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Syracuse Women's Ice Hockey: Orange Fail to Gain Ground on Mercyhurst

Syracuse splits another weekend series against Mercyhurst and remain two points back in the conference standings.

Senior Nicole Ferrara carries the puck against Mercyhurst. Syracuse, NY. January 16, 2016.
Senior Nicole Ferrara carries the puck against Mercyhurst. Syracuse, NY. January 16, 2016.
Syracuse Athletics (2015)

In a pivotal two game weekend stint at CHA leader Mercyhurst, Syracuse could not gain any ground on the Lakers in the standings. In Friday's game the Orange lost 4-1, but rebounded to capture a 2-1 victory in overtime on Saturday. The series split keeps the standings as they were last week, with the Orange behind the Lakers by two points.

Every article that recaps the events of the weekend for Syracuse women's ice hockey have oddly sounded the same. That's because in their last three weekend series, the Orange have split the games with their opponent. It has always been mentioned by head coach Paul Flanagan that this team is on a roller coaster. It can go from high to low in a second. The last three series have shown exactly that. They can win just as easily as they can lose, but they can never seem to stay on flat terrain and string together wins. They constantly are up and down. And it was no different in arguably their most important series of the season against Mercyhurst.

Coming in behind two points in the standings, it was crucial for Syracuse to play well and take control of the conference. They came out hot the first game scoring just over three and a half minutes into the contest, but then were held scoreless up to the final whistle. The lose allowed Mercyhurst to stretch its lead to four points in the CHA standings. However, the Orange rallied the next day and took the Lakers into overtime where Jessica Sibley buried a shot that would bring the Orange back to a game behind Mercyhurst.

In the beginning of the season, the Orange were predicted to win the CHA in the coaches poll, however that prediction is inching closer to becoming wrong. Mercyhurst has a two point lead and a slightly easier schedule going forward than Syracuse. Both squads must face Robert Morris and Penn State, but Mercyhurst gets two games against RIT, who is last place in the conference, where the Orange will square off against Lindenwood.

It's not to late to for Syracuse to make a run at the regular season title as they have four of their last six games at home. But, Flanagan and the Orange need to find a way to start stringing wins together if they want to make a push at the regular season title and come into the conference tournament with some momentum.