By Isabella Apple
SYRACUSE N.Y, -- The Syracuse Orange (6-9-3) have taken flight to face both the University of Colorado Buffaloes (1-13-3) and the Colorado State Rams (6-10-1) this weekend. The Orange will start off the road trip with two games against the Buffaloes and closeout MLK Weekend with a one-game series against the Rams.
The Orange are coming off a two-game sweep in a home-and-away series with the University at Buffalo Bulls last weekend. Over the month-long winter break, Syracuse’s forward Tim Kalinowski got back to full health and was able to step onto the ice for the Orange for the first time this season, netting three goals in his first two games.
The sophomore can’t wait to be back on the ice again this weekend.
“Before my surgery, the doctor told me to get the possibility of returning this season out of my head, and then suddenly I was cleared to skate and that’s when I started to realize that returning was a real possibility,” said the forward. “ It was really weird being out having to watch my teammates so I was very motivated to come back and contribute right away and I hope that trend continues.”
Syracuse will have to fend off a desperate Colorado Buffaloes team who hasn’t won since October 5th and has had over a month to prepare for this Syracuse team. The Orange will play the Buffaloes on both Friday, January 17th and Saturday, January 18th and then travel an hour and a half north to visit the Colorado State Rams for one game on Sunday, January 19th.
The Orange will have to throw a lot of shots on goal to beat this Colorado State team, which has a .914 save percentage this season. Additionally, Syracuse will have to be diligent on special teams against the Rams who have both a good penalty-killing unit and an opportunistic powerplay.
Alternate captain Ford Hatchett feels this weekend is an opportunity to gain ground in the standings.
“Neither [of us have] had the season [we’d] like so far and we each have probably circled this weekend on our calendars as one we can get back on track [with],” said the 6’4” defenseman. “It’ll be important to get our legs under us in the first five minutes and match their intensity right away.”
After a slower start to the first half of the season, the Orange will look to control the tempo this weekend and try and keep pace with the top of the standings. Syracuse currently sits in fourth place of the ESCHL with 17 points.
Rookie defenseman Ryan Dowd feels the key to success this weekend is focusing on themselves, not their opponents.
“The key for us this past week of practices and this weekend is putting the focus on ourselves and not worrying too much about our opponents. If we can control the game and play it the way we want to then we shouldn’t have too much of an issue,” said the Connecticut native.
The puck will drop in Boulder, CO on Friday, January 17th at 9:00 PM EST. Syracuse’s own broadcasters will be calling the game live from Colorado at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuz697EE3uA!
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