Thursday was not a great day for Syracuse Orange sports and its fans. First, men’s basketball fell once again to the Duke Blue Devils, and then Syracuse ice hockey did not fare well against the Quinnipiac Bobcats in their NCAA Tournament opening round game.
While we’ve all focused a lot on Buddy Boeheim and his ragtag team of teammates, it’s time to take one last look at the ice this season.
The Orange traveled to Columbus Ohio on Thursday for the NCAA Regional Semifinal. This was the program’s second appearance at the tournament, and it came after a big overtime win back home against Mercyhurst. Syracuse beat the Lakers 3-2 in front of a sold out Tennity Ice Rink crowd, and won the College Hockey America Championship. It was this moment that allowed them to earn the trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The Quinnipiac Bobcats didn’t allow a single shot to get past them, but sadly the Orange didn’t have the same effect on their opponent.
The Orange totaled 16 shots on goal with Victoria Klimek leading 4 shots on goal, and four other players with 2 shots on Quinnipiac goalie Corinne Schroeder. Syracuse was unable to get one past Schroeder who is one of three finalists for the women’s Goalie of the Year award.
On the other end of the ice Syracuse goalie Arielle DeSmet made 26 saves out of the 30 Quinnipiac shots she faced. After a scoreless first period, the Bobcats took the lead for good on Taylor House’s goal. Sadie Peart made it 2-0 Quinnipiac just five minutes later and the Bobcats added two more insurance goals in the third period.
Both teams finished the game 0-3 on power-play opportunities but Quinnipiac controlled the faceoffs. Lauren Bellefontaine led the Orange with a 9-20 performance but one of her Quinnipiac’s Taylor House was a dominant 13-17 in the circle.
Syracuse faced a tough team in Ohio on Thursday, unable to get past the Bobcats’ defense, They finished the regular season 15-10-6, and with a conference record of 11-4-1. Their season is over and several key players will need to be replaced but we’ll see if the success of this season will push the Orange to their first NCAA win in the near future.