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Saturday, Oct 07, 2017 at 11:12 pm

Ice Hockey falls 5-2 to Wisconsin

By Sam Rothman

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse finally notched its first goal of the season Saturday, but it could not fend off No.1 ranked Wisconsin.

In this weekend series against the Badgers, SU faced 77 shots, while the Orange had only 38 shots on goal. This storyline led to the Orange’s frustration in this game, taking eight penalties.

Head coach Paul Flanagan said as Wisconsin kept pushing, the game got physical.

“As the game wore on it kind of got out of hand a little bit,” said Flanagan. “Once it was 4-2 and then 5-2, kids get a little frustrated.”

SU went down 2-0 late in the first period. Two Syracuse penalties led to two Wisconsin power play opportunities, and Claudia Kepler capitalized on both of them.

The Orange responded quickly in the first minute of the second period. Now it was Syracuse’s turn on the power play, and forward Kelli Roswell answered with SU’s first goal of the season.

Syracuse could not build momentum off this goal, and Wisconsin fired back to back shots at SU goaltender Abbey Miller.

Flanagan said the Badgers’ continued offense wore out the Orange in the second period.

“I thought that our kids got pretty gassed in the second period,” said Flanagan. “I didn’t know if we were going to have to throw a lifeline out there for a couple of our players to get them off the ice. That’s where I think Wisconsin really took the game.”

The Badgers continued its dominating play into the third period. Wisconsin’s Caitlin Schneider found the back of the net three minutes into the period, putting her team up 3-1.

However, Syracuse was not done fighting. The Orange managed to throw one last punch halfway into the period.

A Wisconsin turnover in Syracuse’s offensive zone led to SU’s Emma Polaski scoring the first goal of her career, giving some life back to her team. Victoria Klimek slid the puck across the crease to Polaski, who put it past the Badgers goalie. Polaski said her first goal was special.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Polaski. “I am going to remember this moment for a long time.”

SU was now down by just one goal, trailing Wisconsin 3-2. However, Syracuse’s comeback fell short. The Orange could not find a way to tie the game. Instead, the Badgers responded with another goal a minute later. Wisconsin’s continued pressure proved too much for Syracuse and Miller.

With about two minutes left in regulation, Badgers’ Mikaela Gardner found the back of the net, allowing her team to run away with the 5-2 win.

The aggressive nature of the game led to the Orange losing Savannah Rennie in the first period after she was slow to get up after taking a hard fall. She did not return to the game.

Flanagan commended his team’s effort, especially down two forwards as veteran Stephanie Grossi was also not in the line-up.

“We were down our top two centers, so we were scrambling a little bit,” said Flanagan. “We had kids from the fourth line playing on the third line and even on the second line. I thought they really stepped up and competed hard. It wasn’t a lack of trying or a lack of effort, the kids had great enthusiasm. We just really lacked in the execution part.”

Syracuse fell to 0-3-1 on the season, as Wisconsin stays undefeated in its first six games. SU looks to grab its first win of the season as it hosts Providence in a weekend series. Puck drop is at 3 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday at Tennity Ice Pavilion.