By Isabella Apple
#12, Forward, Lucas Prestamo
Syracuse, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Orange (2-6-0) traveled to Newark to face the University of Delaware Blue Hens (6-3-1) this past weekend. The Orange were taken care of by the Blue Hens in back-to-back games, leaving Syracuse winless in games they played this season (their two wins resulted from Drexel University forfeiting).
The Orange are still yet to play with a lead this year as slow starts and early goals continue to plague this young core.
Syracuse did put up their best fight of the season thus far, after trailing 3-1 to Delaware in the opening frame of Saturday’s game. The lone Orange goal came from senior Tim Kalinowski on the powerplay, which has been finding its groove as of late for Syracuse.
The Orange played a lock-down 2nd period, cutting the Blue Hens’ lead in half, 3-2 early in the middle frame, with the freshman Brock Alvers netting his first career goal for Syracuse to bring the game within one.
Alvers said he definitely felt at ease getting that first goal out of the way.
“It was a really big feeling of relief and it took a lot of the nerve out of my mind by just getting the first one. I feel like getting the first one is the key and then other ones will start to come,” commented the rookie. “It was also an amazing feeling being able to score my first one in a Syracuse sweater. It brings me a ton of pride to be able to be a part of this team and what we have going. Being able to know I can contribute is an awesome feeling.”
The comeback efforts of the Orange fell just short, as the Blue Hens’ added an insurance tally with just under seven minutes left in the 3rd period giving them back a two-goal lead that Syracuse would be unable to overcome.
Emerging talent, rookie Sam Hutchinson did net another goal for the Orange, assisted by Evan Vassilovski and Lucas Prestamo as time ran out, but the rally of the Syracuse offense would fall just short with a final score of 4-3, Blue Hens on top.
The biggest monkey on this Syracuse team’s back is the penalty trouble they have constantly found themselves in. Three of the Blue Hens' four goals on Saturday night came on the powerplay. While the Orange have improved on their own powerplay, the penalty kill still has ways to go for this young team.
Coach Timmons says they need to control their emotions better.
“Mental toughness and discipline,” Timmons said, would help Syracuse’s penalty woes. “The call at the end of Saturday was due to a retaliation and letting our emotions get the best of us. We need to keep them in check and learn to play through whatever is thrown at us.”
The coaching staff and players know giving up three powerplay goals off four powerplay opportunities is not a recipe for success. The team currently has a penalty-kill percentage of around 67%, however, the rate at which the Orange are being sent to the box must decrease.
In Sunday’s matchup, the Orange were out-worked, out-shot, and straight-up dominated by the Delaware team. Syracuse had just 10 shots the entire game, while Delaware possessed the puck for the majority of the match and fired 48 shots on goal.
The Orange were shut out, and gave up five goals, falling 5-0 in Sunday’s matinee. The one bright spot of Syracuse’s play was that the penalty kill performed much better in the second game of the weekend, but the time of possession for the Blue Hens’ overwhelmed the Orange regardless.
The total domination of play by Delaware is surprising as the Blue Hens fell into penalty trouble for themselves Sunday, but the Orange were unable to capitalize on any of the 11 penalties taken by the Blue Hens.
The Orange left Delaware winless, but with things they can take home and grow from. They were so close to breaking through Saturday night and may have won the game if not for a retaliation penalty that sunk them in the 3rd period. This young Syracuse team has improved vastly from their first showing against Stonybrook and will look to continue on this path until they get back in the win column.
Captain Mackenzie Murphy is excited to see the familiar layout of the Tennity Ice Pavilion after two straight weeks on the road.
“[We’re] looking forward to the opportunity to play at home,” said the junior. “We didn’t accomplish what we wanted to in Delaware and now we have the opportunity to come back home and play a Friday night game against a team that we’re very familiar with [in Oswego].”
The Orange will look to get the season back on track this weekend as they have a one-game series against none other than Coach Timmons and Coach Alhart’s former club, the Oswego State Lakers (7-4-1) Friday, October 29th, at Tennity Ice Pavilion.
The Orange are thrilled to have both Timmons and Alhart on their side of the battle this time around facing Oswego.
“This past year has been crazy for Syracuse Hockey. We’re excited for the future due in large part to the guys we have behind our bench, [so] everyone is excited to play Friday night,” said Murphy.
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