OSWEGO, N.Y. – The nationally-ranked Oswego State men’s ice hockey team concluded its season with a 3-1 loss to No. 9/11 Hamilton College in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championship on Saturday night in the Marano Campus Center Arena. It was the Lakers’ 17th appearance in the national tournament while the Continental’s were in their first trip. Hamilton now heads to Norwich University – the nation’s top-ranked team – for a quarterfinal matchup.
Trailing 2-0 heading into the final period, Oswego began controlling the puck and keeping pressure in its offensive zone. The Lakers finally broke on to the scoreboard at 13:13 as senior Kenny Neil headed towards the goal line but stopped on a dime and spun back towards the blue line. He found defenseman Chris MacMillan sitting between the two faceoff circles and the freshman made the most of his chance, firing a score past the goaltender to pull the home team within one, 2-1. Senior Shawn Hulshof started the play back in the defensive zone, finding Neil along the boards to start the fast break.
Oswego continued to pound shots on-goal, but to no avail. With 1:36 remaining and the faceoff in the offensive zone, the Lakers called timeout and pulled its goalie. On the first faceoff, Oswego earned the win and got a shot on-net but it was saved up into the net, forcing another puck drop in the zone. This time, Hamilton was able win the faceoff and got out on a break, scoring the insurance goal on an empty-net at 18:55.
David Jacobson earned the start in net for the Lakers and was solid throughout the game. He stopped 26 Hamilton shots while allowing two goals, both of which the sophomore was screened by action in front of the crease.
As a team, Oswego outshot Hamilton 35-29 and blocked three more shots than the Continentals (15-12). On special times, the Laker penalty-kill unit held Hamilton to 1-for-3 on power-play opportunities. The Oswego power-play unit was never able to show its ability, as the Continentals were not called for an infraction all night.
Oswego closes the season with a 25-6-1 overall mark, a regular-season SUNYAC title and an NCAA Championship appearance.