The game was weird from the onset. It felt like the Orange were dominating the first quarter, but only had two goals to show for it. It felt like the Orange were always just one goal away from a dagger, but Hobart always got right back into the thick of things. It felt like, with 11:36 to go that the Orange's three goal lead was about to become a four or five goal coffin for Hobart.
But what actually happened was nothing like what the game felt. What happened was a furious rally by Hobart, capped by an amazing goaltending performance that led to four goals in the final 11:35 and a Hobart upset of the number three team in the country.
Syracuse freshman Cal Paduda dominated the faceoff x 20-9, Syracuse won 9 more ground balls hand had 15 more shots. But ultimately, Hobart's hot goalie kept the Statesmen in long enough to capitalize on what Coach John Desko called "fatigue mistakes."
The Orange led from the onset, only allowing Hobart to tie the game once in the first quarter. The Orange, behind the sweet hands of Derek Maltz, Dylan Donahue and JoJo Marasco, kept a two or three goal lead most of the game. The problem was that in the fourth quarter, fatigue forced Coach Desko to swap out normal top line players for inexperienced guys. "We needed fresh legs," Desko said in the postgame.
The problem with fresh legs is their inability to find the dagger goal to keep Hobart down and out. Derek Akner scored two of the final four Hobart goals, with the Statesmen's dagger coming from prolific goal scored Alex Love, who shot an imaginary bow and arrow in celebration through Syracuse's hopes of winning the game.
The (presumably) former No. 3 team in the country has impressive wins over top ten talent Virginia, Hopkins, Princeton and Cornell, but has found ways to lose to Villanova, Albany and Hobart. All three of the former are quality opponents, but Syracuse is better than the flat performance they put on in the final ten minutes of play.
It's the final "bad" loss Syracuse should have on their resumé with only Georgetown and Notre Dame left looming. These final two games will be telling as the Orange now lick their wounds and rest before Saturday's contest vs the Hoyas.