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Saturday, Nov 11, 2017 at 11:09 pm

Ice Hockey’s Lack of Momentum Leads to 2-2 Tie to Penn State

By Sam Rothman

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Syracuse women’s ice hockey has struggled this season to keep its momentum throughout the entire game. On Saturday, the Orange notched an early goal and dominated play in the first period. But once again, the team took its foot off the gas pedal after establishing a lead and allowed Penn State to come back for the 2-2 tie.

Head coach Paul Flanagan said he felt the momentum switched as the puck dropped for the second period.

“I thought the first 20 minutes was strong, but we were dominated in the second period,” said Flanagan. “They just totally outworked us.”

Syracuse was energized to start the game and tallied an early power play goal after Penn State’s Shea Nelson was called for checking. Allie Munroe’s first shot from the point got through, but Penn State goaltender Hannah Ehresmann’s pad save kept the game scoreless.

But, just as time was expiring for the man-advantage, Munroe opened the scoring for the Orange. Her second shot on the power play found the back of the net at 10:48 of the first period.

Penn State became frustrated with Syracuse’s strong offensive play and took two more penalties before the end of the period. However, Syracuse was not able to capitalize and extend its lead.

With two minutes left in the period, Syracuse senior Alysha Burriss headed to the penalty box after a controversial goalie interference call. Now it was Penn State’s time to score on the power play with time winding down. Penn State’s Sophie Slattery put the puck past Syracuse goaltender Abbey Miller for the equalizer.

This was the first goal for the Nittany Lions in the series, and its first power play goal after Penn State was unable to capitalize on its eight power play chances in its matchup on Friday.

Even though the first period ended in a 1-1 tie, SU led in shots 12-4.

The second period was a complete different story. Syracuse took four penalties and struggled to maintain its momentum from the previous period. The Orange’s lack of discipline slowed its game down and Penn State was able to cut into Syracuse’s shot lead as it applied offensive pressure on its power play opportunities.

Slattery recorded her second goal of the night and gave her team the advantage at 13:07 of the second period. This was the Nittany Lions’ first lead of the series.

“I think we just need to be more disciplined and watch our sticks, so we don’t get those penalties,” Munroe said. “At the end of the day, [the penalties] kill us.”

The Orange was able to come back in the third period as forward Brooke Avery scored the game-tying goal with eight minutes left in regulation. After Syracuse tied the game, Penn State pushed to gain back control of the lead. The Nittany Lions had a 5 on 3 for the final minute of the contest, but SU goaltender Abbey Miller came up with big saves for her team.

“Your best penalty killer is your goalie,” Flanagan said. “[Miller] was outstanding.”

Syracuse and Penn State both traded great chances in the five minute overtime, but neither team capitalized and the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

Flanagan said the outcome could be looked at two different ways.

“Thinking back to the first period, it’s a bad tie,” Flanagan said. “But the way we played in the second and some of the stuff in the third, maybe it was a good point. We just have to learn from it.”

Syracuse next challenge is a home-and-home weekend series against RIT. Puck drop is at 6 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.