Syracuse ice hockey loses fourth straight game in 5-2 loss to Clarkson

Syracuse ice hockey loses fourth straight game in 5-2 loss to Clarkson

First-year Syracuse head coach Britni Smith was previously a Clarkson assistant coach for eight years.
Published: October 14, 2022
Syracuse's Lauren Bellefontaine wins a faceoff in the offensive zone.
Syracuse forward Lauren Bellefontaine wins a face off in a match against Mercyhurst on February 26.

The Orange fell 2-5 to No. 11 ranked Clarkson on Thursday, marking their fourth straight loss. Syracuse head coach Britni Smith previously was Clarkson’s assistant coach from 2014 up until this year.

Down 4-1 with three minutes left to play in the final period, the Orange charged full steam ahead into Clarkson’s defensive zone. The Golden Knights were outnumbered on the ice after receiving a penalty, and the Syracuse forwards made sure to take advantage of the power play opportunity.

With 16:26 on the clock, Syracuse forward Tatum White rifled off a shot from the point that forced Clarkson goaltender Michelle Pasiechnyk to make a split save. Waiting for the rebound was forward Sarah Thompson, who tucked it into the net as Pasiechnyk watched on helplessly. The Orange had cut the lead to 4-2, but couldn’t tack on any more goals before time expired, extending their three game skid to four games.

The game opened with Syracuse winning the puck drop, but it was all Clarkson from there. Four minutes into the period, the Golden Knights got the first goal on the board. The puck got lost along the boards, but forward Gabrielle David raced over to corral it. She outmaneuvered the Syracuse defense and slid the puck to her teammate Anne Cherkowski, who was uncovered at the top of the crease. Cherkowski lifted the puck past Syracuse goaltender Arielle DeSmet’s glove side for an easy goal.

“We’ve got work to do in terms of coming out ready to play at puck drop,” Syracuse head coach Britni Smith said.

After both teams traded a pair of penalties, the Golden Knights added to their lead with 17:09 on the clock. Clarkson forward Jaidan Fahrny got a shot off right in front of DeSmet, but after the puck bounced off her pads, it came straight to Kirstyn McQuigge who tucked it into the Syracuse net. The period came to an end with the Golden Knights in control of a 2-0 lead.

Clarkson picked up right where they left off as the second period began, scoring a third goal at the 1:19 mark. Forward Darcie Lappan put her name on the scoring sheet after getting the puck from teammate Gretchen Branton past DeSmet’s outstretched glove.

It seemed that this goal sparked some life into the Orange offense, as they awakened from their first period slumber soon after.

The teams got into a scrap with seven minutes played in the period, and Syracuse came out of it with two penalties to Clarkson’s one. When play resumed, the puck fell to Syracuse forward Lauren Bellefontaine, who streaked down the ice with White on her right and a Clarkson defender in front. Bellefontaine froze the defender with a nice fake and sent the puck across to White, who hammered it into the net. The shorthanded goal cut Clarkson’s lead to 3-1, and it remained that way until the end of the period.

“We need to find our balance, and find the gritty style of hockey that we want to play,” Smith said.

Syracuse got off to a sluggish start to begin the 3rd period, allowing several Clarkson shots on goal. A shot by Golden Knights forward Jaden Bogden required DeSmet to make a pad save, the puck luckily sliding just past the right post. Syracuse’s luck ran out a few minutes later, as Clarkson scored with 13:44 on the clock. McQuigge wrapped around the Syracuse net and found her teammate Emily Wisnewski at the point. Wisnewski passed the puck to a wide-open Gretchen Branton at the top of the crease, who tapped it in for a 4-1 lead.

The Orange responded with Thompson’s goal off of a rebound in the 16th minute of the period. Unfortunately for Syracuse, they couldn’t get any more goals after this. By the time the Golden Knights scored on the empty net with 9 seconds left to play, the game was already over.

Syracuse’s 5-2 loss is all the more alarming because it continues a recent trend of the past three games, in which the Orange have been outshot by at least nine goals by opponents.

The team will try to end that trend during the rematch at Clarkson, Friday night at 6 p.m.