Syracuse falls to Clarkson

Ice Hockey loses season opener to No. 5 Clarkson

Maybe it was rust, but the Golden Knights simply outplayed the Orange.

Senior goaltender Jenn Gilligan was a brick wall in net, stopping 34 of 37 shots tonight in the season opener against No. 5 Clarkson, but that wasn't enough as Syracuse dropped to 0-1-0 following a 3-1 defeat. 

"I thought we did a good job", said Gilligan after being asked about how the team played in front of her. "[Clarkson] is a good team and they came at us really hard, so for us to limit secondhand opportunities the way we did, I thought my team did a great job."

Photo: Sam Maller
Orange defense Danielle Leslie sets up the puck.

Clarkson opened up the scoring at 10:04 of the first period, when Gilligan made a great stop in front of the crease, but sophomore left defense Megan Quinn accidentally tipped the puck into her own net with Gilligan out of position, putting the Golden Knights on the board and crediting freshman left wing Rhyen McGill with the tally. 

"You just gotta put it behind you", Gilligan responded when asked about the play. "It's one of those things that you don't wanna dwell on too much or it'll drive you insane. It happened, it's whatever, you have to move on to the next play." 

Clarkson made it 2-0 two minutes later when senior left wing Shannon MacAulay sniped the top shelf past Gilligan on a powerplay. 

Syracuse was sluggish in the first two periods of the game, partially due to rust. Clarkson was already 2-0-0 prior to the start of the game, while Syracuse only played one exhibition match. Syracuse stepped up their game in the second half, scoring at the 10:42 mark of the 3rd period. Senior right wing Melissa Piacentini picked up the puck off a broken play behind the goal line and wrapped it around the net to stuff the puck into the empty side. Syracuse was picking up momentum and it looked like they just might tie it up, but with 2:02 remaining, junior right defense Larissa Martyniuk took a tripping penalty in the defensive zone, putting Clarkson on the powerplay yet again. Junior left wing Cayley Mercer cashed in for Clarkson 24 seconds later to put Clarkson ahead 3-1. 

"I think we got something to build on", Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan said following the loss. "We're disappointed we lost, but we have a lot to work with and we gotta build on this. Learn from some mistakes and take note of what worked tonight. We had a lot of good little plays and did good things that really clicked for us." 

Syracuse will play next at No. 10 Northeastern on October 9. Their next home game won't be until October 21, when they will face RIT.

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