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Saturday, Nov 04, 2017 at 9:44 pm

Ice Hockey falls 4-3 to No. 2 Boston College

By Sam Rothman

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Syracuse gave up a two goal lead in its matchup against No. 2 ranked Boston College on Saturday and could not fend off the undefeated Eagles.

This marked SU’s first game after a 13-day break, and the Orange used this rest to come out strong in the first period. Syracuse had a lot of energy in previous starts, but hadn’t converted on its chances. This start was different.

Senior Stephanie Grossi opened the scoring for the Orange just 3:30 into the first period. She found the back of the net after picking up Alysha Burriss’ rebound for her first goal of the season.

Three minutes later Syracuse turned the puck over right in front of SU goaltender Abbey Miller and Boston College’s Kenzie Kent skated around the net to put the puck in the crease. Syracuse defender Allie Munroe recovered the puck to save the Eagles from tying the score.

After putting her team up 1-0, Grossi took an interference penalty with 13 minutes left in the period as Boston College pushed after that early goal by Syracuse. Miller made important saves and the Orange killed off the Eagles’ strong power play.

SU built momentum off this penalty kill and extended its lead halfway into the first period. Kristen Siermachesky delivered a long pass from the Syracuse zone and found Savannah Rennie in front of BC goaltender Katie Burt. Rennie shot the puck over Burt’s shoulder for her first goal of the season, giving Syracuse a two-goal advantage.

The early goals were Grossi’s and Rennie’s first goals of the season since returning to the lineup after suffering injuries. They provided an offensive boost to their team after the Orange scored only nine goals in eight games.

Boston College wasn’t done fighting, and pushed late in the period. Daryl Watts converted and cut into Syracuse’s lead with 1:34 left in the first period. In the final seconds, the Eagles tried to find the equalizer, but Miller kept SU on top 2-1. Despite Syracuse leading on the scoreboard, Boston College led in shots 11-8.

Syracuse regained its two-goal advantage 4:40 into the second period after Lindsay Eastwood put away Rennie’s rebound. This lead didn’t last as Boston College responded 14 seconds later. Maegan Beres found the back of the net to make it a one-goal game.

The Orange began struggling at the end of the second period with its discipline and took two straight penalties, resulting in two BC power-play goals. The Eagles fired shots from all over the ice and after a puck hit the crossbar, Caitrin Lonergan put in the rebound to tie the game. Boston College took the lead with five minutes left in the period as Toni Ann Miano scored the game winner.

SU defenseman Lindsay Eastwood said the team struggled on the penalty kill.

“I think we just need to keep working on blocking shots,” said Eastwood. “At the end of the day, if we block shots the puck isn’t going to get through and they aren’t going to be able to score.”

Syracuse applied pressure throughout the third, but couldn’t complete the upset.

The team played well against a top-ranked team, but head coach Paul Flanagan said Syracuse needs to improve on special teams if it wants to improve its record.

“When you hear the opposing coach tell you after that you are the best team they played, that’s a good thing,” said Flanagan. “So we aren’t as bad as our record may indicate. But at the same time, more than anything, we need to understand that fine line of how close we are. Getting into penalty trouble was the difference.”

Syracuse is now 1-7-1 with the loss. The Orange looks to bounce back in its first conference series against Penn State on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11.