SU Women's Ice Hockey v. University of Wisconsin

SU finally scores, not enough to beat Badgers

Syracuse are still looking for its first win of the season.

Wisconsin showed why it's ranked No.1 with a 5-2 win over the Orange, taking both games of the weekend series.

In a game riddled with penalties, power plays were the difference in the first two periods. Defense prevailed on even strength, with frequent shots blocked by the Orange squad. In the third quarter, however, Wisconsin pulled away and their top-end talent outmatched an Orange roster shortened by injuries.

“We had kids from the fourth line playing on the third line and even the second line. I thought they really stepped up and competed hard and did a good job. We just really lacked in the execution part of things,” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. “You could see where their superior skill took over.”

Captain Claudia Kepler got the scoring started for Wisconsin. She received a pass in the slot from Sophomore Abby Roque and made no mistake, firing one into the net for a 1-0 lead with 2:41 remaining in the first period. The power play tally was good for her third of the season.

A roughing call late in the period put Wisconsin on the advantage once again. Kepler saw a feed from Roque again, this time putting on a nifty display of hands before finishing for a 2-0 lead with just 30 seconds remaining in the first.

The second period started the same way as the first, with a penalty call in the opening minute, but this time against the Badgers. Syracuse sophomore Kelli Rowswell fired a shot on net and hammered home her own rebound for an unassisted goal, the first of the season for the Orange.

SU goalie Abbey Miller kept Wisconsin off the board all period, but the third was a different story. A shot from the point was masterfully deflected top-shelf by Caitlin Schneider less than five minutes into the period, and from there the offense took over.

Beautiful dangles up the ice set freshman winger Emma Polaski up for an easy chip-in, good for her first career goal, cutting the deficit to just one. Later in the period, the paddle of Miller’s stick met a point shot from Badgers’ defender Lauren Williams, but she couldn’t get enough of the puck and deflected the rubber into the net. 4-2 Wisconsin halfway through the period.

The last goal of the day would be Mikaela Gardner putting one past Miller to net her second of the year and seal it for Wisconsin, 5-2.

Flanagan said offensive precision was the key in the Wisconsin victory.

“They’ve got some kids that can really shoot the puck, and they find the openings and they put pucks on net, and that’s the big difference,” Flanagan said. “We get a lot of shots blocked or we miss the net and so we really have to work on that.”

Wisconsin heads back to Madison with a perfect 6-0-0 record, while Syracuse is still looking for their first win at 0-3-1. The Orange will take on Providence for a weekend series on October 13-14, and the Badgers will go to Minnesota State for a pair of games on next weekend as well.

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