Syracuse ice hockey spends too much time watching in 2-1 season-opening loss to Bemidji State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 1, 2016 at 12:44 am Contact Bobby: rpmannin@syr.edu Reilly Fawcett stayed persistent in front of the net. No whistles could be heard inside Tennity Ice Pavilion so she kept pressing her stick into the puck between Abbey Miller’s left pad and the right goal post.No Syracuse defenders gathered alongside the crease to insert their competing sticks in on time and at 12:07 in the third period, Bemidji State’s Fawcett poked the puck slid through the gap. She rushed along both benches in celebration while Miller smacked the right post of the goal in disgust.That play was far from the only occurrence where the Beavers were first to retrieve a loose puck but it was the most pivotal. Fawcett’s unassisted third-period goal gave Bemidji State (1-0) a 2-1 lead it would not surrender in its opening-night win over the Orange (0-1).“They were much better prepared,” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said, “and I just thought they were so much stronger on their sticks and so much more determined.”The game featured an overwhelming dose of penalties that allowed Syracuse to spend significant amounts of time in the BSU zone in the first period. Once those cleared up later, the Beavers’ strengths were showcased in dominant fashion.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe forecheck was strong as Syracuse pressed hard into BSU in the opposing zone, keeping the game in that end and crafting an 18-12 shot advantage.With sophomore defender Allie Munroe in the penalty box for holding in the second period, the Beavers rushed into the Orange zone and unloaded twice as many shots as Syracuse. Alexis Joyce, situated in front of the blue line across from Miller, lifted a wrist shot over her head that banged off the post. BSU reacted first and Emily Bergland floated a puck by Miller to tie the game at one.“I was trying to maintain my depth so I wasn’t getting pushed back into the net. I was trying to control my rebounds more and get the puck covered but I really didn’t get a chance that often.The rest of the game shifted to the Syracuse zone. Miller faced 21 shots to Mowat’s 12. The Orange only recorded seven shots on net over the final 40 minutes. Losing puck battles led to the turnaround, junior forward Stephanie Grossi said.“They just clog up the middle and they’re willing to sacrifice their body to block the shot,” Grossi said, “and we need to find a way to get those shots through and get to the net and get to those rebounds if we want to win.”Syracuse’s offense suffered from little play against the boards, a lack of spread-out offense to isolate the goalie, and many occurrences where players were looking down and shooting into opposing bodies.Megan Quinn received a pass on the power play right next to the goal with nothing but open net situated in front of her. She followed through as the puck slid her way and shot it wide.“That’s actually what we’re trying to create,” Flanagan said. “Get the goalie moving side to side.”The lack of activity on loose pucks and failure to create opportunities for themselves turned Friday’s opener into a messy display of hockey. The Orange barely got more than a few seconds of possession at a time in the third period.To Flanagan, the game-winning goal epitomized the game.“We just stood there and let her get her stick on it,” he said. Commentslast_img

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