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Saturday, Jan 28, 2017 at 7:31 pm

WICE defeats No. 7 Robert Morris to split series

By Luke McGrath

SYRACUSE N.Y. – The Orange split its weekend series against Robert Morris Saturday afternoon to climb within two points of the Colonials for first place in the CHA conference.

The Orange exploded on offense scoring five goals, while allowing only one to the seventh ranked team in the country.

Saturday’s win marked only the second time the Orange has scored five goals in a game all season.

Head coach Paul Flanagan knew his team was going to get off to a hot start.

“I think we had energy and pretty good focus right from the get-go, and I like the way we started the game right off the bat you could tell we had some energy,” Flanagan said.

Junior forward Emily Costales got the scoring started for the Orange when she netted one past Robert Morris goaltender Jessica Dodds four minutes into the first period. Costales’s goal was assisted by Savannah Rennie and Larissa Martyniuk.

Jaycee Gebhard responded for the Colonials, scoring less than a minute into the second period.

But Syracuse would not let up. With about nine minutes to play in the second period Alysha Burriss buried a shot passed Dodds to give the Orange a 2-1 lead. Buriss’s goal was assisted by Heather Schwarz.

The scoring barrage in the second period was just beginning for the Orange.

Stephanie Grossi scored two times in the last three minutes of the second period to give the Orange a 4-1 lead heading into the third period.

Grossi’s first goal was fed to her by Emily Costales, who wrapped around the net passing it to Grossi. She then buried it to the right of Dodds.

Moments later Grossi skated into the Colonials’ zone and ripped a shot into the bottom right corner, once again assisted by Emily Costales. Savannah Rennie also picked up an assist on the play, her second of the game.

Grossi was quick to attribute her success to her teammates.

“Just focusing on working hard and moving it with my line mates,” Grossi said. “I think Em [Costales] gave me two beautiful passes.”

In the third period, Robert Morris put together a sustained attack, but could never get a puck past Syracuse goalie Abbey Miller, who had 15 saves in the period and 29 on the game.

With one minute remaining in the game, junior attacker Brooke Avery scored an empty net goal to seal the deal.

The Orange has a bye week upcoming before it hosts Mercyhurst for a weekend home series February 10-11.