WICE drops CHA title game for sixth time in program history
By Luke McGrath
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The clock hit zero and Syracuse had still not found the back of the net. Robert Morris players sprinted to their goalie Jessica Dodds who recorded a 29 save shutout.
Helmets, gloves and sticks flew in the air as the players formed a pile on the ice; Syracuse’s season was over.
SU players skated to their net, most with their heads down and grieved with each other as they were forced to watch the Colonials celebrate before the hand shake line formed.
Five Orange players ended their careers with an all-too-familiar defeat. Jessica Sibley, Larissa Martyniuk, Heather Schwarz, Laurence Porlier and Morgan Blank have been to three CHA title games — experiencing the same pain and agony of defeat each time.
In the program’s nine-year history, Syracuse has never won any of its six CHA championship games.
Head coach Paul Flanagan has been a part of every one of those defeats.
“For us, it’s a process and the fact that we keep getting back to this does show some positive things,” Flanagan said. “Not being able to finish it off, yeah it’s really disappointing.”
Coach Flanagan knows he will get another chance at a CHA title, but is disappointed the graduating class was unable to see four years of hard work pay off.
“I feel for them, that’s my number one disappointment, that they weren’t able to go out winners because of all that they’ve done for us,” Flanagan said.
Although the championship game loss is a sour ending to the season, junior defender Dakota Derrer says the Orange still had a successful season.
“We’re trying to look at the positive things, like we could have done it but it just didn’t happen again this year, which is heartbreaking but we want to look at the good things,” Derrer said.
There were good things that the Orange accomplished. After starting the season 0-5-2, Syracuse put together a 14-4-2 conference play record and won ten of its last twelve regular season games.
“I think as time goes on, and you know an old fart like me can relate to this, the camaraderie of the sport and everything that they’ve done both on and off the ice, those are the things that I think will carry with this team,” Flanagan said.