SU ice hockey falls victim to physical Clarkson defense

first_img Comments Published on November 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] With the Syracuse ice hockey team trailing in the third period Friday, Isabel Menard finally got an opportunity that eluded SU for much of the game. The sophomore Menard led a three-on-one break but lost control of the puck in front of the net before she could get a shot off. It was that kind of night for the Orange, as it failed to capitalize on the few scoring opportunities it had all game. The lack of scoring opportunities doomed the Orange in a 3-2 loss to Clarkson. SU (4-5-1) couldn’t find its rhythm against Clarkson’s stingy defense, which limited the Orange to 27 shot attempts. Head coach Paul Flanagan felt the Clarkson (4-6-1) defense was the difference. The Clarkson unit won the battles for the puck most of the game. Flanagan said his team got outworked and was slowed down by its opponent’s game plan. That game plan revolved around one thing. ‘Their defensive scheme,’ Flanagan said. ‘They just are kind of in your face, and they don’t give you much room.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Syracuse struggled with the pressure all night. Flanagan told his team early on that it needed to adjust to the physical play. ‘We kept trying to urge them from the start of the game to get pucks on net, get the loose pucks,’ he said. ‘I got 23 women in there I have to go tell what to do, and sometimes they don’t listen.’ The Orange started to listen in the last half of the third period. SU broke through the defense for some scoring chances but failed to capitalize on multiple breakaways. Menard lost control of the puck on that three-on-one break. Clarkson took possession and came down the ice to score, making it 3-1 with just over seven minutes to play. Senior Ashley Cockell and junior Lisa Mullan each had breakaway opportunities soon after the goal, but came up empty. SU made it interesting after Menard sliced through the defense to score for the second time with 1:23 to play. The Orange pulled freshman goalie Kallie Billadeau under the one-minute mark for an extra attacker and managed three desperation shots. But it was too little, too late for the Orange. The damage had already been done. Clarkson wore down Syracuse in the first 50 minutes of play. Menard got the Orange on the board first on a power-play opportunity at the start of the second period. Clarkson responded with a power-play goal of its own with under six minutes to play in the period and scored again less than two minutes later from the blue line to take the lead. The Golden Knights’ first goal came on a five-on-three power play. Julie Rising, Menard and Mullan chased the puck for about one minute and 30 seconds. The sequence took a lot out of the Orange players. ‘In the second period, you can’t get a very good change, and I know the three that were out there were just gassed,’ Flanagan said. ‘Lisa Mullan can barely get off the ice.’ The Clarkson defense made sure SU couldn’t catch its breath either. Menard said Clarkson pinched its defenders and constantly had pressure on the puck. The Golden Knights were just more physical. ‘They had a couple girls that were big, and they came forward to us in the zone,’ Menard said. ‘We just got to chip the puck around them, and they’re not as fast as our forwards so we can just beat them like that.’ SU expected a physical matchup, but it still couldn’t break the Clarkson defense. Cockell said the team seemed intimidated at times. She believes the team needs to execute and remain on the attack to beat a team like Clarkson. ‘It’s just a matter of getting the puck deep and getting on their defense,’ Cockell said. ‘We just got to get pucks to the net, that’s all there is to it.’ The Orange is now on a three-game losing streak. Cockell thinks the team is better than its record shows. But she knows SU must prove it on the ice. ‘It’s obviously frustrating for us because we think we can be a better team,’ Cockell said. ‘We think we can win a lot more games than we have so far. We think we’re the better team on the ice, but when it comes down to it, we’re not winning the little battles.’ [email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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