Blues Devils hockey raises awareness, money despite loss

(Melissa Neuburger/Special to The Leader)

QUINTIN JAMES

Assistant Sports Editor

 

Fredonia’s hockey team held their 11th annual Pink the Rink event last week as all proceeds from jerseys, tickets and other items went to the American Cancer Society. The event raises a ton of money every year for a great cause, and everyone from the Fredonia players to the referees wore pink to raise money.

This game is arguably the biggest of the year for Fredonia and controlling your emotions can be tough. After a convincing 5-1 victory over Cortland, nationally ranked Oswego was next on the schedule. It was a perfect opportunity to stay in the heat of the playoff race.

Junior goalie Eric Bogart explained how significant Pink the Rink is, but you can’t overthink the night too much.

“Pink the Rink is extremely important to me—not only for the two points on the line but for the cause that the money raised goes towards,” he said. “Cancer is a horrible disease that has affected everyone in the building, and to have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than a hockey game is very special.

“To control emotions, I approach it like every other game, do the same thing as I normally do so I don’t get overthinking the game at hand,” he continued.

The game started, and the underdog Blue Devils held tough against Oswego as the crowd urged them on, but midway through the first period, Oswego scored to take the lead 1-0.

As the second period began, the game started to get real chippy as the two teams exchanged minor penalties for various interferences, holding and slashing penalties. While Fredonia couldn’t cash in on their powerplay chances, Oswego seemed to capitalize off of every Fredonia mistake.

Oswego would score two powerplay goals in the second period to extend their lead to 3-0, as Fredonia could not get the puck past Oswego goalie David Richir.

The third period began and 15 seconds in, freshman Victor Tracy was ejected for a hit to the head. Oswego was given a five minute major penalty for this and took advantage, scoring another powerplay goal to make it 4-0.

Fredonia committed six penalties compared to Oswego’s five, but Fredonia’s 23 penalty minutes were one of the main reasons for their no show in the game. Oswego battled through the crowd and made the Blue Devils pay for simple mistakes.

Oswego would add a fifth goal in the final minute to wrap up the game in a 5-0 rout that damaged Fredonia’s playoff chances a bit. Fredonia is now in a tie for fifth place in SUNYACs with Plattsburgh and one point behind Brockport with a game in hand. Fredonia is one point ahead of Potsdam.

They play next week in Potsdam, which will be an important game for the Blue Devils. These next road trips to Potsdam and Plattsburgh will be a big test for the Blue Devils, and wins in these games mean their spot in the playoffs will be clinched.

However, if they lose, it could spell the end for Fredonia’s SUNYAC chances.

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