Luke Rafferty | Design EditorIce Hockey
Syracuse splits physical weekend series with Robert Morris
To say Syracuse’s matchups this weekend against Robert Morris weren’t physical would be a major understatement.
The Orange lost 2-1 on Friday after being pushed around by the visiting Colonials all night. But in Saturday’s game — a 4-3 win for SU — both teams made Friday’s game seem like it wasn’t physical at all.
On Friday, each team was called for four penalties. On Saturday, a total of 13 penalties were called with two resulting in goals, including the game-winner.
With 2:49 left in the second period on Saturday, and SU (9-6-1, 4-1-1 College Hockey America) leading 2-1, Syracuse center Shiann Darkangelo was called for hooking. But that wasn’t it. Darkangelo was also called for a five-minute major after shoving an RMU player in the head after she knocked into Syracuse’s goalie.
“It was kind of frustrating because I was the one who got rushed into and it was kind of unfair because I feel like she cross-checked me in the head first,” SU goalie Jenesica Drinkwater said. “I’m glad that my teammates were at least sticking up for me.”
The penalty ultimately got Darkangelo ejected from the game.
“You know what Shiann did wasn’t right, any hit to the head, you can’t condone that,” head coach Paul Flanagan said. “But I thought their girl drove our goalie and (the referee) is telling me he didn’t see it. How do you see one thing and not the other? We have two referees out there for a reason and when they miss stuff like that it’s pretty frustrating because that easily could have been the game.”
The seven-minute power play could have turned out worse for Syracuse. RMU only managed to score once.
After the power play ended, the score was tied at 2-2 with more than 15 minutes left in the game. Less than five minutes later, Jacquie Greco gave the Orange a 3-2 lead.
Up until this point, Greco had been a defender. But on Saturday, Greco said that Flanagan decided to move her to offense because of her speed and because the offense needed a little extra something.
“It’s not that there’s no effort out there,” Greco said. “It’s just that we needed the extra jump.”
The move played out well for SU as Greco scored twice.
“If we pay attention to what she just did, we are trying to get more offense,” Flanagan said. “She’s got size and speed and that really helped us out.”
Greco’s second goal gave SU a late lead, but only for about a minute and a half. RMU scored its third goal of the game with 8:14 left.
Greco said that even though there was little time left, the Orange didn’t want the risk of playing extra minutes.
“We didn’t want it to go into overtime,” Greco said. “We wanted to get it done.”
With 2:31 left in Saturday’s matchup, the Colonials right wing Maddie Collias was called for tripping. This gave SU the chance it needed to take a 4-3 lead, and ultimately the game.
Forty-six seconds after the power play began, the Orange’s Nicole Ferrara fired a shot into the top right corner of the net to give Syracuse a 4-3 lead.
Prior to Ferrara’s goal, SU had been 0-9 on power play opportunities on the weekend. But right before the Orange’s 10th power play, which ultimately decided the game, Flanagan called a timeout to speak to his team.
“Before the power play started, we just told them to relax,” Flanagan said. “At that point in time, there’s all that emotion running around, there’s no time to start driving in.”
Ferrara said she did exactly what Flanagan talked about during the timeout. She took her time, waited for Margot Scharfe to make a good screen so she could get a good pass from Kaillie Goodnough, and then fired a shot into the net.
Forward Holly Carrie-Mattimoe said she was happy with how this game ended because of next week’s matchup against No. 2 Clarkson.
“We definitely have momentum,” Carrie-Mattimoe said. “It was a team win today and our confidence is up. I think we’re ready to go.”
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