Three Thoughts: Syracuse vs. Hobart

The Orange take home the Kraus-Simmons trophy for the sixth-straight year.

The Hobart-Syracuse rivalry dates back to 1916. The Orange lost that first game almost 100 years ago, but have controlled the series ever since. Syracuse took home the Kraus-Simmons trophy for the 71st time tonight with a 13-12 victory that came down to the final seconds. The Orange dominated the first half, taking a 10-4 lead into halftime. But a series of mistakes and some great play from the Statesmen resulted in one goal game with just nine seconds to go. The Orange won the face-off due to a Hobart violation and held on for the win.

Here are three thoughts:

1. Brian Megill isn't the savior after all...

I had a feeling Brian Megill wouldn't have the game he had against Rutgers today at the X. Especially because he was facing one of the best face-off guys in the country, Hobart's Bobby Dattilo. Megill won just 3-of-8 face-offs while Dattilo won 18 of his 28 tries. Megill is going to do fairly well against most teams but he didn't have much of a chance against Dattilo, who has won 67% of his face-offs this year. Many expected Megill to be the savior to all the Syracuse face-off problems, but he simply isn't going to be. It's all about who steps up on any given day. Chris Daddio might have a great game one week and then Ricky Buhr might have a great game the next. The Orange still don't have that go-to guy. That's not to say Megill isn't a great close defender, because he is. He picked up nine ground balls tonight and is still huge for the Orange around the crease. Megill also scored his first career goal tonight. 

2. Derek Maltz and Tommy Palasek are the keys of the offense...

Derek Maltz scored six goals tonight and seems to have broken out of the mid-season slump he was having. Maltz and Tommy Palasek seem to be firing on all cylinders right now, which is why offensive production hasn't really been a problem lately. Palasek finished the day with a goal and 3 assists. It seems like JoJo Marasco hasn't been producing and Maltz and Palasek have stepped up in his place, but that isn't really the case. Marasco has been more productive than it seems. With an assist on a Matlz goal tonight, Marasco extended is point-streak to 20-straight games. People just expect more out of him because of the number 22 on his back. 

3. The extra man opportunities are coming together for the Orange...

The Orange struggled early on this season with the extra-man opportunities. Coach John Desko and staff have worked hard to fix the bugs and it seems like the kinks have been worked out. Against Rutgers, Syracuse scored on three extra-man opportunities, which was a season-high. The team did the same tonight, scoring on 3-of-5 extra-man chances. A lot of things that weren't working out well early on in the season are starting to come together. Is this Orange team poised to make an NCAA tournament run? The Notre Dame game on April 28th should give Orange fans a better idea of what to expect come post-season play. 


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