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Syracuse let down by its penalty kill in 4-0 loss to Mercyhurst

first_imgUPDATED: Jan. 27, 2018 at 7:35 p.m.After an interference call on Syracuse’s Kelli Rowswell, Mercyhurst began their first of six power plays. What was a five-on-four opportunity, turned into an inadvertent five-on-three as Syracuse’s Megan Quinn lost her stick in a fight for the puck.The Lakers were quick to take advantage as Rachel Marmen made a pass across the ice to Molly Blasen in front of SU’s bench. Blasen in turn fired the puck to Vilma Tanskanen in front of the net, who deposited the puck right past the outstretched reach of Syracuse goalie Abbey Miller for Mercyhurst’s first goal of the game.The Orange’s failure to kill the Lakers’ power-play opportunities was a reoccurring theme throughout the rest of the matchup. Syracuse (9-15-2, 8-5-1 College Hockey America) faced off against Mercyhurst (13-13-2, 10-3-1) in the second game of a weekend series, losing 4-0. In a fight for a possible first-place spot in the conference, SU struggled mightily on the penalty kill. Less than 24 hours after killing all six of the Lakers’ power play chances, Syracuse gave up four goals, three of which occurred on a Mercyhurst power play.Fifty-two seconds into the third period, Mercyhurst took advantage of another power play opportunity. Vilma Tanskanen netted her second goal of the game as the puck deflected off of SU goalie Abbey Miller’s right glove after she made a desperation save that left her lying flat on her stomach.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMiller said that the Lakers were able to the “pick the Orange apart” on its power play opportunities.“They were making plays behind the net,” Miller said. “They (Mercyhurst) were getting those passes through today. It is a tough spot for our (defense).”SU head coach Paul Flanagan was disappointed at the Orange’s lack of effort on the defensive end and on the penalty kill on Saturday. SU came into this game riding a three-game win streak, which made Saturday’s struggles “hard to explain,” Flanagan said. He recognized a key difference between SU’s penalty kill success in Friday’s game against Mercyhurst and today’s.“I think we were giving them very good looks. Yesterday we were getting to our assignments quicker and not giving them as many good looks,” Flanagan said. “Abbey on those power plays was overworked and overextended.”Quinn said that getting back on defense after playing the wall during Mercyhurst’s power play opportunities was where the Orange was at fault against the Lakers. She also acknowledged that the Lakers’ quick, quality puck movement led to its success on the power play. With little time left in the season, Quinn knows the Orange must improve on what she says is “basic execution and knowing your job” on the penalty kill.“We’ve got to make sure we are executing on the penalty kill, blocking shots and getting the pucks out,” Stephanie Grossi said.With a win tonight and a Robert Morris loss, Syracuse would have moved into a tie for first place in the CHA. Thanks to a shoddy penalty kill Saturday, SU remains in third place with only six conference games remaining.“Mercyhurst showed us the difference between first place and third,” Flanagan said.CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, Vilma Tanskanen was misnamed. The Daily Orange regrets this error. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 27, 2018 at 7:04 pm Contact Anthony: amkhelil@syr.edulast_img read more