By Luke Burgess
Syracuse, NY— Syracuse Men’s hockey (1-3-0) comes into this weekend with revenge on their mind. A sweep at the hands of Stony Brook, including a heartbreaking 6-5 loss in the Saturday matinee, left a sour taste in the mouth of the Orange. They will look to get their record back to .500 this weekend with a visit from the Drexel Dragons (4-0-0) who come in looking to keep their undefeated season alive.
Drexel is off to a great start, but after such a close loss in the second game to an elite program like Stony Brook, the Orange know that they can compete with anyone that the schedule throws at them.
Following the 6-5 loss last weekend Anthony Solt made it clear that this Orange team is here to play “I think it just proves that we can hang with anybody” the forward said “They’re one of the biggest teams in the country, and in terms of our identity, it shows that we’re here and we’re here to play, and we can bring it to you guys [the opponent]”.
If the Orange are going to walk away from this weekend with something to show for it in the win column, they’re going to need to shut down Drexel defenseman Nick Castura. Castura already has 9 points through 4 games, and has the chance to build upon that this weekend against an Orange team that has struggled stopping the puck at times. His ability to score from the blue line makes the Pennsylvania native a menacing presence for the opponent. Jared Topf, who was blocking shots left and right last weekend on the Penalty Kill, will need to keep himself in top form.
Two true freshmen – forward Isaac Arnold and goaltender AJ Finta – have provided an exciting start to the season for the Orange, and there is a sentiment in the locker room that the entire freshman group can be really special, and a key part of the team's identity moving forward.
The biggest takeaway going into this weekend is that there is a lot of belief in the locker room and on the ice between the members of this team, Topf referred to his linemates as “family”, and there is no doubt that this team is more exciting to watch when they are battling for each other like they did last weekend.
The Orange take on Drexel at 7 PM on Friday night, and 2 PM on Saturday afternoon. Both games will be streamed on the Syracuse Hockey Youtube channel when the Orange will try and even out their record, and hopefully see a climb in the ACHA standings, ending Drexel’s perfect start in the process.