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Syracuse Women's Ice Hockey: Orange Clinch First Round Bye in CHA Tourney

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With a win over Robert Morris this weekend, Syracuse has clinched a first round bye in the College Hockey America conference tournament.

Syracuse Women's Ice Hockey and fans posing wearing their Skate For the Cure jersey's after Saturday's game against Robert Morris.
Syracuse Women's Ice Hockey and fans posing wearing their Skate For the Cure jersey's after Saturday's game against Robert Morris.
Syracuse Athletics (2015)

The Syracuse women's ice hockey team has finally hit their stride. They have won four consecutive games and have clinched a first round bye in the CHA tournament.

Although there are only two games left in the regular season schedule, Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan says the bye will be extremely beneficial.

"With a smaller roster and some smaller players, this time of year some of the players are banged up a little bit... It's gonna be a huge advantage for us to take that week and actually get some R&R," said Flanagan.

The Orange remain in second in the conference to leader Mercyhurst. With only two games left in the regular season, Syracuse's chance to capture first place dwindles with each Lakers win. However junior forward, Heather Schwartz, says regardless of second place the bye is still important.

"It's a really big deal because it gives us an extra weekend off from playing and it gives us extra time to prepare for playoffs," said Schwartz.

Even though first place may not be in the cards for Syracuse, they have found some consistency that they have lacked for a majority of the season. Their active four game win streak is their longest of the season and it is coming at a good time. However, Flanagan has stressed that the team cannot back down just because they have secured a bye. It's important to keep this momentum into the playoffs. And if Mercyhurst loses, the door opens for Syracuse to make a push for first place and end Mercyhurst's reign in the CHA. The Lakers have claimed the last 15 CHA regular season titles.

The Orange face Lindenwood at home to close out the final two games of the regular season before the CHA tournament starts on February  26th.