Syracuse Falters Early On, Loses Seventh Straight Game
By Eric Moon
CitrusTV Women’s Ice Hockey Reporter
Syracuse, NY — Less than three minutes were remaining in the first period and the game was tied at one. Eleri MacKay took the puck below the Syracuse goal line and tried to wrap it around into the Orange net. MacKay lost control of the puck, but Lindsay Eastwood tapped it in front of her own net to an open Raider.
Nemo Neubauerova made no mistake and scored to give Colgate a 2-1 advantage and the lead for the rest of the game. That goal helped decide the game in the first period based on Syracuse’s performance according to Head Coach Paul Flanagan.
“Our first period was as bad as I have seen one of my teams play since I’ve been here,” said the 12-year coach.
The first period struggles against No. 10 Colgate (10-5-2, 5-2-1 Eastern College Athletic Conference) on Thursday resulted in the seventh straight loss for Syracuse (4-13-1, 4-3-0 College Hockey America) and keeps SU winless at the Tennity Ice Pavilion this season. The last time the Orange won a game was Nov. 4 at Penn State, more than a month ago. It was the first period that derailed SU in this one.
Syracuse trailed at the end of the first period Thursday for the third consecutive game and the ninth time this season. SU drops to 0-9-0 when it trails after the first period.
Statistically, it did not look like the Orange played all that poorly in the first period. The shots were close (8-6 for Colgate) and each team had taken two penalties in the period.
But ultimately, the Orange trailed 3-1 at the end of the first period and Flanagan was visibly frustrated.
“It looked like they had never been coached,” said Flanagan. “They looked pretty sad in the first period.”
No one shied away from the first period struggles, including Senior Maddi Welch.
“There’s five players on the ice, it gets behind us and then there’s me,” said Welch. “[If] it gets behind five players and behind me, it’s on all of us.”
One of the key components needed to beat a ranked opponent is a strong start. On the scoreboard, that came from Shelby Calof. Calof scored her first career collegiate goal to get the Orange on the board.
However, the tides turned after that. Delani MacKay scored less than a minute later and Nemo Neubauerova scored twice in the span of 59 seconds to make it a two goal Colgate advantage.
The first period struggles played a huge role in the outcome of Thursday’s game because Syracuse played much better from the second period on. The scoreless second period was evenly matched and the Orange tied the Raiders, if you don’t include Colgate’s empty net goal, in the third period.
Syracuse’s 2018 portion of the regular schedule concludes with the back half of the home-and-home series against Colgate. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m. Saturday at Class of 1965 Arena in Hamilton, NY.
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