Men's club ice hockey: Orange thrashes Army in opener

Eight different SU players tickled the twine in an easy victory.

In its season opener, Syracuse treated a packed Tennity Ice Pavillion to a scoring frenzy Saturday night. Eight goals by eight different players lifted the Orange to an 8-3 victory over Army. 

The Orange outshot the Black Knights 45-24, and 14 different players recorded points on the SU roster. 

“We have a lot of offensive threats… I think everyone will find their role,” SU head coach Nick Pierandri said. “We can score from everywhere.” 

In the first game of the 2014-15 season, Pierandri looked for his young players to step up and the team to move the puck well on offense. 

They did. 

Army opened up the scoring with 12:48 left in the first period when defenseman Zach Cohen connected on the Black Knights’ fourth shot of the game. 

Syracuse (1-0) responded less than 20 seconds later when Eric Fitzgerald scored a shorthanded goal off a pass from Alex Rajaniemi. 

Following a pair of Syracuse penalties, JR LaPointe finessed an even-strength backhander through traffic. LaPointe received a centering pass from Robbie Vansramdonk, stalled to let the defense settle, then skated ahead and pushed in the go-ahead goal. 

SU gained insurance with just over 5:00 to go in the first when Mackenzie Connor buried a rebound. 

Army answered three minutes later, but Syracuse pulled away from that point. 

The second period featured a trifecta of Orange goals. Adam Ganely started the scoring with a five-hole backhander past Army goalie Alex Witts. Only three minutes later, Nick Hickler took a quick pass from Matt Diviertro and poked it home. 

The third goal of the period was the first of Zack Bunick’s career. Bunick ended with one goal and two assists. 

Army starting center Cory Miller brought the Black Knighs back within three with a nifty deke, but it was the last tally allowed by SU goalie Austin Lefkowitz, who recorded 21 saves. 

Syracuse’s passes improved as the game progressed. The Orange’s seventh goal came off a centering pass from David Taft to Tim Elie, who one-timed it through Witts’ five-hole. 

Nolan Metzler wrapped up the night by beating a defender one-on-one and making a diving finish to put the Orange up 8-3 with 3:27 left. 

Pierandri is looking to pick up right where the Orange left off. Syracuse won its first-ever NECHL regular-season title last year in his inaugural season at the helm. In his sophomore year, he sees incredible potential and predicts a successful campaign for the Orange. 

“I think we’re the strongest team in the NECHL right now, and I think we’re a top ten team nationally,” Pierandri said. 

SU will try to go back-to-back to open the season Sunday at 1:30 at home with a rematch against Army.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.