By Ryan Nelson
Syracuse, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Orange (8-9-3) stayed out west in Boulder as they completed their second game against the University of Colorado Buffaloes (1-15-3). The mountains of Boulder did not stop the Orange from repeating their success and extending their winning streak to four games with the 5-2 victory over the Buffaloes.
Unlike Friday’s game, the Buffaloes were the ones to start off on the right foot. Their pressure against the Orange resulted in a power-play goal past a diving Nik Manousos in net.
This was the last momentum swing the Buffaloes would find in the period, though.
After drawing a penalty against an over-aggressive Colorado player, the Orange power play got to work. The puck was cycled below the goal line until Colin Morrow found the fresh legs of Mackenzie Murphy in the slot, who buried it to knot the game up at 1 apiece.
The Orange offense continued to assault the Buffaloes’ goaltender as captain Peter-Owen Hayward retrieved his own shot’s rebound and dished a backhander off to his new linemate, Tim Kalinowski, who netted his fourth goal in just as many games back with the Orange.
A Colorado turnover in their own end led to another series of events where a rebound found its way to the stick of Colin Morrow, who was able to give the Orange a 3-1 lead heading into the first break.
The second period was full of trips to the sin bin for both sides. Despite the chances, the defenses and goalies were able to keep their nets empty for the most part. The lone goal of the period was scored by Colorado to bring them within one.
The final frame was very much a continuation of what the second period started. The defensive battle raged on for the first ten minutes, but Syracuse was the first to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Kalinowski lit the lamp for the second time on the night as he out-waits the Buffaloes’ goalie Grant Payne for the nail in the coffin.
Kalinowski, who has scored five goals and two assists since returning to the ice at the end of the break, said it feels good to make an impact on the ice again.
“It feels awesome,” he said. “I put in a lot of work rehabbing in order to give myself a chance to come back and play this season and there’s no better feeling than contributing to a win.”
Connor Preston did not want to leave this game without another five goal performance from the Orange, so he added a bar down stinger to end the game on an exclamation point.
Alternate captain Luke Caddo was a key starter on the back end for Syracuse in this win, and he said that the team is content but not ready to slow down yet.
“We’ve definitely turned a corner since break,” said the senior defenseman. “Two sweeps in a row against Buffalo and Colorado is great, but we’re not done yet. We need to finish the weekend against [Colorado State University].”
The Orange will face off with the Rams of Colorado State (6-10-1) on Sunday, January 19, at 10:00 p.m. EST. Tune in to the final game of the western wagon tour at https://www.suhockey.com/about-26 or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwMiMlLp0RQ.
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