Coming off a 5-3 victory on home ice on Friday night, the Syracuse Orange (4-9-2) looked to repeat that success in the final game of the semester facing off against the Rhode Island Rams (8-10-1). The Rams, though, were able to exact revenge for their showing the night prior as they defeated the Orange 6-5 in overtime.
In this one, goals were not hard to come by. The leading goal scorers for each team were ready to go early on. The Orange’s captain, Peter-Owen Hayward, netted his team-leading 11th goal on a rebound following up on a Luke Caddo shot from the blueline on the powerplay only five minutes into the game.
This was followed by a 20 second stretch that Syracuse would probably rather forget. Rhode Island was able to score two quick goals, including one by their leading point man, Jake Salisbury, to give them the lead halfway through the period.
The Orange responded as Peter-Owen Hayward roofed a backhander over the right shoulder of the usual backup goalie for the Rams, Daniel Desilva.
The second period continued the goal scoring fiesta at Tennity Ice Pavilion. Alternate captain, Ford Hatchett, made an outstretched effort to keep the puck in the offensive zone before he threw it towards the net, but on its path there, it deflected off a URI defender and snuck past the goalie to make it 3-2 for the Orange.
The Rams were not going to let that go unanswered. They potted three consecutive goals to end the period on a high note and a 5-3 lead. Two of those goals came with the Rams’ forwards parked right in the crease of Syracuse netminder Eric Parker.
This time, no Rams’ lead was safe when Lucas Prestamo was flying around on the ice. On an early powerplay for the Orange, Zach Gordon fed the puck in front of the net where Prestamo buried it to make the score 5-4.
Syracuse did not stop there and neither did the forward. Mackenzie Murphy threw the puck at the net and who else but Prestamo to tip in the game tying goal with ten minutes left in regulation. These final moments would be filled with chippy play from both sides.
Despite a two-man advantage late in the period, the Orange were unable to capitalize despite some quality chances. The buzzer would sound and the team would play some free hockey.
The overtime period was short as, 27 seconds in, a two on zero breakaway chance for Rhode Island would put the dagger in the coffin as they played tic-tac-toe in front of Parker before netting the winner
The game was full of offense, as the score suggests, but the 96 combined shots between the two sides helps explain this high scoring affair.
The Orange have a month long break to mull over the first half of the season, but there is hope for a second half that is around the corner.
“I think moving forward we need to keep our emotions in check, as hockey is always a long 60 minutes; there will be ups and downs throughout the game. If we can stay within ourselves, keep things simple and work hard in all 3 zones, we should expect some better results in the second half” said forward Lucas Prestamo after the loss.
The Orange captain also highlighted the positive aspects of the season so far: “The first half has been a bit of a struggle as our record shows but I’ve seen some really promising things in terms of younger guys getting more comfortable and coming into their own and starting to contribute. So hopefully that will continue into the second half and beyond” said Peter-Owen Hayward.
The Orange take the ice again in the new year as they faceoff against Buffalo away on January 11th.
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