Syracuse hobbled by turnovers, mistakes in 5-0 loss to No. 3 Clarkson

first_imgSyracuse senior defender Megan Quinn lofted a clearance towards center ice, but it was intercepted by Clarkson junior forward Lauren Gabel. Two passes later, Gabel had an opportunity to extend Clarkson’s one-goal lead.Skating toward the Orange defense, she easily placed the puck between the defender’s legs, setting up a chance on net. While senior goaltender Abbey Miller was able to deflect the first attempt, the puck bounced to freshman Elizabeth Giguere who pushed the Golden Knight’s ahead by two scores.Syracuse (5-9-2, 4-1-1 College Hockey America) was able to keep the game even for the first 16 minutes, but defensive lapses and turnovers at the end of the first and the beginning of the second period were its undoing in a 5-0 loss to No. 3 Clarkson (15-3-1, 6-2-0 Eastern College Athletic Conference). Allowing two of five goals directly off turnovers in the neutral zone, the Orange struggled to keep the No. 4 offense in the nation away from the net.“We did not do what we were supposed to in the neutral zone,” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. “We turned the puck over and then we did not play our system. We just allowed them to get into our offensive zone … Turnovers, whether directly or indirectly, lead to a few of their goals and some other chances.”SU played the Golden Knights fairly even for more than half of the first period, but it was laziness in the defensive zone that hurt the Orange, SU senior forward Steph Grossi said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSixteen minutes into the first period, a misplaced puck by the Orange in the defensive zone saw Clarkson junior defender Josiane Pozzebon slide the puck over to senior forward Amanda Titus. After shifting over to the point unchecked, her wrist shot fired into the back of the net, beating Miller easily.This was the first of a three-goal burst in less than three minutes during the first period that pushed the Golden Knights ahead for good.Especially late in the first period, the Orange showed no ability to stop the puck at the point of attack, leading to goals and easy chances for the reigning national champions, Quinn said.After Miller was pulled for sophomore Ady Cohen, the Orange still found no answer. Even with Cohen’s 23 saves in the final two periods, SU still allowed two more goals, including a second by Giguere.After Clarkson’s initial attempt from the point was saved by Cohen, the deflection dropped right to Giguere’s stick and she capitalized on the opportunity.“A lot of the goals resulted from not stopping pucks in the neutral zone,” Cohen said. “They are a good turnaround team and their transition to offense is awesome, so they were just able to cash in on our mistakes.”With three players who have scored at least 13 goals, Clarkson is fourth in total offense with an average of 3.83 goals per game. Facing a team of that offensive quality, SU needed to keep the Golden Knights away from its strength and out of transition, Flanagan said.Now having lost to No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 2 Boston College, No. 3 Clarkson, and No. 8 Providence, SU has struggled to translate its play against weaker team to its ranked opponents. While the penalty kill issues that plagued it against Boston College or Northeastern were not the issue Tuesday, the struggles with holding onto the puck in the neutral zone were SU’s undoing, Grossi said.“You can’t make too many mistakes against good teams like we did tonight,” Flanagan said. “It’s hard to pinpoint who did what, but Clarkson took what we did wrong and capitalized on it.” Comments Published on December 5, 2017 at 10:57 pm Contact Adam: [email protected] | @_adamhillman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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