Syracuse returns home, grinds out win over Robert Morris

first_img Published on February 6, 2015 at 11:51 pm Contact Jon: [email protected] | @jmettus Facebook Twitter Google+ Three penalties in a span of nine seconds gave Syracuse a four-on-three advantage with just 1:09 left in the game. Holding a 2-1 lead over Robert Morris, all SU had to do was hold the puck.The clock wound down and the three RMU skaters packed together in front of its own net, showing no intention of pressuring the two SU players at the point.But senior defenseman Akane Hosoyamada took a shot from the blue line.Robert Morris collected the rebound, dumped the puck into SU’s zone and sent four new skaters onto the ice. With an empty net, the Colonials got the puck back. A scrum in front of the net sent SU goalie Jenn Gilligan down onto the ice with the puck sliding dangerously through the crease.After the ensuing faceoff, SU forward Julie Knerr slid and blocked a shot with her shoulder as time expired.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“All of a sudden they’re coming down the ice,” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. “ … I don’t know what we were thinking.”The Orange (7-13-9, 5-5-5 College Hockey America) was able to hold on, but it struggled to a 2-1 victory over Robert Morris (9-16-3, 6-7-2 CHA) at Tennity Ice Pavilion on Friday. SU wasted three consecutive power plays in the second period.“I don’t know how we come back home after two months and the kids are nervous like this is some big playoff game or something,” Flanagan said.In the opening minutes of the game, the Orange’s defense looked shaky. SU defender Nicole Renault and Kaillie Goodnough were caught pinching in the offensive zone on two separate plays, which led to a one-on-one and two-on-one opportunity for RMU, respectively.But SU settled down and took a 1-0 lead seven minutes in. SU forward Laurence Porlier held the puck along the boards and Knerr sat behind the net, yelling, “Take your time. Pass it back, I’ll be here.” A defender closed in and Porlier slipped the puck to Knerr, who finished with a wraparound goal.“They probably had no idea what we were saying we were speaking French,” Knerr said. “… The goalie wasn’t even there. I just put it in.”Between the periods, Robert Morris assistant coach Logan Bittle pulled his six defenders out of the locker room for a brief meeting that ended with the coach yelling, “Let’s go. Come on.”And in the second, RMU’s defense responded. Despite committing three penalties that put SU on the power play for five and a half minutes — including 26 seconds with a five-on-three advantage — the Orange was held scoreless.SU only managed four shots, missed passes and let Robert Morris consistently clear the puck during its extended advantage.“We could’ve broken the game wide open,” Flanagan said. “… And we found every way to not do a good job.”Three minutes into the third, RMU forward Maddie Collias tied the game at one goal apiece.But just minutes later, RMU forward Ashley Vesci went to the box for roughing and SU got another chance at a power play.Sibley sent a shot from the point that got blocked, but landed on the stick of SU forward Stephanie Grossi near the right circle. Grossi’s shot attempt was muffled when an Robert Morris defender hit her stick, but the puck found SU defender Nicole Renault hovering backdoor near the crease and she put it in.“We actually changed our power play up a little bit and … it ended up working for us,” Renault said. “We’ve been working on it all week in practice so it’s good to see it finally work in the game.” Commentslast_img

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