By Stephen Sklar
Syracuse, N.Y. – Syracuse (1-3-0) opened up a two game set against #6 Stony Brook (2-0-0) at Tennity Ice Pavilion last friday. The visiting team mopped the Orange 9-1 in the first game, proving themselves to be the superior team.
The Orange played well and with a lot of pace to start the game. They got their first challenge when center Vincent Barrone was chucked in the penalty box for a tripping penalty, which forced the team to play shorthanded. SU looked fantastic on the first kill, but the momentum didn’t carry over to the rest of the game. Stony Brook later took the puck into the offensive zone, and buried a shot into the back of the net, just over the shoulder of Syracuse goalie AJ Finta.
The score after 20 minutes was 2-0 Seawolves, and it would only get worse from there. On offense, the Orange were sloppy, which led to turnovers in the defensive and neutral zone.
“We're trying to throw it to the middle, which is causing turnovers and they're scoring goals off of that,” said winger Isaac Arnold, who assisted on SU’s only goal of the day off the stick of freshman Jack Wren. “If we can make the easy plays and tic tac toe around the guys, we should be good.”
However, the tough start to the weekend didn’t discourage SU, and defenseman Jared Topf. The sophomore was optimistic with the team’s performance against such a high powered squad.
“It wasn't a nine one game; it was five one game,” he said after the loss. “Blocking shots was a huge part. Reading the play, finding the angles, that's what it's all about.”
Conventional thinking would say the Seawolves should win in a rout in the matinee on Saturday, but what actually happened proves why you have to play the game.
In the second game of the series, the Orange lost a hard-fought clash 6-5. They were more aggressive offensively, which was evident in their ability to get shots off on a rathy stingy Seawolves defense. Mistakes also limited the Stony Brook attack, as they were playing down two skaters five minutes into the game. SU needed to capitalize on this opportunity, and the freshman Wren delivered once again. He buried a goal past the Stony Brook goaltender for his second goal of the early season.
The ‘Cuse extended its lead later in the period via a deflection last touched by Sam Hutchinson. Minutes later, Stony Brook would cut the lead in half, but SU still held an advantage after the first 20 minutes. At this point in the game, both squads engaged in a scrum behind the Seawolves net, which landed Topf in the box at the start of the second period.
That didn’t faze the Orange or sophomore Anthony Solt. The Colorado native sniped a shorthanded goal for his first of the season.
“It was just kind of so out of the blue,” he said. “I got the puck and I looked up and I had the whole ice in front of me. So I just thought, hey, why not?”
The momentum shifted after that, as Stony Brook scored two unanswered goals to tie things up before the second intermission. Syracuse goalie Nikolas Manousos was making great saves which were enough to keep Stony Brook out of the game. Tennity was filled with a ton of energy and anticipation for the third period to start.
Isaac Arnold, a familiar face, would further ignite the crowd with a go-ahead goal to open up the third frame. After the Seawolves knotted things back up at four, junior Alex Oakes would put the Orange up once again with the first goal of his collegiate career. That would be the last time SU held a lead. Stony Brook tied it up at five, then took the lead in the final minutes of the game.
A string of third period penalties hurt the Orange, as they dropped to 1-3-0 on the 2022 season.
“We gave up a little bit in the end and it showed. We can't let up against a team like that, even for shifts, minutes, periods. You can't let up against a team like that and we did,” Oakes said.
The team was, expectedly, deflated after the loss, but it proved that the Orange are a force to be reckoned with moving forward.
“It's a one goal game at the end of the day so we can hang with anybody there,” Solt said. “They're one of the big, really big teams, but in terms of our identity, it just shows that we're here and we're here too.”
Syracuse welcomes Drexel to the TIP next weekend, after the Dragons swept an emotional series against Navy last weekend. Drexel enters the series 4-0-0 on the season.
By e-mail: email@example.com