Syracuse Blows Out Mercyhurst to Earn First Home Victory
By John Dales
CitrusTV Women’s Ice Hockey Beat Reporter
After losing it’s first nine home contests of the 2019-20 season, Syracuse (6-13-1, 5-1-1 CHA) was due for a game where everything just went right. Friday night at Tennity Ice Pavilion was that game. The Orange absolutely blew out Mercyhurst (11-8-2, 5-2-0 CHA) by a final score of 8-3.
Syracuse got plenty of shots on goal in their recent loss against St. Lawrence, but scored only once. Against Mercyhurst those shots kept coming at a high rate, but this time they led to goal upon goal for the ‘Cuse.
The Orange offensive attack started with freshman Brynn Koocher using her backhand to get past Laker goalie Kennedy Blair just over six minutes after puck drop. Later on in the first, it was Savannah Rennie’s turn. The senior forward scored her sixth goal of the season off an assist from Abby Moloughney and Anna Leschyshyn. Three minutes later, Lindsay Eastwood buried one from the right circle, and suddenly SU is up 3-0 on the top team in the CHA.
Mercyhurst would score to make it 3-1 into the first intermission, and that seemed like it could have taken the wind out of SU’s proverbial sails. It was a first period where the Lakers had a lot of good looks at the goal, but could not finish their opportunities. If they started to put away these shots, a tight rest of the game seemed imminent.
Clearly though, this was not the case. The game’s turning point came about midway through the second period. In the span of just 2:15 of gametime, SU scored three straight goals to break this game wide open. Prior to these three scores, the Orange had to kill off a penalty, and they did so successfully. Almost immediately after getting a fifth attacker back on the ice, it was Anonda Hoppner who snuck one by the Mercyhurst goalie. Just over a minute later, ‘Cuse had a power play of their own, and they cashed in by way of an Emma Polaski redirect goal. In case this one was still in doubt, Abby Moloughney then scored her fourth goal of the season, and the home squad was well on their way to their first home victory.
Mercyhurst scored another late goal to make it 6-2 as the third period started, but the book was already written on this contest. Lauren Bellefontaine and Kelli Rowswell each scored a goal in the third period to round out tonight’s offensive free-for-all for the Orange.
Syracuse’s scoring tonight was very evenly spread out, with eight different players combining to score the team’s eight goals. Also, tonight’s victory marks the 399th in the career of Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan. He will have the chance to earn win number 400 when these two squads face off once again on Saturday night at Tennity. SU’s win tonight—coupled with a loss by Robert Morris—catapults the Orange into the #1 seed in the CHA despite their 6-13-1 overall record.
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