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    WNYO Stream 1 The Laker Radio Network

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    WNYO Stream 2 The Voice of Oswego Athletics

Sports

PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Lakers Fight For Conference Championships

todayFebruary 24, 2022 42 1

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OSWEGO, NY- When it comes to conference playoffs for Oswego Athletics’ winter teams in the 2021-2022 season, all roads run through Oswego. Three winter sports teams will have home playoff games to kick off the postseason. As all three teams prepare for some of their biggest games of the season, let’s take a look at what we can expect from the teams as we head into a busy five day stretch of games.

Men’s Basketball

The Lakers have been outright dominant on the court in the 2021-2022 season. Head coach Jason Leone’s squad has only lost twice overall and once in SUNYAC competition. They come into the SUNYAC tournament as the No.1 seed.

Oswego will have a chance for redemption Friday night, as the New Paltz Hawks will take to the floor in the Max Ziel Gymnasium in a matchup between conference powerhouses. While the Hawks took down the Lakers in their last matchup, the Lakers have played their best at home. When New Paltz came to the Ziel back in January, the Lakers routed the Hawks by a final score of 82-53. Almost every player on the Lakers squad had a strong day on the court against the Hawks. Devin Green put up 13 points after going 4 for 7 at the three point line, while Brendan Mulson and Ahkee Anderson put up 6 rebounds in a big offensive day for the Lakers.

Key to the Game: Teamwork

The score-by-committee approach has been the signature of a Lakers squad that has been dominant all year long, and there are no signs that the Lakers are going to deliver anything different on Friday. However, the Hawks are a very strong team. In the Lakers loss to the Hawks, Sean St. Lucia put up 13 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds. This doesn’t even include a 14-point performance from Brendon Scott. Two 8-rebound performances from Isaiah Bein-Aise and Tyreik Frazier iced the game for the Hawks. The Lakers did not do themselves any favors either; they went 1 for 8 from the three point line in the second half. Expect the Hawks to put up a good fight, while the Lakers are out for blood.

The winner of this game will face the winner of Brockport/Oneonta on Saturday for the SUNYAC championship. Oneonta is the favorite in that game, but Brockport has a legacy of great basketball. Regardless of who wins, there will be some phenomenal games for Oswego hoops fans to enjoy this weekend.

Women’s Hockey

The Lakers have seen great success in their first year on the ice under new head coach Mark Digby as they come into the NEWHL playoffs as the No.2 seed. Digby’s presence has been felt from the start of the season, when the Lakers beat No.10 Adrian on the road. The Lakers have overcome great adversity this year to make it to this moment. On Tuesday night, they will host the Cortland Red Dragons in the Deborah F. Stanley Ice Arena and Convocation Hall. The Lakers and the Dragons have had gritty battles all year long. Both teams battled to the last game to take the second seed. In three matchups this year, the Lakers took the advantage over Cortland by 2 games to 1 game. Cortland’s victory against Oswego came in the Alumni Arena on the SUNY Cortland campus. Both of the Lakers’ wins have come in the Deb this year, giving the Lakers a small mental advantage heading into Tuesday’s game.

This game could end in a variety of ways for the Lakers and Red Dragons. In 2 of the 3 matchups, the games finished with 2-1 scores in very gritty and chippy affairs on the ice. Oswego and Cortland both split one of these games. However, Oswego’s second win came in a 5-4 score-fest in the first of the two home games. Oswego has seen great production from Ariella Haas and Morgan Shines against Cortland, with the pair putting up 4 and 3 points across the 3 games respectively. Chyne Kennedy, Lizzie Burke, and captain Philomena Teggart have put up 2 points each as well in the three contests.

Against Oswego, Cortland has been led by captain Grace Schnorr and Emily Kromer, who both have scored three points against Oswego. Many different players have stepped up for the Red Dragons this year. Mia Hlasnick, Meggan Cramer, and Dany Donegan have all been instrumental for the Red Dragons in their contests against Oswego.

Key to the Game: Goaltending

It seems as if the true battle will be between netminders. For Oswego, Joanna Hiebert has started two out of three matchups against Cortland, making 41 saves in those two games. Anna Hamid started two games against Oswego, making a whopping 66 saves between the two contests. However, Molly Goergen has become the starter for Cortland, facing Oswego in the last matchup. In Goergen’s start against the Lakers, she made 30 saves between the pipes. The best offense for both teams will be having good defense, as both teams have not struggled to put pucks in the net this year.

The winner of this matchup will face the winner of No.1 Plattsburgh vs No.4 Potsdam. If Plattsburgh wins, the game will be in Plattsburgh’s Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena. If Potsdam wins, the game will either be in the Wheelhouse or the Alumni Arena. This NEWHL playoff matchup will be a great start to two straight days of midweek playoff hockey for Oswego fans.

Men’s Hockey

The Lakers are No.12 in the nation and the No.2 seed in the SUNYAC playoffs. We don’t know who the Lakers will play just yet. The first round of play is this weekend, and the Lakers have earned themselves a first-round bye. The Lakers could end up facing either Plattsburgh, Brockport, Fredonia, or Cortland in the semifinals. Oswego has only lost to one of these teams; a 3-2 defeat last weekend on the road against Fredonia. A Plattsburgh matchup would be Whiteout 2.0, while a Brockport or Cortland matchup would be a very strong test for the Lakers.

Key to the Game: Pucks in Net!

Oswego’s top line of Alex DiCarlo, Connor Sleeth, and Travis Broughman has been offensively hot as of late. Tommy Cahill has also been showing up on the box score in a big way. However, Oswego is going to need all four lines to shoot and score with consistency to run the table in the SUNYAC playoffs. Steven Kozikoski has struggled a little bit in the past few matchups, but with some rest, the Wizard of Koz will look to dominate in net in his last games with the Lakers. A SUNYAC title for the Lakers means they’ll advance to the NCAA Tournament, so there’s a lot at stake in these games.

No.3 Plattsburgh hosts No.6 Brockport and No.4 Cortland hosts No.5 Fredonia this Saturday. After these games, the teams are reseeded. No.1 Geneseo will face the lowest remaining seed. No.2 Oswego, in turn, will face the second-lowest remaining seed. The winners of those games face off for the SUNYAC championship.

Tune In!

It’s a big weekend for sports here on WNYO 88.9. Make you you tune into 88.9FM or Stream 1 on our website to hear all of the action this Friday, Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Pre-game shows will start at 6:30 on Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday. Wednesday will feature a full one-hour Countdown to Faceoff for Men’s Hockey. We hope you’ll join us!

Written by: Jarrad Wakefield

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