Monday, 05 June 2023 16:53

Oswego River Hawks Go 2-0 at Utica’s Battle on the Barge

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#13 Jack Rice goes hard to the goal vs. the Collar City Kings on Saturday #13 Jack Rice goes hard to the goal vs. the Collar City Kings on Saturday Submitted photo

With a balanced offense and a gritty defense, the Oswego River Hawks box lacrosse team went undefeated at the 2nd Annual Battle on the Barge Invitational at the Utica University Nexus Center on Saturday, downing the host Utica Yeti 12-9 and then holding on for a 10-8 win against Troy’s Collar City Kings.

The River Hawks/Yeti game was the first North American Box Lacrosse League (NABLL) contest of the 2023 season.

In the first game, the River Hawks led 3-2 after the first quarter and 6-5 at halftime. The Yeti tied the score just seconds into the third quarter, but goals by Shane Cook, Will Hardy, and Mason Blakeman put Oswego up 10-7 early in the fourth quarter. Utica responded with two straight goals to bring the margin to one, but River Hawks tallies from Hardy and Ryan Mahoney gave Oswego the final three-goal cushion.

Goalie Jack Beck was steady from start to finish, recording 23 saves for a 71.9 save percentage. Oswego’s offensive production was shared by eight different players, with Hardy and Blakeman scoring three goals apiece.

A 10 AM start time left the River Hawks a little short-handed for the first game against the Yeti, who won the NABLL’s Upstate Division title last year, but reinforcements for the second game gave the River Hawks some much-needed energy. After a 90-minute break between games, Oswego faced the Collar City Kings for the first time ever. The Kings play in the NABLL’s Metro Division, with teams up and down the Hudson River and Metropolitan area, and they won their Division last year as well.

Carson Colucci helped put the River Hawks on the board first as he fed former Oswego HS teammate Jack Rice for the game’s first goal. The score was tied 1-1 at the end of one quarter, and the River Hawks led 3-2 at halftime. With a five-goal explosion in the third quarter, Oswego led 8-4 after three quarters, but the Kings rallied to bring the score to 8-7 and then again at 9-8. Will Hardy finished off a pretty pass from Lucas Hoskin late in the game to seal the two-goal victory.

Once again, balanced scoring was the River Hawks’ offensive signature – Hardy led all scorers with three points (2-1), followed by Rice (1-1), Colucci (1-1), Hoskin (1-1), Thomas Berry (1-1), Mahoney (1-1), Blakeman (1-0), and Cook (1-0). Beck was solid in goal again, allowing just four goals through three quarters, making 25 saves for an 86.2 % save percentage. Tom Fernaays played the fourth quarter, allowing four goals and registering four saves.

In the third game of the day, the Collar City Kings defeated the Utica Yeti by a 13-8 score. Both Will Hardy and Shane Cook were named to the All-Battle Team for their efforts and results.

The River Hawks host the Thousand Island Spirits in their home opener this Friday, June 9 at the Crisafulli Rink at Fort Ontario; game time is set for 7:30 PM. There is an admission fee for those 18 and older; those 17 and younger are admitted for free. Friday’s game will be Oswego Lacrosse Club Night, with proceeds from the game’s 50/50 raffle going to the OLC.

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