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Saturday, Oct 21, 2017 at 2:08 am

Ice Hockey suffers 5-1 loss against No.9 Northeastern

By Sam Rothman

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse has only scored eight goals in seven games this season, and its goal drought continued in its 5-1 loss against No. 9 Northeastern Friday.

The struggle to score goals has been the Orange’s storyline all season. Head coach Paul Flanagan said his team needs to find the back of the net in order to improve its record on the season.

“We can’t score,” Flanagan said. “We aren’t going to win a lot of hockey games. We have to be better offensively.”

At the start of the game, SU came out strong, taking shots from all over the ice. However, Syracuse was not able to put one past Northeastern goaltender Brittany Bugalski.

Northeastern seemingly became frustrated with Syracuse dominating play, which led to Skylar Fontaine taking a cross-checking penalty just less than nine minutes into the first period. SU was active on the power play, but again was not able to convert. The game remained scoreless halfway into the period.

The Huskies were able to build momentum from its strong penalty kill. Northeastern captain Shelby Herrington took control of the puck and fed it to Tessa Ward in the slot. Despite Syracuse’s strong play, Ward’s goal at 11:34 in the first period gave the Huskies the 1-0 advantage.

It did not take long for Northeastern to extend its lead as it notched another goal 41 seconds later. After Syracuse gave away the puck, Veronika Pettey capitalized and put the puck past SU goaltender Abbey Miller. This pair of goals put the Huskies up 2-0 with less than eight minutes left in the period.

Northeastern was not done yet. Victoria Klimek’s frustration led to a hooking penalty at 12:48 in the second period. McKenna Brand put the puck right under the crossbar on the Huskies’ power play, but the referees did not call it a goal at first. Play went on for a few minutes, but video review after proved it was a goal, and the initial call was overturned. Syracuse quickly found itself in a three-goal deficit after the first period.

At the start of the second period, Ady Cohen replaced Abbey Miller in net after Miller gave up three goals on seven shots in the first period.

Flanagan said he was happy with the team’s response to start the second period trailing 3-0.

“I give our kids credit for coming out in the second period,” said Flanagan. “We outshot them 13-3 and did some good things territorially.”

Despite the Orange’s effort in the second, the Huskies held onto the 3-0 advantage heading into the third period.

Northeastern’s McKenna Brand scored another power play goal at 6:18 in the second period after Lindsay Eastwood took a cross-checking penalty. Halfway through the period, Megan Quinn was called for hooking, and another Syracuse penalty resulted in another Northeastern power play goal. This time it was Veronika Pettey, who scored her second of the game to put SU in a five goal hole.

The Orange finally found the back of the net with five minutes left in regulation to prevent the shutout. Victoria Klimek tallied a power play goal for the Orange to put her team on the board. Klimek has now scored in back to back games with the one-man advantage.

Syracuse’s Stephanie Grossi returned to the line-up and said she was happy to get back on the ice, but not with the outcome of the game.

“It is definitely great to be back,” said Grossi. “It is hard sitting out and watching. But, it was definitely not the way I wanted to start.”

With the loss, Northeastern now holds a 5-1-3 advantage over Syracuse in its past nine matchups.

Flanagan said the Orange needs to have short-term memory as it looks to bounce back in its second game of the weekend series with the Huskies.

“It’s a long season and we stumbled tonight, but we have to pick ourselves up and recover,” said Flanagan.

Puck drop from Tennity Ice Pavilion is at 2 p.m. on Saturday.