The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.
Freshman Tatum White gathered the puck at mid-ice from Madison Beishuizen. Allison Small had just halted a Penn State possession after blocking a shot from her right side. White was now in a two-on-two breakaway with fellow forward Abby Moloughney and two Nittany Lion defenders.
White passed to Moloughney, who corralled the puck in after a Penn State defender blocked the pass. The junior fired a shot toward the goal, but freshman goaltender Josie Bothun bodied the puck out of harm’s way.
The ensuing rebound found its way to White, who quickly lifted the puck over the shoulder of Bothun to score.
Although the Orange lost in overtime, goals from White and senior Jessica DiGirolamo helped Syracuse (1-4-1 , 1-2-1 College Hockey America) come back from an early deficit over Penn State (4-0-1 CHA). Syracuse has had success early in games this season, with 10 of their 16 goals coming in the first period. But their offensive prowess has dwindled deeper into games.
White, a forward from Kingston, Ontario, recorded one assist prior to Friday’s game against Penn State but had not scored a goal despite playing in four games this season.
“This is a game where, particularly if you are a forward, your job is to score goals,” head coach Paul Flanagan said.
Syracuse’s five freshman skaters, including White, have been granted ample opportunities to make big plays this season. Flanagan trotted out an all-freshmen line that included White for the Orange’s first power play of the game.
Forwards weren’t the only players scoring Friday, though. DiGirolamo, a defenseman, gave Syracuse its first lead of the night. Late in the second period, DiGirolamo grabbed the puck from a Penn State defender and started to skate toward the Nittany Lion goal. She took two defenders with her as she skated right of Bothun and around the back of the net.
Racing around the left side of the freshman goalie, DiGirolamo swung out to the top of the key. She fired a slap shot high and past the shoulder of Bothun, putting the Orange up 2-1. It was her first goal of the season — the first since Feb. 21 against Mercyhurst.
“I think defensively, it’s really good to see not only some of the younger kids getting involved, but seeing some of our veteran players that have been doing a good job here in the early going,” Flanagan said.
The unassisted goal led to her skating onto the ice for the first shift of overtime, accompanied by Moloughney and Lauren Bellefontaine. The trio looked at one another, traded fist bumps and got ready for the three-on-three shift.
Earlier in the game, Bellefontaine took a hard hit while trying to get the puck from a Penn State forward. She went down and laid on her side, squirming in obvious pain while DiGirolamo knelt down to offer support. Even as the trainer walked out to tend to the junior, DiGirolamo stood by her side to watch over her, she and gave her a pat on the back when she finally rose from the ice.
Halfway through the overtime period, Flanagan opted for an all-freshman line, hoping new players could shift momentum away from a Penn State team that had already managed two clean breakaways in overtime.
White, a recipient of animated praise from Flanagan and the rest of the bench following her first collegiate goal, skated alongside fellow freshmen Rayla Clemons and Sarah Thompson for a shift ending with Penn State netting the puck a minute later.
Flanagan said after the game that playing freshmen who are scoring goals, such as White, gives the team confidence that “it’s not just the one-liners.”
“It’s not just a couple of kids that are doing most of the scoring,” Flanagan said. “I think that’s one thing all coaches like to do.”
As the Orange look ahead to Saturday’s 3 p.m. game, Flanagan thinks that more players scoring means the players are “feeling better about themselves” despite continuously poor results.
“Sometimes kids might be playing real well defensively and doing a lot of good things, and they aren’t rewarded with a goal or an assist,” Flanagan said. “I think it starts to weigh on them a little bit.”
The post White, DiGirolamo cut deficit with 2nd period goals in 4-3 loss to PSU appeared first on The Daily Orange.