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Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 9:40 pm

Ice Hockey suffers 1-0 loss against Wisconsin

By Sam Rothman

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse goaltender Abbey Miller had a career-high 38 saves in the Syracuse women’s Ice Hockey home-opener. However, her performance couldn’t help the SU offense, as Syracuse suffered a 1-0 loss against No.1 ranked Wisconsin on Friday.

Head coach Paul Flanagan praised Miller’s play in a game where he felt she was challenged.

“From start to finish, she gave us a chance to win,” said Flanagan. “She was making saves, covering loose pucks and directing rebounds in the corner. That’s what you like to see from your starting goalie.”

The Orange has been shutout in both of its games this season. Syracuse lost 5-0 to Bemidji State and tied them the night before.

Syracuse’s struggle to find the back of the net continued Friday as it was blanked by Wisconsin.

SU held on for the first period, thanks to Miller’s 17 saves. After SU’s Brooke Avery was called for a tripping penalty with just three minutes left in the first, Wisconsin was given the chance to take the lead late in the period. The Badgers recorded two shots on the power play. Both attempts came from defenseman Maddie Rolfes, but both were turned away by Miller.

Syracuse seemed frustrated after Wisconsin kept firing shots throughout the early minutes of the second period, leading to Emma Polaski’s cross-checking penalty. The Orange killed the Badgers’ power play, but was not able to survive much longer.

About two minutes after that penalty kill, Wisconsin’s Abby Roque put her team up 1-0 with a shot that not even the brick-wall Miller could stop. With barely any angle to shoot from, Roque fired a shot from the goal line over Miller’s shoulder into the back of the net. Roque’s top-shelf goal would be the eventual game-winner.

“That one goal that went in, that was dirty,” said Polaski. “There is really nothing [Miller] could do on that.”

Once again Wisconsin dominated in the third period. Syracuse was able to kill off another Badgers power play, but it was not able to capitalize on this momentum.

Flanagan commended his team’s effort playing top-ranked Wisconsin, especially with veteran Stephanie Grossi out of the line-up.

“We are happy with the compete level, but certainly not happy with the loss,” he said. “But all in all, it’s a feather in our cap to get a team like Wisconsin in here for a weekend series and to be able to really work on our game and see what we have and try to get better. And this is how you get better, play teams like this.”

With this loss, Syracuse drops to a 0-2-1 record on the season, while Wisconsin improves to 5-0.

SU doesn’t have much time to go back to the drawing board. Syracuse looks to bounce back Saturday in its rematch against Wisconsin at 3 p.m. in Tennity Ice Pavilion.