Updated: Oct 27, 2019
By Isabella Apple
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Orange (1-2-1) will attempt to get back on track this weekend while visiting their ESCHL rivals, the Liberty Flames (7-0-0). The Orange have a regular-season record of 3-3-1 against Liberty all-time.
This two-game series will begin in Virginia on Friday, October 18, at 7:00 p.m. Fans can tune in live on ESPN+.
Syracuse will attempt to get back to their winning ways after dropping both games last week while visiting NYU in a penalty-filled series. Syracuse was outscored 10-5 over the weekend, racking up 49 penalty minutes and giving up five power-play goals to NYU. Defenseman Ford Hatchett has been streaking for the Orange, getting a point in each of the first four games, as well as appearing on the score sheet four times this past weekend while visiting New York (1-3-4).
Syracuse will need to be more disciplined to stay out of the box against a high-powered Liberty team. The Flames went 4-4 on the power play last Friday and then defensively went 5-5 on the penalty kill in Saturday’s game against Rhode Island. Syracuse will also have their hands full with Liberty’s sophomore goalie Tyler Myers, who is 4-0 this season with a .050 GAA and two shutouts.
Syracuse and Liberty last met in a thriller in the ESCHL Championship, when No. 3 Syracuse upset No. 1 Liberty 3-2 to take home the title. Syracuse and Liberty played into double-overtime after now-senior Matt Jacobs tied up the game 2-2 with a five-hole tap-in with 23.5 seconds remaining in the third period. With 3:59 remaining in 2OT, now-graduated Connor McNamara worked hard in the offensive zone to finally bury the puck and send the Orange home as ESCHL Champions.
For Syracuse to leave Virginia with points, rookie Vincent Barone knows they have to avoid taking penalties.
“We just have to be disciplined,” Barone said. “Playing short-handed these past two weekends knocked us off our game and prevented us from generating a rhythm.”
Not only do the Orange have to play a clean game for a chance to win against this hot Liberty team, but captain Peter Owen Hayward also said they need to keep the Flames from getting into their rhythm.
“Liberty is always a really tough opponent and this year is no different, we’ve got to stick to our systems and try to get them off their game and frustrate them as much as possible,” Hayward said.
Remember to watch the Orange and Flames on Friday, October 18, when the puck drops from Virginia at 7:00 p.m on ESPN+.
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