By Ryan Nelson
Syracuse, N.Y-- .On Saturday, October 12, the Syracuse Orange (1-1-1) fell for the second night in a row to the New York University Violets (2-0-1) 4-3.
The sound of the referees’ whistles resonated within the arena walls throughout the entire first period. There were a total of ten penalties between the two sides. The first penalties of the game came at the same time as offsetting slashing minors set a physical tone for the game.
Despite the numerous power-play opportunities in the first period, neither team was able to capitalize at the start.
The Violets jumped on the board first as they continued to pepper Orange goalie Eric Parker, and a rebound skirted out in the crease, where Mac Brice waited to put it past the netminder to open up the scoring.
The Violets continued to put shots on net, one of which was tipped in front to put them up 2-0 with 5:49 to play in the period.
NYU would not stop there as Mac Brice and Kohl Donovan both netted two more goals to put their team up 4-0 heading into the first intermission.
In the second period, the Orange began to see a revitalization of the energy.
Eric Parker stood on his head as he continued to see a plethora of shots come his way, but he made sure that the back of the net remained empty. With Parker holding down the back-end, the offense began to move on the attack.
With 5:25 left in the period, Syracuse forward Connor Preston lifted the stick of the Violet defender and started on the break while shorthanded. He fed the streaking Lucas Prestamo, who buried it past the NYU goaltender for the Orange’s first goal of the game.
Senior alternate captain Luke Caddo soon followed suit as he took a pass from fellow alternate Ford Hatchett and placed it over the goalie’s shoulder into the back of the net.
Those two goals came off of an astounding 20 shots compared to the Violets’ six in that period.
The period did not all go Syracuse’s way though as they lost captain Peter Owen Hayward to a game misconduct penalty with 9:17 left to play.
In his absence, the Orange looked to other contributors, like forward Lucas Prestamo, to lead the offensive push.
“A lot of new players stepped up in big ways off the scoresheet. They are learning as they go, which is not easy, so I give them a lot of credit for it,” detailed Prestamo. “The experience they are getting now will help down the road for us.”
“We put a real emphasis on taking care of sticks and bodies in front of our net. That was a big issue in the first, and probably led to three of their goals, so we knew we had to clean that up in order to get back in the game,” Caddo said of the team’s mid-game adjustments.
The Orange emerged from the locker room for the second time in a row ready to kill a pre-existing penalty.
Syracuse continued this momentum into their own powerplay. With 7:11 into the period, Prestamo beat Violet goalie Adam Salisbury yet again to narrow the deficit to one.
This deficit would hold though, as the Orange were unable to capitalize on the powerplay at multiple points in the third or with the extra attacker out late in the period. The goal they scored would be on the only shot that they were able to get on the net in the final period.
Despite his two-goal night, Prestamo knows that there is room for improvement in all aspects.
“We need to be disciplined and stay out of the box. Our play is more effective and balanced when we’re at even strength. Getting in on the forecheck quicker will also help in creating more chances for us in the offensive zone.”
Syracuse is on the road yet again next weekend as they head to Lynchburg, Virginia, to take on the Liberty Flames on Friday, October 18, at 7pm. Make sure to tune into the stream https://www.facebook.com/LibertyFlamesHockey/.
“The task doesn’t get any easier next week,” alternate captain Ford Hatchett said after the game. “We’re playing another real talented team that is hungry for some revenge after last year’s playoffs and we’ll have to be ready.”
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