Syracuse Mounts Late Comeback, Loses 5-4 to Stony Brook in Shootout
By Owen Sienko
The Syracuse Orange (3-7-1) came back from a three-goal deficit only to lose in a shootout by a score of 5-4 to the Stony Brook Seawolves (8-6-0) on Saturday, November 16. The lone shootout tally by Stony Brook’s Charles Peck decided the match and split the teams’ weekend series.
High-energy offense and rock-solid defense early in the first period tilted the ice and resulted in plenty of scoring chances for the Orange. When Stony Brook’s Joseph Slevin received a ten-minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct with 8:44 showing on the clock, an early Syracuse tally seemed inevitable. Instead, the Seawolves ramped up their offense and shifted the momentum.
With three minutes remaining in the period, a couple of big hits by Connor Preston resulted in a roughing double-minor for him and a Stony Brook holding minor. Stony Brook capitalized on the 4-on-3 power play 1:39 later when Devon Palmieri set up a slot one-timer for Keith O’Brien to rip a slap shot into the top left corner.
Before the Seawolves could head into the locker room with momentum and a lead, Syracuse stuck with them to even the score with just two seconds left. Defenseman Luke Caddo sent a floater to the slot for his partner, Ford Hatchett, who batted the puck through the five hole and reset the score differential.
“They were carrying play there late in the first period and I think everyone in the building could feel that so it was just a matter of shifting the momentum and changing the morale of our group heading into an intermission,” Hatchett said of his late tally.
The teams traded back-and-forth scoring opportunities through the first ten minutes of the second period. Stony Brook had the opportunity to change this on the power play with 7:35 remaining in the period. Despite failing to convert, the man-advantage allowed the Seawolves to steal the momentum and net a tie-breaking goal courtesy of Connor Dempsey just 30 seconds after the penalty expired.
With no bounces seeming to go their way through 18 shots on goal in the second frame, frustration started to set in for the Orange as they headed into the locker room.
“We knew our goals were gonna have to be gritty ones and so we stuck to the same plan and just has to hold out hope that we would get bounces,” Preston said of the team’s mentality.
Those bounces wouldn’t come right away for the Orange. Just 1:27 into the third, Syracuse’s Mackenzie Murphy took a roughing penalty, giving Stony Brook early momentum. The Seawolves doubled their lead with a Slevin goal just one second after the penalty expired, then extended their lead again halfway through the period with freshman forward Michael Galinski’s first collegiate goal.
Outshot and outscored in the final frame, Syracuse needed to shift the momentum to mount a late comeback. Fortunately for them, seniors Caddo and Hayward were able to do just that with 3:11 left in the period, when the defenseman sent another high saucer pass across the crease for the forward to bat into the net out of mid-air.
“It kind of felt like we were sleepwalking a little bit as a group leading up to that goal, so it really woke us up and shifted momentum back in our favor,” Caddo said.
Stony Brook’s Brendan Pepe took a holding penalty with 1:29 remaining, providing the Orange with a pivotal opportunity. Sixteen seconds later, Hayward produced a rebound with a point shot, allowing Preston to slide a pass to Prestamo. He jammed the puck into the net to cut the Seawolves’ lead to one goal and threaten a comeback.
Stony Brook called a timeout with just 43 seconds left in regulation, and Syracuse resumed play with an empty net and an extra attacker in the offensive zone. The risk paid off with just 3.7 seconds left when Hatchett buried a no-look pass from Prestamo to tie the game up at 4-4 in dramatic fashion.
“It was just so nice to know that our team got rewarded for what I thought was a pretty good third period,” Hatchett said of his tying goal.
The shots were even at 39-39 heading into overtime, and the gameplay followed suit.
Stony Brook had the chance to put the game away with a 2-on-0 rush halfway through overtime, but Parker came in clutch with a quick glove save to keep the comeback alive. With 42 seconds on the clock, Hayward almost completed it on a breakaway, but the defender caught up to him and stifled his shot into the mesh.
By the time overtime had ended, the shots were dead even once again at 44-44, matching the 4-4 tie.
After seven unsuccessful shot attempts in the shootout, Stony Brook’s Chucky Peck was able to fake Parker out and backhand the puck into the net to quash the comeback.
“Obviously the result is disappointing, but this game shows that we don’t have any quit in us,” Caddo said after the shootout loss. “The fight we showed to come back and tie it is an awesome sign going forward, especially for a young group like ours.”
Before heading home for Thanksgiving break, Syracuse will host the ESCHL-rival Liberty Flames next weekend. Fans can catch Syracuse’s second doubleheader of the season against the Flames at the club’s website or YouTube channel at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 22.
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