By Ryan Nelson
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
The holiday season may be over, but the Syracuse Men’s Hockey team is just starting the second half of its season this weekend with two games against the University at Buffalo Bulls.
The Orange (4-9-3) will look to try and start the new decade off on the right foot after a less-than-ideal first half to the season, which included tough matches inside the ESCHL against Stony Brook and Liberty.
The taste left by the final game of the first semester, which concluded with a Rhode Island overtime goal, is not a pleasant one for the team to marinate on as the try to start anew.
The Orange, so far, have found success coming from different avenues than they have in the past. With a team full of young players finding significant ice time, it seems to have been the upperclassmen leading by example up to this point.
The first line duo of Lucas Prestamo and Peter-Owen Hayward is lighting the lamp more than any of their teammates with 11 and 12 goals, respectively. Not to be overshadowed, Ford Hatchett is also a key contributor from the blue line with 19 points in only 16 games.
For such a roller coaster of a start so far, the one constant has been the stalwart between the pipes, Eric Parker. He has started each and every game for Syracuse. No matter rain, nor snow, nor sleet, he will play for Head Coach Connor Treacy.
Syracuse’s opponent this weekend, the Buffalo Bulls (8-10-0), went into the break like a bull in a china shop, winning their last four games before the break. This is after the poor 4-10 start that they had to the season.
Buffalo is carried offensively by a three-headed monster rivaling “the French Connection.” Victor McCutcheon, Michael Lask, and Cole Schiffman all exploded for multiple points in the final two weekends when the team was in desperate need for some glimpses of hope.
In complete contrast to the Orange goalie situation, the Bulls have had a revolving door in the crease up until now. Four different netminders have suited up for the team, trying to find some success that others before them were unable to find.
In order to shift the tide in 2020, the Orange want to start fast and early this weekend.
This weekend’s games are split between Syracuse and Buffalo, so each team will have a chance to show off some newfound energy in front of their home fans. On Saturday, January 11, the Orange will travel down I-90 to face the Bulls at 1:30 p.m.. You can tune in live online at
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