By Luke Burgess
Syracuse, NY - Syracuse (3-8-1) comes into a two-game series against the Bobcats of NYU (3-4-1) after a heartbreaking set last weekend. Not only is it important that the Orange bounce back for the sake of their record, but they also will have the pressure of all the former Syracuse greats watching them, as over 150 alumni will be in the stands for Alumni Weekend.
The biggest weekend of the year for Syracuse men’s hockey will feature plenty of events and recognition for those who have come before. It will certainly be an honor for all the players to showcase this year’s team in front of those who came before them, but the team knows that if they want to impress there will need to be some fixes from the last few weekends.
Coach Timmons stressed the importance of scoring goals if they hope to see increased results. “We can’t expect to win games and just put the pressure on our goaltenders to hold them off”. Timmons has a point, Freshman goalie AJ Finta has shone in big moments this year, and although his record may not be pretty, he’s made some remarkable saves under pressure this year. Despite this, he knows the team needs to be better if they are going to start filling up the win column.
“We’ve taken some of the top teams in the country to the final buzzer and then are ultimately hurt by some silly mistakes,” said the goaltender. The drive to get better is a team-wide mentality, and the hunger to win is certainly there.
This weekend, the opportunity to gain some confidence might be right there as NYU is one of the few teams with a losing record that Syracuse has faced. As Finta stated, they have played some of the top teams in the land this year, and it is simply a matter of hanging in there a little bit longer when the games get tight and special teams to become a dominant factor in the result.
The two-game series starts on Saturday as opposed to the typical Friday start this week. Puck drop tomorrow is at 7:30, and Sunday will be a 2 PM start. Alumni will be present all throughout the weekend, and seeing a packed Tennity would be a huge boost for those who are returning as well as those who are taking the ice. Both games will be on the Syracuse Hockey Network on YouTube.