Prestamo Nets Four in 9-5 Loss to No. 6 Liberty
By Owen Sienko
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Orange (3-9-1) could not bounce back against the No. 6 Liberty Flames (16-3-0) on Saturday, November 23. Syracuse junior forward Lucas Prestamo shined bright as the first star with a career-high four goals during the 9-5 game.
"I got banged up pretty good the first game and had to miss most of the 3rd period. So it was a combination of having a little extra energy and searching for some payback that I think contributed to my performance."
Before puck drop, all eyes were on Syracuse’s goalie tandem. Senior Eric Parker stood out last night as Syracuse’s star player after facing 51 shots. Freshman Jordan Edelstien, manned the bench in place of usual backup Nik Manousos, dressing in his first game with the Orange.
“It felt absolutely amazing to suit up,” Edelstein said, reflecting on the experience. “Just warming up with the guys and being on the bench with them is just amazing since they are all my hockey family.”
The Flames were still burning red-hot after their dominant victory last night, and it showed early in the first period. Just 25 seconds into the game, Liberty forwards Jordan Bochinski and Andy Clarke found themselves on a two-on-one rush. Bochinski saucered a cross-ice pass to Clarke, who one-timed the puck past Parker to put his team on top to start the game.
With Liberty forward Quinn Ryan’s goal at 13:35, it looked like the Flames were going to walk out of Tennity Ice Pavilion with an additional two points, but the Orange made sure to keep it competitive in the first frame.
Three minutes later, at 10:29, Syracuse forward Colin Morrow fed linemate Lucas Prestamo for a one-timer goal identical to the one scored by Bochinski and Clarke in the first minute of the game.
The Orange were unable to maintain a one-goal deficit heading into the locker room, as Chaydan Lauber struck back for the Flames with 7:19 remaining in the period.
Liberty carried the momentum from the Lauber goal right into the second frame with four straight goals, the first of which coming courtesy of Basil Reynolds just 56 seconds into the period.
Colin Morrow was able to strike back for the Orange just 2:54 later to keep the morale on the bench stable, but Liberty freshman Colin Baird potted his fifteenth point of the season 2:37 afterwards to swing the momentum right back in his team’s favor.
A pair of back-to-back tallies just 38 seconds apart by Jacob Fricks and Chaydan Lauber respectively kept it that way until Lucas Prestamo took things into his own hands, scoring two consecutive goals at 5:34 and 3:07 to earn himself a hat trick and keep the game competitive at 7-4.
In the third period, Liberty got on the board early again when Cody Clarke fed Cole Gammer right out front of the net for an easy tap-in goal. Lucas Prestamo kept his team in the game once more with his fourth goal of the game, a personal record.
Unfortunately for the Orange, Prestamo’s heroics were not enough to spark a comeback effort, and one final goal from Liberty forward Matthew Bartel with 13:39 left in the game would be the nail in the coffin, giving Liberty a 9-5 victory.
"We’ve made a lot of progress since the start of the season, and things are starting to click. We ran into a good team in Liberty, and I think we need to work on starting on-time and preparing for 60 minutes of hockey," spoke Prestamo of the team's performance. "I felt that there were moments in both games where we could have kept the game close by staying out of the box and getting some offensive zone time. The break will help us rest our legs and give some injured guys more time to heal which will help as we turn the page to URI after Thanksgiving."
The Orange will spend the next week away from the ice to celebrate Thanksgiving, but they will return to the Tennity Ice Pavilion to take on another ESCHL rival in the University of Rhode Island Rams on Friday, December 6.
“I’m most thankful for having a loving family that takes care of me and supports with everything I need to be successful in life,” Jordan Edelstein said at the onset of the Thanksgiving break.
Fans who can’t make it to the rink can tune into the action live at the team’s YouTube channel starting at 6:30 p.m.
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