By Isabella Apple, Kevin Dorr, Zoe Jurmann
Sophomore, #26 Sam Hutchinson
New York, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Orange (2-4-0) were swept by the New York University Violets (4-2-0) this weekend. NYU outscored Syracuse 7-4 through the weekend.
On a late game Friday, the Orange came out a bit sluggish against a fast-paced NYU who seemed to skate circles around Syracuse. In just a few minutes of game time, the Violets quickly built a 2-0 lead. The Violets outshot the Orange 17-6 with Syracuse unable to generate consistent offensive zone time in the first period.
As the season progresses, defenseman Makenzie Murphy expects the Orange to minimize turnovers in the defensive zone.
“We need to be more confident”, said Murphy. “We have a lot of young guys on the back end who have the skill, [but] it’s about making quicker decisions and being decisive”.
The Orange cut the deficit in half just 1:10 into the second period when sophomore Sam Hutchinson scored on a 2-on-1. Lucas Prestamo made a nifty pass to set up Hutchinson, who beat NYU’s goaltender glove side.
It was a sigh of relief and a sign of good things to come for Hutchinson.
“It felt good to finally get on the board, [I] felt like I owed the boys at least one goal by now, gave me more energy and motivation going on in the game”, said Hutchinson after scoring his first career goal for the Orange.
Syracuse had many opportunities in the second period, with two power plays and a 5-on-3-man advantage. NYU goaltender Ryan Fueg stood tall, making big saves to keep the Violets ahead.
Prestamo feels like Syracuse’s powerplay is on the verge of firing on all cylinders.
“The powerplay has started being more patient moving the puck and understanding what options open up,” he shared. “We’ve started getting creative by varying our puck movement and moving the puck forward quickly when we need to.”
The Violets added to their lead in the third period with a powerplay goal, making it a 3-1 game. After a second period spent killing penalties, the Violets shifted the momentum back in their favor.
The Orange showed some resiliency by responding with a powerplay goal of their own with 6:47 left in the game. Prestamo buried a back-door feed from Tim Kalinowski to pull the Orange within one.
The veterans shared obvious chemistry on the ice, which Prestamo credited his goal to.
“Tim has great vision on the ice and understands the game better than almost anyone I have ever played with. We haven’t played together that much in the past but this weekend it definitely started to come together as we were starting to pick up on each other’s tendencies.” Prestamo continued, “on one level, we both share the same understanding of how to be effective in league games so I believe that naturally results in better chemistry.”
Time quickly ran out as that would be the last goal of the game. The Orange got back to the drawing board, and back on the ice for a Saturday evening matinee.
The Orange played their strongest 1st period of the season, remaining scoreless through the 20 minutes. Once the second period was underway, the Orange fell into what would be an insurmountable hole.
Junior Austin Ricker said Syracuse needs more time of possession to avoid falling behind in games.
“I think we need to establish more time in the offensive end. That starts in our own zone and making sure we’re breaking the puck out efficiently and keeping possession of the puck,” said Ricker.
Syracuse allowed another two goals to go down 4-0. The offensive bright spot on the weekend for the Orange came from rookie Anthony Larkin netting a pair of goals for the Orange.
Larkin knew the Orange still had fight in them despite being down four to start the final period.
“It had been a tight matchup all weekend and we were disappointed with the outcome of game 1 so we really wanted to come out hard in the third period,” said the freshman.
In spite of dropping both games, Coach Timmons found the boys' play this weekend encouraging.
“Throughout the week the message was to be able to play away from the puck and play a quick north-south game when it came to our three zones. I believe we made some significant strides in buying into our systems and that style of play.” The Coach continued, “It’s a matter of consistency and execution which will be the challenge that our team will need to overcome if we want to have success.”
For a new coaching staff and 13 rookies on the Syracuse roster, Coach Timmons reminds fans chemistry takes practice and time to develop.
“Good things take time and for our team, it’s ensuring that we are continuing to move forward and in the right direction each day. I think the proper saying would be “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and to create a winning culture and program, it takes time and commitment to building. It’s long term thinking for us and it’s about where you finish, not where you start,” said the Head Coach in his first year with the Orange.
The Orange did a much better job staying out of the penalty box compared to the series against Stony Brook. They were also able to draw more powerplay opportunities but have yet to start really making opponents pay on the man advantage. The defensemen were also more involved in the offensive zone and played much smarter than opening weekend.
Forward, Larkin says the Orange won’t be going down without a fight.
“We’re definitely going to come out flying against Delaware. Despite the outcome of this past weekend's games, this team showed we’re not going down easy. We came close in both games but it wasn’t enough,” said Larkin. “We are going to look to put together a full 60 minutes and be more consistent. We know what we have to do as a team, now it’s about putting all of the pieces together.”
Going forward, the Orange will need to capitalize on power play opportunities and limit their defensive zone turnovers. These have been recurring themes for the Orange. The Orange will be back on the ice and the road this weekend, October 23rd and 24th at the University of Delaware Blue Hens.