Derrer pots early goal as Orange Cruise Past RIT in 3-0 win

A double-header loaded with penalties; the Orange could handle the rough-housing.

Sophomore defenseman Dakota Derrer opened the scoring just 1:39 into the game as Syracuse (11-12-3) avenged Friday’s 2-1 OT loss to the Tigers (6-19-1) with a solid 3-0 victory on Saturday.

“I had a lot of shots blocked last night and I was trying for that not to happen,” Derrer said following the win. “Right off the face-off I got my feet moving, saw an opening, shot the puck [on net], and it trickled in.”

The Orange heavily outshot the Tigers in Friday’s game 42-18 but only came away with one point. A similar total resulted on the ice on Saturday, however senior goaltender Jenn Gilligan stopped all 14 shots as she collected her fourth shutout of the season.

“It’s a big moment for us as a team,” Gilligan said. “It was huge for me individually, especially after going off of what happened last year, or even last night. I think we just got back to the basics, we really took it to [RIT], we were aggressive, and we didn’t give them time and space to do anything.”

The Tigers’ senior goaltender Jetta Rackleff appeared to be shaken up following an awkward save late in the first period that saw her getting up slowly. She seemed to be shaking it off the rest of the match, trying to play through what was bothering her instead of taking a seat on the bench. After Orange junior left wing Heather Schwarz netted her third goal of the year with 7:32 left in the second period to make it 2-0 Syracuse, Rackleff was once again noticeably in discomfort, but continued to guard the crease.

The back-to-back matchup was certainly physical, with both teams combining for a whopping 27 penalties in the 2 games; 12 in Friday’s matchup, and 15 on Saturday’s showdown. Syracuse’s head coach Paul Flanagan wasn’t pleased with the officiating and over-abundance of special teams play.

“We coaches get frustrated because they don’t know what [the referees] are going to call,” Flanagan said. “One second something’s a trip, then the next second the trip isn’t a trip. I think our referees have to work for some consistency. Just think how the players feel, you’ve got the puck and you get tripped, they pull your feet right out from underneath you, the puck goes to the other team and there’s no call. And then you might get a penalty because you’re in a little melee in front of the net and your arms come up and they call you.”

“Twenty-seven power-plays in two games. We’ve played two-game series with other teams and there might be six or seven combined. Twenty-seven power-plays in two nights, and they probably could’ve called more. Twenty-seven power-plays, that’s a lot, wow.”

Flanagan also noted that he’ll devote more time to special teams in practice to further sharpen the power-play and the penalty kill. Syracuse was 1-9 on the power-play on Saturday and just 2-15 in total in the back-to-back. The Tigers were 0-12 on the 5-on-4 advantage.
The Orange play their next two games in a doubleheader at Mercyhurst on Jan. 29 and 30. Then they battle the Nittany Lions at Penn State on Feb. 5 and 6 before finally heading home to face the RMU Colonials twice at Tennity Ice Pavilion on Feb. 12 and 13.

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