Offense Falls Flat in SU Women’s Ice Hockey’s 1-0 Loss to Mercyhurst

Saturday, Feb 22, 2020 at 4:48 pm by Sports Editor

By John Dales

Citrus TV Women’s Ice Hockey Beat Reporter

ERIE, Pa.— Syracuse (12-18-2, 10-6-2 College Hockey America) came into this weekend in control of its own destiny. If the Orange were able to win both road games at Mercyhurst (18-9-5, 12-3-3 CHA), they’d be tied for first place in the CHA at the very least. Things didn’t get out to an ideal start for SU on Friday. The Orange were outplayed on pretty much all fronts, and lost 6-2. Saturday’s game presented an opportunity to make up for the performance from the night before.

Missed opportunities from early in the game came back to haunt SU last night. This one started out in a similar vein.  The Orange had two first period power plays, but couldn’t get on the scoreboard in either one. In total, SU had only eight shots on goal for the entire period. Luckily for the Orange, Mercyhurst didn’t fare any better in the opening frame. The Lakers got nine shots on goal, but Allison Small turned all of them away. At the end of a defense-oriented first period, the two teams had a scoreless tie.

The teams stayed tight in the 2nd period. Early on, SU gave the Lakers an opportunity to get on the board first. 3:17 into the period, Madison Beishuizen was called for tripping. However, the Syracuse penalty kill stood tall and kept the scoreless tie intact. That wouldn’t be the last time Mercyhurst threatened to score. Just past the halfway point, Lakers forward Emma Nuutinen put one in the back of the net. That would end up being the lone score in the period. Each team got 11 shots on goal in the 2nd, but Mercyhurst led where it mattered most — the scoreboard.

For a second consecutive day, the Orange entered the third period needing a comeback. Mercyhurst’s defense just would not relent in this one, though. Through the 7:30, SU got three shots on goal then got gifted an opportunity. With 12:25 left to play, Rachel Marmen was sent to the penalty box for tripping, and Syracuse had another power play chance. However, the Orange did not get a single shot on goal in those two minutes, which really sums up their entire weekend. That would prove to be SU’s last chance, as the game ended with a final score of 1-0.

In the past two weekends, Syracuse averaged over 58 shots on goal per game. That was not the case at all this weekend. SU put up a total of 49 shots on goal in the two games combined. The gauntlet of conference play doesn’t stop for Syracuse. Next weekend, the Orange host Robert Morris for two games that will decide who gets the 2 seed in the CHA conference tournament. | @JohnDales_