Blue Devils hang tough, fall 3-2 to No. 2 Oswego Lakers in men’s hockey

Special to the OBSERVER

Oswego’s Bobby Gertsakis scored his second goal of the game, and third of the weekend, to lift the No. 2 ranked Lakers to a 3-2 SUNYAC victory over Fredonia State in men’s hockey at the Steele Hall Ice Arena.

Gertsakis scored on a shot from the blue line which appeared to deflect off a Fredonia player in front of the net. The power-play goal broke a 2-2 tie at 19:54 of the second period.

The Blue Devils battled back from 1-0 and 2-0 deficits, yet were unable to score a third equalizer. Stephen Castriota scored his fourth goal of the season at 18:06 of the first period to forge a 1-1 tie. Taylor Bourne sped along the right wing and scored to make it 2-2 at the 5:10 mark of the second period. It was his fifth goal of the season.

Oswego’s line of Chris Brown, Chris Muise and Chris Ayotte combined for seven points. Brown assisted on all three goals, Muise had a goal and an assist and Ayotte had two assists.

Andrew Hare made 17 saves for Oswego compared to 29 saves by Fredonia State’s Mark Friesen.

The two goals earned Gertsakis the No. 1 star. Oswego’s Brown and Fredonia State’s Bourne earned the second and third stars, respectively.

The Lakers improved to 20-3 overall and 13-1 in the SUNYAC. It was their eighth straight win.

The loss dropped the Blue Devils (7-14-3, 5-7-2 SUNYAC) into fifth place, one point behind Buffalo State, heading into their meeting next Friday in Buffalo.

Ten Blue Devils were recognized before their final home regular-season game – seniors Mat Hehr, Chris Jung, Ian Cosgrove, Will McLaughlin, Brett Mueller, Ken Nosky, Brad Nunn and John O’Connor and two junior goalkeeperss who will graduate early, Friesen and Jeff Holloway.

Women’s Basketball

Devils give top-ranked New Paltz all they can handle

NEW PALTZ – The Fredonia State women’s basketball team dropped a road game at New Paltz, 77-63, on Saturday. The Devils had a 40-27 lead at halftime before falling to the Hawks, the top SUNYAC team and No. 1 seed in the most recent NCAA East Region poll.

Fredonia State (11-10, 6-9 SUNYAC) was led by senior Grace Moore (Fredonia) who poured in a career-high 20 points. Juniors Becky Hebert and Jaimie Warren had 15 points apiece.

New Paltz upped its SUNYAC-leading record to 15-1 and now stands at 21-2 overall. The Hawks were led by Maliqua Fisher with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Fisher was one of five Hawks to score in double digits.

Moore had 12 of her 20 points in the Devils’ explosive first half. She was backed by 10 from Warren, who also added five assists and four steals during the half.

The Devils jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the game. The Devils’ biggest lead of 16 would come at the six-minute mark. Brittany LaForce nailed a jumper to put the Devils up 30-14.

Up by nine points, 36-27, with just under a minute left in the first half, Warren and Hebert would each convert a layup to give the Devils the 13-point halftime edge, 40-27.

New Paltz started the second half with a 13-0 spurt to tie the game at 40-all. Fisher scored eight points during the Hawk’s run.

The game saw two more lead changes before the Hawks pulled away late for the victory.

Moore was a perfect three for three from long range and seven for ten from the field. Anna Riley chipped in eight rebounds for Fredonia State. Warren finished the game with six steals and six assists to go along with her 15 points.

The Devils return home Tuesday to take on Buffalo State in the first game of a men’s/women’s doubleheader. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.

Tuesday is shaping up to be a big game for the Devils. They are chasing Buffalo State for the sixth and final conference tournament spot. Currently, the Bengals and Plattsburgh are tied for sixth, both sporting 7-8 SUNYAC marks, with the Devils a game behind.

Men’s Basketball

Devils fall to Hawks

NEW PALTZ – The Fredonia State men’s basketball team dropped a road game at New Paltz, 98-74, on Saturday.

Fredonia State (6-15 overall, 2-13 SUNYAC) was led by junior Tyrone Clark with 18 points and five assists. Freshmen Robert Lyles added 13 points and John Kovach had 11. Senior Dalton Kashmer (South Dayton/Pine Valley) added nine points and a team-high seven rebounds.

New Paltz (10-13, 8-8 SUNYAC) was led by Matt Devine’s 32 points.

The Devils trailed 55-28 at the half. They outscored the Hawks, 46-43, in the second half.

Next up for the Devils is a Tuesday meeting against Buffalo State at home. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. against the Bengals.

Swimming and Diving

Diver doubles, men win three swimming events

CORTLAND – Fredonia State senior diver Ryan Fuller was a double winner Saturday in the Blue Devils’ loss to Cortland in men’s swimming and diving.

Fuller recorded a six-dive score of 297.75 off the 3-meter board after winning the 1-meter competition with a score of 273.20. Both his scores were NCAA zone qualifiers.

The Blue Devils also won three swimming events.

Fredonia State’s first win of the day came from Eric Jordan, who touched first in the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 55.10 seconds.

Andrew Case was the winner of the 200 individual medley in 2:05.43.

The Blue Devils also won the final swimming event of the meet, the 200 freestyle relay. John Estanislau, Adrian Van Hall, Liam Jones and Wil Baker stopped watches in 1:28.78.

The loss dropped the Blue Devils to a final record of 2-7 in dual meets.

Meanwhile, in the women’s meet, Fredonia State fell to Cortland, 154-141, in the final tuneup before SUNYAC championships later this month.

Steph Rosa won both backstroke events for the Blue Devils. Her 100 winning time was 1:02.18. Later in the meet, she won the 200 race in 2:13.21.

Other individual winning swimmers were Sam Rokos with 2:00.37 in the 200-yard freestyle and Natalia Wilkins with 2:18.35 in the 200-yard individual medley.

The Blue Devils also swept the diving events. Sarah Ficarro was victorious off the 3-meter board with a score 284.65 points. Ashley Keller was the 1-meter winner with 276.95 points.

The top three divers for the Devils off the 1-meter board – Keller, Ficarro and Katelyn Haley – all put up zone-qualifying scores for the NCAA meet. The combined three scores were also the highest the Devils recorded this season.

Ficarro scored 274.00 and Hayley 259.40 to go along with Keller’s 276.95.

Hayley was second off the 3-meter board with a personal-best 271.90, also qualifying for the NCAA zone meet. She had also qualified for the 3-meter board earlier this season.

Diving coach John Crawford was proud of his divers’ efforts, simply stating, “We are primed for the SUNYAC meet in 11 days.”

Fredonia State’s seventh event win came in the 200 freestyle relay when Cortland, although touching first, swam the event as an exhibition. The Blue Devil quartet consisted of Ellie Brion, Rokos, Katie Donnelly and Elizabeth Schake.

Swimmers and divers who qualified will compete in the SUNYAC meet at the Flickinger Center in Buffalo starting Feb. 20.