OSWEGO, NY- The Men’s Hockey team held a press conference at Marano Campus Center on Wednesday afternoon in anticipation of the 2021-2022 hockey season. Coach Ed Gosek was joined by upperclassmen Josh LeBlanc, Ryan Bunka, and Travis Broughman to field questions from the media.
The main takeaway from the press conference was excitement and relief. Coach Gosek and the players are more than ready to get back on the ice and compete in the SUNYAC. Despite 21 players coming in new to Oswego, the 3 players at the conference cited chemistry and brotherhood as one of their strengths coming into the 2021.
A major concern for this season remains the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While vaccinations have reduced the risk of hospitalization or death from the virus, a positive COVID test could easily throw a massive wrench into the works of this team.
Coach Gosek commented on the issue; “We’ve talked about it, there’s a lot of adversity to handle. There’s a lot of concern, we’ve had a few players contract the delta variant. It’s a long season, to say it wouldn’t happen wouldn’t be right. These guys have been role models on campus, following the rules and guidelines set by the college. They wear masks everywhere, and try to avoid large crowds. Coaches will mask in games along with staff, players will be able to be maskless on the ice. We all want to play, these rules are minor compared to what the consequences of getting COVID-19 could be.”
There remains a lot of uncertainty on the ice for the Lakers in 2021. Most of the squad has not played at any college level. However, Coach Gosek believes that it is a double-edged sword in some ways.
Coach Gosek stated; “We’ve had 5 transfers fortunately, but their schools dropped their programs without notice. They’ve handled it very well, they’re humble and hard-working. They don’t have a “I’m from D1” mentality at all. They’re excited for a new chance.
For the other guys, they don’t have that college experience. It’s also a positive, they have excitement and enthusiasm. The older guys have been explaining our culture and who we are as a team in the community and on campus. They’ll understand the culture more once we get playing, the guys see it best.
You’ll see our players early and you’ll be able to judge for yourself. 10 practices, 2 exhibitions, then it’s go time. “
Here are some other noteworthy moments from the conference:
Carleton University will not be able to cross the border and play against the Lakers on October 23rd. SUNY Canton will step up to fill that exhibition date before regular season play begins.
A question from WNYO’s own Liam Gottimer revealed a disdain for Geneseo amongst the players. All three players made themselves very clear; we don’t like them.
WNYO Sports Director Aaron Valentino brought up the odd scheduling of Whiteout Weekend, which takes place before dorms open in Oswego this year. The players stated their dissappontment, but still expect a large crowd for that weekend in late January.
Men’s hockey takes to the ice in a preseason game against Utica on October 16th to kick off their first season in over a year and a half.
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