By Isabella Apple
SYRACUSE N.Y. -- The New York University Violets (8-8-2) visited the Syracuse Orange (11-11-3) to finish up the weekend and send the Orange into their bye week. With timely scoring from their top two lines, Syracuse pulled out a 5-3 victory.
The Orange and the Violets got off to a slow start playing a physical back and forth game. Despite getting an early penalty the Orange were unable to find their rhythm with the man advantage.
With just under four minutes remaining, Syracuse found themselves a man up again, only this time the Orange wasted no time sneaking one past Violets’ net-minder Adam Salisbury. Just three seconds into the powerplay, forward Connor Preston found himself in the right place at the right time to give the Orange a 1-0 lead.
The junior forward felt the quick goal was a confidence boost for their powerplay.
“It’s absolutely massive for us [to score there]. We’ve known that our power play has been struggling, but we just keep focusing on moving the puck quickly and getting shots off,” the Lake Placid native said. “In practice, we were getting good looks and it definitely translated to the game today which is huge for us moving forward.”
As play continued, captain Peter-Owen Hayward found himself in the sin-bin for tripping. The Orange penalty killers were able to avoid giving up many quality scoring chances with timely clears.
As Hayward left the box, a collision between Preston and NYU’s A.J, Crawford gave the Orange their third powerplay of the game.
A powerplay that struggled to get offensive zone time at the start of the period had a quick turn around, once again scoring man-up in mere seconds. Off the faceoff, new member Jacob Patalino passed the puck to Hayward, who then found sophomore Tim Kalinowski to give Syracuse a 2-0 lead.
As the two teams parted for the first intermission NYU forward Richie Doherty was caught roughing the Orange as the team skated off the ice. Doherty landed himself in the penalty box to start the second, and put NYU a man-down once again.
The Orange left the ice for the 1st intermission up 2-0 and with a 5-to-4 man advantage waiting for them to start the middle frame.
In spite of starting the second on the powerplay, the Orange were unable to capitalize. Syracuse and New York exchanged chances until with 13:48 left in the period, NYU’s Frank Horowitz was able to sail a puck past Syracuse’s rookie goalie Nik Manousos.
Just under three minutes later as Zack Gordon was sent to the penalty box for boarding, the Violets once again found the back of the net and were able to tie the game 2-2.
Forward Tim Kalinowski knows how resilient this team is.
“We just believe in each other. Everyone plays their role and when that happens our belief in staying the course permeates throughout the group,” said the sophomore.
Looking for a spark, the Orange were able to draw another penalty with just over four minutes to play in the second period. Although they were unable to score on their powerplay chance, they did gain momentum to end the second.
Syracuse left the ice for the final intermission leading 33-20 in shots, but all tied up 2-2 on the scoreboard.
After another slow starting period as both teams got their legs beneath them, things started to get chippy between the ESCHL rivals.
In just over :10 seconds, two NYU players, and Syracuse’s Hayward found themselves in the box again.
Playing 4-on-3 for almost a full two-minutes, the hit or miss Syracuse powerplay was able to take the lead again. Defenseman Luke Caddo found the back of the net for the first time this weekend with assists from Matt Jacobs and Tim Kalinowski to give the Orange a 3-2 lead.
Alternate captain Luke Caddo credits the coaching staff with keeping the team’s morale up.
“It’s a testament to our coaches. Their attitude never changes no matter the score, and that trickles down to us and gives us confidence as players,” said the senior.
A quick turnover gave forwards Lucas Prestamon and Adam Bedford a 2-on-1 streaking into the offensive zone but with the puck on edge, Bedford was unable to settle it in time to catch NYU’s goaltender out of position.
With just over five minutes remaining, Connor Preston fired a beauty top-shelf to give the Orange a solid 4-2 lead. Preston’s second of the night would stand as the game-winner.
Minutes later, Syracuse got themselves into hot water taking back to back penalties, and going down 5-on-3 for over a minute. With the combination of aggressive shot-blocking and timely clears, the Orange were able to bail themselves out and maintain their 2-goal lead.
With the goaltender pulled, the Violets were able to pull within one of Syracuse with just :27 seconds remaining in the game but were unable to complete the comeback as junior Ford Hatchett called game with the empty-netter.
The Orange will get a much-needed bye week after playing 10 games since winter break, and be back on the ice to visit the Stony Brook Seawolves on February 14th and 15th.
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