Get the latest Syracuse news delivered right to your inbox.
Subscribe to our sports newsletter here.
Penn State took control of the first period with aggressive play that propelled it to outshoot Syracuse 26-9 after 20 minutes of play. But nearly six minutes into the second period, The Nittany Lions’ Karley Garcia received a penalty for interference and was sent to the box for two minutes.
Garcia’s penalty enabled the Orange to recollect themselves after a dominant first period from the Nittany Lions. While SU couldn’t find the back of the net during this power play, it registered eight shots to equalize the momentum of the game.
“(Penn State) started to wear down a bit, and our kids were a little more reenergized,” Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan said. “It was all kind of a battle of wits there in that second period.”
Syracuse (4-6-2, 3-2 College Hockey America) ultimately fell to Penn State (7-4-2, 4-1 CHA) 1-0 in overtime on Friday. After a sluggish first period, the Orange gradually improved offensively in the second and third. Syracuse took control after earning its first power play of the game and outshot the Nittany Lions 29-17 in the second period. Penn State regained control in the third period and shot 12 times in the first 10 minutes, but the Orange reversed the momentum and ended the final session of regulation with three more shots.
Offensively, the Orange struggled to maintain possession and string passes together throughout the first 20 minutes. SU’s best spell of offensive play in the first came with about five minutes left, which began with forward Rayla Clemons racing coast-to-coast between two retreating Penn State to collect a loose puck. Clemons was the first to the puck and got an open shot on goal, but it was saved by PSU goaltender Josie Bothun.
Ninety seconds later, SU forward Lauren Bellefontaine stole the puck from a Nittany Lions defender behind their goal and managed to pass it along to Abby Moloughney. Moloughney had an open lane to shoot, but the puck was poked from her possession by Penn State’s Kiara Zanon at the last second. Outside of these two opportunities, the Orange didn’t create many significant attacking chances.
At the start of the second period, Garcia skated to the penalty box and rejuvenated the Orange’s offensive efforts. With a one-player advantage for two minutes, SU set up in Penn State’s defensive zone. Syracuse registered eight shots during this power play and transferred this energy to the remainder of the period.
Defenders Mae Batherson and Jessica DiGirolamo led SU’s efforts in offensive production with six shots each in the second period. The defensive pair facilitated puck movement by flooding the flanks. Batherson took control of the right and DiGirolamo the left, both consistently launching the puck toward the goal in hopes of creating chaos in front of Penn State’s net.
“It was just playing with confidence,” DiGirolamo said. “Making sure that when we do have those opportunities, we do get the puck to the net. We want to crash the net.”
Batherson’s and DiGirolamo’s efforts helped the Orange stabilize their play in possession and carry the puck up the ice more efficiently — a stark contrast to SU’s play in the first period. “I do think a lot of it came, emanated from our defensive zone,” Flanagan said. “We were moving the puck up a lot quicker.”
Penn State fought back to regain control in the first half of the third period and were outshooting the Orange 12-4 at the halfway point. But the Orange recaptured their second-period play in the final 10 minutes of regulation in search of a game-winning goal.
Syracuse was close to taking the lead when Penn State’s Izzy Heminger received a two-minute penalty for kneeing with seven minutes left in the third period. Halfway through the power play, PSU’s substitutes were late getting back onto the ice, which left only two skaters to defend an advancing Syracuse offense.
SU created multiple opportunities during the following sequence of play but couldn’t get the puck across the goal line before the Nittany Lions returned to full strength. The Orange recorded six shots during the power play. Syracuse continued to push on for a winner as Victoria Klimek and Moloughney each registered a shot in the final minute, as the Orange did everything but score.
“We finally in the second period stepped up,” Flanagan said. “ Obviously disappointing to lose a game like that, but at least we responded.”
The post Syracuse improves offensively after rough 1st period in 1-0 OT loss to Penn State appeared first on The Daily Orange.