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Sunday, Feb 17, 2019 at 1:37 am

Defensive Battle Leads to SU Tie with RIT Despite Orange’s Offensive Strength

By David Edelstein

CitrusTV Ice Hockey Reporter

A defensive battle between Syracuse (8-19-3, 8-6-2 College Hockey America) and RIT (11-14-5, 7-8-1) resulted in a 1-1 tie Saturday night in Tennity Ice Pavilion as the Orange and the Tigers completed a weekend home-and-home series.

Syracuse outshot RIT 44-16 in shots on goal and 92-42 in total. It was a sequel to Friday night’s game where SU led 40-26 in shots on goal and 79-41 in total shots but lost 1-0.

“A good goalie can dominate in women’s hockey,” Syracuse Head Coach Paul Flanagan said. “The RIT goalie is one of the best in the league.”

RIT goalie Terra Lanteigne made 43 saves, tied for her fourth-most on the season. The type of save varied, from pad blocks to stick blocks to diving glove saves and pucks that hit off the crossbar.

“We’re lucky to have gotten the one goal with the way she performed,” Flanagan said.

“Kudos to the goalie, honestly. She’s stopping almost everything,” Lauren Bellefontaine said. “We’re getting the opportunities; the rebounds are there everything’s there. I just think we’ve gotta focus on where we’re shooting.”

At the other end of the ice, Ady Cohen made 15 saves on the night in her third straight start in net, only allowing the one Tigers goal. She had a total of 40 saves in the weekend series, allowing RIT to score just twice.

Kelli Rowswell scored Syracuse’s only goal of the weekend, opening scoring on Saturday 7:25 into the game.

“I was just crashing the net, honestly. Our coaches tell us all the time, ‘crash the net.’ I’m not sure who shot it, I think it was Brooke [Avery], and she just got a nice shot right by the goalie’s pads, and I just crashed the net. Luckily it sneaked right past her,” Rowswell said.

The puck landed on the goal line behind Lanteigne, and as RIT players attempted to knock the puck away with their sticks, they pushed it completely over the goal line into the net.

Rowswell had a chance to score again and put the game away in overtime on a breakaway but could not find the back of the net.

“Again, Brooke gave me a nice pass. Just the last second, [the RIT defensive player] tapped my hand and it fell off my stick,” Rowswell said.

In the final seconds of regulation, Brooke Avery shot a puck that hit off the crossbar and bounced out for no goal. She was nearly a last-minute hero again, as she was the one who scored the game-winning goal with 43 seconds left in regulation in the 6-5 win over Mercyhurst last Friday.

“We really just want to play desperate and get anything on net. We had a power play, and I just saw the opportunity. Unfortunately, it was a little off, so it is what it is,” Avery said.

The Tigers’ Kendall Cornine scored an unassisted goal 11:19 into the game, beating Cohen at the top of the net.

With the tie, RIT becomes the only CHA team Syracuse has not beaten this season. If the Orange will get a win over the Tigers this season, it will have to be in the playoffs.

In a game where the Syracuse strong offensive effort was matched by a strong RIT defense, Flanagan and the Orange said they’ll take the one point—a point that can help them in two weeks heading into the conference playoffs.

“Take the point, and you just got to move on. You know, it was a frustrating weekend, there’s four points every weekend here, you get one, you’re disappointed, you feel somewhat unfulfilled,” Flanagan said. “And you [sic] got to be honest with ourselves. Last week we scored 10 goals. What did we do different? Nothing. We didn’t do anything different. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes you’re the windshield.”

“So, we have to take the positives from this and move forward. We can’t really dwell on any weekend or any game,” Allie Munroe said. “I think we put up, what, 44 shots on her. I think we worked hard, and we battled hard, we just kind of got beat by or stuck by a good goalie.”

“We need these points, and we need to keep climbing up, because in this league, anybody can win,” Rowswell said.

The Orange remain in third place in the CHA standings after the tie. SU is two points behind second place Mercyhurst and five behind first place Robert Morris with four games remaining in the regular season.

Syracuse’s next game is on Friday at 7:00 p.m. against Lindenwood at Tennity Ice Pavilion.

dzedelst@syr.edu | @DavidZEdelstein