Syracuse Looks to Bounce Back Against Niagara
By Owen Sienko and Ryan Nelson
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Orange (11-13-3) will return to historic Tennity Ice Pavilion this weekend to face off against the Niagara Purple Eagles (20-7-2). Friday night’s game will kick off a four-game homestand for the Orange as they close out their regular season.
Syracuse is looking to bounce back after a couple of bad losses to Stony Brook last weekend in which the Orange were outscored 14-3. Star forwards Peter-Owen Hayward and Matt Jacobs were bright spots up front, combining for four points on the weekend. Freshman goalie, Nik Manousos, put up solid numbers in net after relieving senior Eric Parker in both games.
Despite allowing just under 35 shots per game, the Orange have been on a cold streak since returning from their Colorado road trip, dropping four of their last six games. Prior to this, Syracuse was flying high with a five-game win streak. This weekend, they’ll have the chance to regain their footing against an offensive powerhouse in Niagara, a team that is coming off a 6-5 loss to John Carroll University and an 8-3 victory over Buffalo.
The Purple Eagles certainly have offensive firepower, but they draw additional strength from starting goalie Bennett Oxborough. The former-CCHL player is transitioning well in his first season at Niagara with a .921 save percentage and a 10-3 record this season.
One of the men tasked with solving the rookie netminder is the Orange’s leading goal-scorer, Peter-Owen Hayward. His 24 goals and 41 points this season quarterback a Syracuse offense looking to get back on track.
The senior captain knows that, as the season winds down, the Orange just have to finish out strong.
“We just want to take it one game at a time from here on out and hopefully pick up a few wins to finish off the year,” said Hayward.
The Orange host this series, and a series next weekend, as they end their regular season. After these four games, Syracuse heads to West Chester, Pennsylvania, for the ESCHL Tournament to defend their title.
Syracuse has a slight advantage in their all-time record against the Niagara Purple Eagles with a record of 11-9-2. They will get the chance to faceoff against them for the first time this season tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Tennity Ice Pavilion. Tune in live at https://www.suhockey.com/about-26.
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