Updated: Feb 8, 2020
By Ryan Nelson
Syracuse, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Orange (9-10-3) fell to the Rhode Island Rams (15-11-1) in a scrappy 3-2 game last night. Syracuse came into this road series against Rhode Island hot with five consecutive wins, but their struggling power play put the streak to an end.
The Orange offense leapt out to an aggressive start as the puck hit the ice. Only 33 seconds into the game, Orange captain Peter-Owen Hayward broke from the defense for a one-on-one chance with Rams netminder J.T. Ketzenberger. Hayward capitalized on the opportunity to give his team an early lead and extend his point streak to seven games.
The rest of the game combusted into undisciplined chaos after that initial spark, with three ejections over 20 total penalty minutes following the first goal.
With around six minutes left to play in the first, Rhode Island was able to solve Syracuse goalie Nik Manousos to tie the game at one goal apiece.
Syracuse was not going to settle for a tie period, though, and regained a 2-1 lead heading into the locker room. Off the faceoff, Connor Preston threw a shot towards Ketzenberger that was tipped into the back of the net by forward Lucas Prestamo.
The physical play from both sides carried over into the second period. A Syracuse slashing penalty gave Rhode Island their first power play of the game, which they capitalized on when Collin Harple jammed a rebound past Manousos. The Rams struck again just ten seconds later to take the lead 3-2.
The remainder of the game was a battle in the crease between Manousos and Ketzenberger, who traded flashy glove saves to keep their teams in the game.
The final period was the classic example of two rivals competing at the highest level against each other. The competitiveness led to two ejections and a flurry of penalties.
Despite getting their chances on the power play, neither team was able to capitalize for a goal. Orange alternate captain Ford Hatchett said failing on the power play was his team’s downfall.
“It’s really frustrating to have all that power play time and get absolute diddly squat out of it,” said Hatchett. “If we have the advantage in special teams goals tomorrow, we’ll win the game.”
Syracuse will return to Brad Boss Arena for another chance to score an ESCHL win over the Rams at 4:00 this afternoon. Fans can tune in to watch the game at https://livebarn.com/.
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