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Syracuse Women's Ice Hockey: Orange Suffer Heartbreaking Loss in CHA Title Game

Syracuse reaches its second straight CHA title game, but couldn't bring the title home. They lost to Mercyhurst 4-3 in overtime.

Syracuse Athletics (2016)

The Syracuse Orange women's ice hockey team had a chance at the CHA title and a birth into the NCAA Tournament but they fell short. The Orange left the CHA championship game heartbroken after losing to top-seeded Mercyhurst 4-3 in overtime.

Syracuse was down by two goals with three minutes left in the third period and their hopes to make a comeback seemed bleak.

"With six or seven minutes left to go, how many people in this barn thought this was gonna go into overtime? I don't think too many people," said head coach Paul Flanagan.

Maybe the fans thought Mercyhurst had this game in the bag, but Syracuse knew it was far from over.

"There was no doubt in my mind we were gonna come back in that game. I think the whole bench could feel it. From one side of the bench to the other there was just energy flowing through us. It was a pretty crazy feeling, but we knew we were gonna come back." said Melissa Piacentini.

Syracuse rallied back to tie the game with 30 seconds left. However, they couldn't complete the comeback. With five minutes left in overtime, CHA Tournament Most Valuable Player Jenna Dingeldein buried her second goal of the game giving the Lakers the sudden death win.

The Orange left the ice crushed. Coming out of the locker room, players had tears in their eyes as families and friends waited eagerly outside. Flanagan rolled out an equipment cart and their second place trophy rested face down on top of the pile of bags and boxes.

The overtime game was the second the Orange played in two days. On Friday they played the longest game in CHA history when they defeated Penn State 3-2 in triple overtime (116 minutes and 10 seconds). However, the long game didn't affect how Syracuse played. Flanagan thought his team came out with amazing energy and gave it all they had for all 75 minutes.

"The kids played their asses off... Our kids played hard and with a lot of character," said Flanagan. "I'm really proud of this group."

They battled hard and didn't look at all phased by the nearly two hour game they played the night before. Although they lost, they battled hard to the last second and that is something Flanagan and many of the spectators admired.