Vermont Goalie Dominates Syracuse, Orange Lose Third Straight 2-0

Syracuse women's ice hockey goalie Abbey Miller
Friday, Nov 23, 2018 at 11:15 pm by Sports Editor

By Eric Moon

CitrusTV Women’s Ice Hockey Reporter

Burlington, VT – Less than five minutes had been played in the second period. Marielle McHale had the puck and a breakaway for Syracuse. She skated into the Vermont zone down the left side of the ice and as she  got closer to the net, McHale switched the puck to her backhand side of her stick and shot the puck towards the roof of the net.

Vermont Goalie Melissa Black made the save with her left shoulder and deflected the puck behind the Catamount net.

It was SU’s best scoring chance of the game, but Black thwarted McHale’s breakaway and every other Syracuse scoring opportunity.

The first game of the Windjammer Classic did not go according to plan for Syracuse (4-9-1, 4-3-0 College Hockey America) against Vermont (3-7-4, 2-6-2 Women’s Hockey East Association) as the Orange lost 2-0 thanks to a spectacular performance from Catamount goalie Melissa Black. Black made 30 saves on 30 shots to record her first shutout of the season and the second in her career.

Black’s 30 saves was just two shy of her season high of 32 against Connecticut in the Oct. 6 season opener. Black’s performance and two goals was all the Catamounts needed to advance to the Windjammer Classic Championship against No. 2 Minnesota on Saturday.

From the Syracuse perspective, head coach Paul Flanagan has said on multiple occasions the Orange have done a good job getting scoring opportunities, but have had trouble finishing and putting the puck in the back of the net. SU created scoring chances once again, but couldn’t finish against Melissa Black and Vermont to snap out of a losing skid.

The loss extends Syracuse’s losing streak to three games, tied for the longest this season. The Orange began the season with three consecutive losses against Boston College and Mercyhurst.

It’s the second time Syracuse has been shutout this season. The first was a 1-0 loss to Mercyhurst Oct. 13, the last game in SU’s first three game losing streak this season.

The loss puts Syracuse in the Windjammer Classic consolation game against No. 8 St. Lawrence, Flanagan’s former team more than a decade ago. Faceoff is at 4 p.m Saturday. I @ericmoon22