Syracuse stifles 6 RIT power plays en route to 4-1 win in home finale

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 21, 2015 at 12:01 am Contact Michael: [email protected] Syracuse goalie Jenn Gilligan extended her right leg, saving a slap shot zipped in by the Rochester Intstitute of Technology’s Lindsay Stenason.Just a minute and a half into the second period, only seconds remained on an RIT power play — the last of six the Tigers would get. Moments later, SU managed to clear the puck, preserving its 2-0 lead as the time expired on RIT’s power play.It was the theme of the night, as Syracuse (10-13-10, 8-5-6 College Hockey America) spent much of Friday night killing penalties en route to a 4-1 win over RIT (10-18-6, 4-12-3) at Tennity Ice Pavilion. The Tigers had three power-play opportunities in the opening period and three more in the second, but never could take advantage of being a player up so frequently.“It’s hard work,” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said of killing penalties. “… Our kids did a good job, and I think that really set the tone for us.”The first of those penalties came 3:58 into the first period, when Emily Costales was whistled for checking. SU fended off the ensuing RIT attack, and 20 seconds after the power play’s conclusion, Danielle Leslie and Allie LaCombe assisted Alysha Burriss on a breakaway goal to give Syracuse an early 1-0 lead. Burriss celebrated with an undercut fist pump before hugging her teammates.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I saw the defense kind of stepping up on Allie,” Burriss said. “I thought if she could just get me the puck, then I’d have a breakaway. And she did. She made a nice pass, and I just went five-hole.”The score stayed at 1-0 through the end of the first period, but RIT had a golden opportunity to pull into a tie shortly after the intermission. Just 1:10 into the second period, Kolbee McCrea had two consecutive shots on goal that created a scrum in front of the net. She then took a third shot, which Gilligan saved with the back of her head while lying on her back. It was just one of 31 saves Gilligan made, but perhaps the most impressive.“She made some great saves,” Flanagan said. “We kind of fed off that.”Moments after Gilligan’s head save, RIT’s Caitlin Wallace was called for high sticking. Syracuse then did what RIT couldn’t; score on a power play. Tigers goalie Ali Binnington saved an Akane Hosoyamada slap shot, but Melissa Piacentini collected the rebound and slid the puck into the net. It was Piacentini’s nation-leading 11th power-play goal of the season.“My job out there on the power play is to be in front of the net and get after every rebound,” Piacentini said. “My job’s probably the easiest out of all the rest of them. I just need to find the loose pucks and hopefully they go in.”Thirty-three seconds into the third period, Syracuse earned another power play. This time, McCrea was called for hooking. And once again, SU took advantage. With 37 seconds left on the power play, Burriss scored her second goal of the night — assisted by LaCombe and Piacentini — to give the Orange a comfortable 3-0 lead.Less than one minute later, Heather Schwarz scored to make it 4-0. From there, the game’s outcome wasn’t in question, but Gilligan was still working on what could have been her second shutout of the season.And until RIT’s Mackenzie Stone scored with three and a half minutes remaining in the game, it looked as if the goalie might achieve the rare feat. But not getting the shutout didn’t take much away from Gilligan, who allowed only that third-period goal despite facing six RIT power plays.“Obviously it would have been nice to get the shutout tonight,” Gilligan said. “But we still got two points no matter what, so that’s the important thing.” Commentslast_img

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