More than 1,200 people joined the Oswego
State Laker men’s hockey team March 29 in
the new Campus Center to celebrate their historic NCAA
NCAA Division III National Champions, the Oswego State Lakers, pose with (center, left to right) Paul Santore, representing the Oswego County Legislature, Randy Bateman, Mayor, City of Oswego and SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley in the new Campus Center locker room prior to the ceremony.
The Lakers won the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice
Hockey championship March 18 in Superior, Wis., defeating
Middlebury 4-3 in overtime. It was the first national
team championship in Oswego State history.
“It has been a pleasure to wear this jersey,”
team captain Ryan Woodward ’07
told the crowd. “I’ll be a Laker for life.”
Woodward stood before his teammates, coaches and fans
thanking everyone for their support throughout the season.
“We’ve had this trophy for almost two weeks
and now it’s yours,” he said. “We
couldn’t be more proud to share this with you.”
He congratulated his team for a job well done and called
his last four years playing hockey with his teammates,
“a great honor.”
After leading the crowd in one last “Let’s
go Lakers” cheer, Woodward, a senior, made sure
that the fans knew they were the “best fans around.”
“You stuck with us always…keep heckling
[the other team], keep pushing,” he said. “It
gets the guys motivated.”
The hour-long ceremony began with national anthems from
Canada and the United States along with SUNY Oswego’s
ESPN anchors Steve Levy ’87
and Linda Cohn ’81
captured the audience’s attention on the big screen
with videos congratulating the hockey team on their
“I think I speak for most if not all Oswego alumni
when I say, ‘Way to go guys,” Levy said.
“You guys were awesome…We are all proud
of you… Maybe now when they [people] think of
Oswego they will think of you guys instead of the snow,”
Several speakers including SUNY Oswego President Deborah
F. Stanley, Oswego City Mayor Randy Bateman and Paul
Santore, representing the Oswego County Legislature,
shared the same pride and congratulations with the families,
friends and fans of the men’s ice hockey team.
President Stanley also acknowledged the skilled play
and true sportsmanship that the Lakers have demonstrated
during their time on the ice.
“Pride is why you are all here this evening…The
national stage is a stage that we literally and figuratively
play on…I hope that this feeling, this spirit
“To the fans, you know how important it is, they
[the players] play for you, they know you’re there.”
Oswego Mayor Randy Bateman also complimented the team
on their play saying, “They kept us on the edge
of our seats.”
With only three of the NCAA champions graduating this
May, Bateman excited the crowd with his hockey intuition.
“We’ll see you next year at the same time,
the same place, for the same reason,” he said.
President Stanley read several letters sent to her from
Oswego alumni who were also filled with pride by such
a grand accomplishment. Game clips from throughout the
hockey season were played on the overhead screen and
the voices of the crowd echoed throughout the arena.
“This is not the last page of the last chapter
for Oswego hockey, this is the first page, in a new
chapter, in a new book,” Santore said.
Team captain Woodward held the NCAA Division III championship
trophy high overhead for all the fans to see. Each player
took turns holding the trophy as the crowd cheered for
the last time this hockey season.
“People tell me that they have already made their
reservations for the Final Four in Lake Placid next
year,” SUNY Oswego Men’s Ice Hockey Coach
Ed Gosek ’83, M ’01
said. “The only thing I can promise you is that
all the players and the coaches will try to make it
—Emily King ’05
To April 2007 E-Newsletter