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Saturday, Nov 11, 2017 at 1:32 am

Ice Hockey defeats Penn State 3-0 for its first conference win of the season

By Sam Rothman

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — In two of its games this season, Syracuse women’s ice hockey has grabbed an early 2-0 lead. And in both of these matchups, the Orange gave up the two goal advantage, eventually tallying another loss on the season. But on Friday, Syracuse was able to carry the momentum for the full 60 minutes in its 3-0 conference win against Penn State.

SU came flying out the gate, as senior Stephanie Grossi notched her first goal of the game just 44 seconds after puck drop. Syracuse had a chance to tally another goal just a few minutes later as Victoria Klimek and Alysha Burriss skated into the Penn State zone on a 2 on 1 play. Penn State goaltender Daniela Paniccia’s stick save helped the Nittany Lions stay in the game as Burriss crashed into the net.

With seven minutes left in the first period, Syracuse defenseman Allie Munroe fed a pass to Grossi who buried the puck top shelf for her second goal of the game. SU closed the period with the two goal advantage as Penn State struggled to get anything going offensively.

The Orange dominated on both ends of the ice during the period, limiting the Nittany Lions to only two shots on goal. Penn State’s attempts occurred on the man-advantage and the Nittany Lions did not tally a shot during 5 on 5 play until the second period.

It was the same story as in previous contests for Syracuse in the second period. The team struggled again with its discipline, taking four penalties in the period and giving the Nittany Lions multiple power play opportunities. In the past, Syracuse’s opponents capitalized on these chances and the Orange fell in a hole. But in this game, SU’s penalty kill was the difference as Syracuse maintained its lead, and the momentum.

“The penalty kill kind of lost us games in the past and today we really tightened it up,” said Grossi. “We blocked shots and when we had a chance to get it out of the zone, we focused on that and we got it out.”

The second period ended the way it started, with the Orange holding onto the 2-0 lead.

Grossi hit the post halfway through the third period and couldn’t put the puck past Paniccia for the hat trick. But, SU defenseman Megan Quinn capitalized on the power play moments later, notching her first goal of the season and giving her team the three goal advantage.

“It’s always good to get the first goal,” said Quinn. “It’s kind of the monkey off my back. I think it will open the floodgates for me from now on.”

It was also a big night for Grossi, who recorded her 100th point after finishing with three assists in the matchup. The senior forward also now holds the program record for most career assists with 60.

Head coach Paul Flanagan said the team looked energized in its first conference game of the season.

“I just think the kids had some pretty good jump,” said Flanagan. “And we should have. [Penn State was] in our rink and there were two huge points on the line.”

Syracuse looks to carry this momentum into its rematch with Penn State on Saturday and sweep the Nittany Lions in the conference series.