By Brooke Killgore
Photo Credit: Maria Kaffes (Instagram: @mariakaffesimages)
SYRACUSE, NY—Fans piled into the stands at Tennity Ice Pavilion this weekend to watch the Orange take down the John Carroll University Blue Streaks, winning both games; 7-4 and 6-2. After splitting the first series of the season against RMU, Syracuse flew onto the ice and dominated almost every period for their first home games since the 2022-2023 season.
Syracuse jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period of Saturday night's game with a goal from sophomore forward Isaac Arnold. JCU tied the game in the second period on the powerplay and then took the lead moments later.
Syracuse went on to score the next 3 goals of the contest as Edgren, Rugg, and Alecia all found the back of the net. JCU cut the lead to 4-3 in the 3rd period but the relentless Syracuse offense snuffed out any chance of a Blue Streak comeback. Sam Hutchinson, Connor Chesner, and Jack Alecia all added 3rd period goals to extend Syracuse's lead. Alecia's insurance tally was into an empty net for his 4th point on the night helping Syracuse secure a dominant 7-4 victory.
“It definitely feels good, everything seems to be falling into place,” Alecia said. “...We’ve got to come in with the same mindset, treat every point the same, trust our systems, play our game and hopefully we’ll get the job done.”
Overall, Saturday night demonstrated the resilience of the Syracuse line and their ability to move the puck efficiently. The Orange attempted 37 shots on goal and held the Blue Streaks to 28, with only four goals scored. One factor of the win was surrounding the efficiency of the goaltenders.
“When I go to the net, I mean, it’s nice to have a good save percentage but the main thing is the win,” Finta said while describing his high save percentage. “I haven’t [had a win] in a long time, so it feels really good. [JCU] is a really good team. [They] work hard, they’re physical and they’ve got a lot of older guys, so I think the main thing, with us, is we got to stick to our systems.”
The energy and momentum were clearly on Syracuse’s side as the team skated into Sunday afternoon. 'Cuse made their statement early on with two goals on the scoreboard by the end of the first period, holding JCU scoreless.
Yet, the second period saw numerous penalties from both sides and two JCU goals. Alecia helped boost the mood as he one timed a power-play goal past the opposing team’s defense; which led to a change in goaltenders for JCU.
Alecia ended up with another goal and assisted a goal from senior forward Hutchinson later on in the third. The sophomore’s efforts were rewarded when he was named the “Celly Hockey Co. Player of the Game” for the second consecutive game scoring two more goals and adding an assist. The Connecticut native scored four goals overall during the series and assisted on two others. The forward focused on the strength of his line to clear a path for his points.
“We were kind of sloppy, but I was able to find my linemen and I mean, the puck just found the back of the net. We just have to keep going and hopefully keep clicking against Kent State.”
Alternate captain sophomore Connor Chesner applauded the efforts of the line and even the teamwork within the defense. The Colorado native chalked up two of his own goals this weekend, which helped push Syracuse to win 6-2.
“We never really dominated teams like we have this year. It feels good to just put the puck in the net…we’ve been averaging 6-7 goals a game. We definitely have a great, young core..both at defense and at forward. That kid line of Mahoney, Applegate, and Edgren have been amazing, they have a nonstop motor all the time.”
Syracuse jumps to 3-0-1 and will take on 5-2-1 Kent State University on the road next weekend, hoping to boost their productive record.
“In terms of positives, there is a lot to take away from the weekend, but I’d say our ability to play with a lead is the biggest one,” head coach Chris Timmons commented on Syracuse’s consistent leads. “[Kent State] just came off a tough weekend against Indiana Tech, so we expect them to come out looking for a response, which we will plan to match.”
Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 13th and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 14th at Kent State Ice Arena.