By: Isabella Apple
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Orange 3-9-2 started their last series of the semester off against the University of Rhode Island Rams 8-9-1with a 5-3 victory. Senior Matt Jacobs’ two-goal night stood as his 99th and 100th career points.
After gaining momentum on an early power-play that the Orange couldn’t capitalize on, forward Matt Jacobs found himself at the front of the Rams net, burying a rebound to give Syracuse the 1-0 lead.
Just seconds after breaking the ice, the Orange were able to draw a boarding penalty on the Rams. Just over a minute into the man advantage with the second power-play unit sustaining offensive pressure, Connor Preston found the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season, and to give the Orange a 2-goal lead.
Through ten minutes of play, Syracuse had been dominating the game. Just as Rhode Island gained some energy and began peppering the Orange with quality shots from all over their offensive zone, Parker stood tall on his net.
As alternate captain, Matt Jacobs drove to the net sophomore Zack Gordon’s finished the play Jacobs’ started giving the Orange a commanding 3-0 lead and Jacobs his 100th point in a Syracuse uniform.
Goalie Eric Parker does everything he can to sharp while the Orange withstand extended offensive zone time.
“I try to focus on the puck at the other end [as much as possible] and sometimes I spray water in the air and track a water droplet to keep my eyes focused.” Said the netminder.
It didn’t take long for Syracuse to get back on the power-play. While attempting to kill off the first penalty, the Rams quickly found themselves down two men, and soon after, three goals.
As alternate captain Matt Jacobs drove to the net sophomore Zack Gordon’s finished the play Jacobs’ started giving the Orange a commanding 3-0 lead and Jacobs his 100th point in a Syracuse uniform.
Jacobs’ feels it’s an honor to get to leave an impact on Syracuse Hockey when he graduates in the spring.
“It’s definitely pretty cool [to have 100 points]. It feels great to have had any sort of lasting impact [on Syracuse hockey as a senior].” The winger said.
The Rams were able to get the ice to tilt in their favor during the closing minutes of the first as rookie Austin Ricker took a slashing penalty with just over two minutes remaining. Rhode Island didn’t sleep on the opportunity to get themselves back into the game, squeaking a shot past Parker with just 12.3 seconds, cutting Syracuse’s lead to 3-1.
The Orange left the ice for the first intermission with a 2-goal lead and looking to build on the rink’s energy in the second.
After a back and forth start to the middle frame, Syracuse found themselves in some penalty trouble as both Connor Preston and Luke Caddo crowded the Orange’s sin bin. The Rams were able to capitalize on the power-play, drawing within one of Syracuse.
Within minutes, the Rams found themselves on the man advantage again as Ford Hatchett took a boarding penalty. Rhode Island quickly closed the one-goal gap with their second power-play goal of the period.
After giving up a three-goal lead, the Orange were in desperate need of a spark. When the Rams took back to back penalties senior Hayward was able to net the tiebreaker off another rebound Rhode Island’s goalie could no control.
Hayward was hoping to give center Zack Gordon a rebound when he scored his second goal of the night.
“I rolled up the side and saw Jacobs and Gordon both open in front and tried to throw the puck towards the net for Gordon to tip and it just [deflected off of a URI player] and it found the back of the net.” The captain recalled.
The Orange left the ice for the second intermission with a 4-3 lead.
Hayward wasn’t done scoring yet. The captain found the back of the net for the second time while the Rams served the 5-minute major penalty for a head-shot.
As Preston was called for a 5-minute major with just 2:45 remaining, Parker held onto the Orange’s two-goal lead, stopping shot after shot that was thrown at him.
Syracuse was able to hold off the Rams late push to earn their fourth win of the season and start the weekend off on the right foot. The Orange be back on the ice to host their first Youth Hockey Game of the season tomorrow at Tennitiy Ice Pavillion at 2:00 p.m. Catch the live action at https://www.suhockey.com/about-26.
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