PLATTSBURGH — With about 1:30 left in Saturday’s game, there was a prolonged scramble in front of Oswego’s net — Plattsburgh State trying desperately to score the game-tying goal, the Lakers desperately trying to keep the puck out of the net.
The puck stayed out.
No. 3 seed Oswego tallied two goals in the third period and survived Plattsburgh’s frantic push at the end for a 2-1 men’s hockey victory in a SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal game at Stafford Ice Arena.
No. 2 seed Plattsburgh (19-5-2) took a lead into the third, and senior captain Nick Jensen had a simple explanation for what happened in the final frame.
“We didn’t play Cardinal hockey,” he said. “Oswego played the best in the first, we came back in the second and we didn’t play our game in the third.”
The Lakers (19-6-2) will face Geneseo in the championship game next week. The Cardinals were eliminated from the conference tournament, and coach Bob Emery said he doesn’t think they have a chance at receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“I just think that we didn’t find ways to win this year. I don’t think our locker room was that good this year,” Emery said. “We gotta start by cleaning up our locker room, there’s no doubt about that. We’ve got a lot of good kids; there was just something wrong with the chemistry of the team all year long.”
Plattsburgh took two penalties in the first six minutes of the third period, and on the second one, its penalty kill finally gave way. The Cardinals had gone 4-for-4 on the kill, but when the puck bounced to Mike Montagna, who stood all alone to the left of the net, he one-timed it to knot the score at 1-1.