Marchand, Primeau Among Freshman Getting It Done for WICE This Season
By Chilekasi Adele | @CAdeleTV
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — If you’ve watched Paul Flanagan’s squad at all this season, you know Syracuse Ice Hockey has a plethora of veteran playmakers.
Seniors like forwards Abby Moloughney, and Lauren Bellefontaine come to mind, as well as grad students like forward Victoria Klimek, defenseman Jessica DiGirolamo, and senior transfer goaltender Arielle DeSmet, who’s seamlessly transitioned to Syracuse after a stellar start to her collegiate career at Robert Morris.
It’s not just the older players that are contributing regularly, however. The team’s freshmen have been part of the story at many different points this season — contributing in numerous aspects.
Recently, it was forward Sarah Marchand who propelled the Orange to a shutout of RIT on Jan. 21. The Orange shutout the Tigers, 3-0 — with Marchand directly contributing to all three goals.
She netted the first goal of that game, finding “loose change” after sophomore Rayla Clemons and junior Anna Leschyshyn were stopped on a breakaway by RIT goaltender Sarah Coe.
Marchand was not done yet. She went on to be the only assists on the other two goals of that game, which were scored by the aforementioned veterans DiGirolamo and Moloughney.
Speaking of Moloughney, Flanagan sees similarities between her and Marchand.
“She’s like Abby [Moloughney], you know. Just stepped in and immediately, you could see her skill set,” Flanagan said. “But, probably more importantly, her intellect for the game is what I noticed. She’s got really good skills, but just a great intellect.”
The statistics back the similarities up too. As of Jan. 27, Moloughney and Marchand are one and two on the team leaderboard in points — Moloughney has 23, and Marchand has 20. While Moloughney leads in goals with 12, Marchand is not too far behind in second with seven of her own. Marchand leads the team in assists with 13, with Moloughney not too far behind with 11.
“I think I’ve been contributing as I should,” Marchand said. “Honestly, I think I’m underperforming a bit. I thought I could’ve gotten a little bit more recently…”
Marchand continued, “… [the freshmen] need to prove ourselves and better ourselves and work hard to get our chances, and they’re giving us chances to prove that.”
Marchand hasn’t been the only contributing freshman on the offense. Madison Primeau has nine points this season, which ranks sixth on the team. The Etobicoke, Ont. native has seven goals, including an early hot stretch. Back in October, Primeau scored three goals in three consecutive games — one against Union, and Colgate twice.
The freshman contribution hasn’t been limited to offense. Terryn Mozes has had a decent amount of playing time, recording 10 blocks to date this season. Flanagan credited her attitude and noted that defense isn’t her only strength.
“At times, when we were down numbers, she’s had to play a lot,” Flanagan said. “Kambel [Beacom]’s been out… She’s got some good offensive ability, and from time to time you’ll see that.”
Flanagan says his veteran leadership has been instrumental in helping the younger players adapt, saying it’s important for them to see how the older players conduct their lifestyle. He also says that for his freshmen early on, the message is simple.
“We have a saying in [the locker room] on the wall, when you come out — I don’t even know if they look at it — but ‘Did you get better today?’” Flanagan said. “It’s a process. You just understand that it’s really the little parts of the game.”
He continued, “Sometimes, don’t focus on ‘I’ve got to get better immediately, I’ve got to conquer the world here in such a short amount of time.’ I want our kids to just understand it’s a process. Get better each day, and have good habits, and try to just fit in. Because there’s a lot going on — the athletic part, the academic part, and the social part. Just be yourself, try to have some fun, and just be yourself.”
Marchand also is grateful for the guidance of her senior leadership.
“They’re great to play with — I love playing with both of them,” The Belle River, Ontario native said. “They’re great leaders, and they’re always positive — I’ve never really heard much negative from them.”