Updated: Sep 29
By Gino Antimarino
Photo Credit: Arnav Pokhrel (Instagram: @prod_adp)
Syracuse ACHA hockey starts its regular season this weekend against RMU. The last time these two schools met, the matchup was played at Upstate Medical Arena in Syracuse back in January. The Colonials took that game to complete the weekend series sweep in a 3-2 victory over the Orange.
But there is some optimism for this Syracuse group to have an opportunity at revenge this weekend. Roman Kraemer, the leading point-getter for RMU last year, graduated in the spring and signed with the Melbourne Ice of the Australian Ice Hockey League. The forward tallied three goals and six points in that weekend battle with the Orange.
Counting Kraemer, Robert Morris had six players graduate after the end of last season. Three of those diploma recipients led the team in points. Forwards Justin Adamski, Nathan Mickey, and Kramer recorded 169 points last year for the Colonials. Along with the talented offensive group, goaltender Parker Rutherford graduated after putting up a 0.926 save percentage through 18 games played.
Syracuse forward Jack Wren knows the level of skill that the RMU squad has. But with some of the big names leaving the program, the sophomore goes into Pittsburgh tonight not knowing the full potential of his opponent. Regardless, Wren thinks that whatever the Colonials throw, the Orange will be ready.
“Last year, they (RMU) had a lot of really good guys. A lot of seniors on that team graduated, so, if I’m being honest, I’m not sure what to expect. We’ve watched some game films on them. We saw them play so it could be a whole different ball game from what we played last year so, honestly, I’m not thinking too much about that. I’m just trying to go in there (this weekend) and just play my best and have the team play our best and I think if we do that, we can come out on top.”
For the current year, the Colonials have a combined 18 players who are either freshmen or sophomores. Another team with abundant youth on their roster is the Orange. Syracuse has 21 underclassmen. One of the whippersnappers on the team, Brendan Duffy, gets set for his first regular season contest in an orange uniform. The freshman feels confident in his new squad to come out on top of this series.
“We had two big wins over Cornell, so it was a great way to start off the year. We just got to keep on rolling. I think RMU should be a good competitor, but I think we should get the ‘W’ at the end of the day, so I’m looking forward to getting started with a winning record this season.”
While Syracuse has its first clash of the 2023-24 campaign, RMU already has two games (and two wins) under its belt. The Colonials head into the weekend with a 2-0 start to their season, but the Orange have a chance to bring them back to 0.500 after this series.
The Orange face-off against RMU on Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m.