The biggest news from Sunday's game has to be Ben Williams leaving the game with an injury. Williams has given Syracuse fans massive hope this season by dominating at the faceoff X. The transfer from Holy Cross went 15-19 before going down with a very puzzling injury. On the previous faceoff Williams took a big hit on a groundball battle and seemed to be suffering a little bit on the sideline. On the next faceoff he clamped and then went slack as he appeared to strain something. At first look it appeared to be his shoulder but he did grab his pec muscle area coming off the field. Towards the end of the fourth quarter the video showed Williams looking ok on the sideline and using that arm. He did not go to the locker room which is a good sign and there is no indication that the injury is too serious, but we'll have to wait and see.
Zach Vehar came in to fill the faceoff spot and did an solid job, bringing in 5-7. It is not optimal but Vehar looks like he could handle the job. Without the dominance in the faceoff game, the Syracuse offensive juggernaut was significantly slowed down. Starting on the play that Williams got hurt on, Virginia managed a 5-3 run. If it hadn't been for the two UVA penalties in the fourth quarter, both of which SU scored on, Virginia may have been able to make this game closer than it was.
In net, Bobby Wardwell had a fantastic game. The senior took in 11 saves and gave up 9 goals. That being said, it looked like Wardwell had problems reacting to the ball on low shots. The Syracuse defense had a great game as a whole. The Orange limited the Cavs' attack to just two goals. On the other side of the field Matt Barrett did all he could to keep his team in the game. Barrett made 20 saves and gave up 15 goals. Virginia did not look good and gave up 50 shots. If Barrett had not stepped up this game could have been way more out of control. The UVA long poles are extremely inexperienced and it showed Sunday. The Cavalier midfielders had problems moving to the ball. Syracuse used skip passes to find an open man and the SU offensive players did not have any problem using a juke to easily get around the sliding UVA defender.
The Cavaliers didn't help their cause by taking seven penalties. The Orange were able to go 5-7 on extra man opportunities. Syracuse only took one penalty but UVA couldn't capitalize.
It was pure domination for three periods. The game got off to a quick start, courtesy of Nicky Galasso. The senior had the first two goals of the game as Syracuse went on a 7-0 run to start. Galasso led SU in goals, finding the back of the net four times. Jordan Evans scored his first goal of the season on the run, as he got a pass from Kevin Rice while he cut through the center, easily sliding past his defender and scoring on Barrett. Rice picked up seven points on Sunday, three goals and four assists. It shouldn't be a tough argument for Rice to win the Tewaaraton Trophy this year, he is a legitimate contender.
Junior Dylan Donahue continued to look like one of the best finishers in the game by picking up three goals. One interesting note, right before Galasso scored his third goal it looked like Donahue may have scored. He took a shot that rocketed past Barrett and then ricochet back out. After taking another look at it I thought it may have hit the top of the net and bounced back, not the pipe.
One player that was unusually quiet in terms of goal scoring was Randy Staats. The OCC transfer did have three assists, however, including a beautiful cross-crease pass to Donahue for an easy man-up goal.
While the Orange completely owned the Cavaliers this weekend, the fourth period without Williams was somewhat a different story. We will have to watch how his injury situation develops throughout the week. The Orange will take on St. John's on Saturday in Georgia, so while its not imperative that he return this upcoming weekend it would be nice to see him back on the field.