00 pm.
The complete boxscore is available here
Portions of this were provided by SUNY Oswego Sports Information Department
Picture was provided by SUNY Oswego Sports Information