Orange power-play unit struggles in pair of weekend losses

first_img Published on October 8, 2012 at 12:41 am Contact Ryan: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan was pleased with his penalty kill unit’s performance overall Friday night. The Orange stopped New Hampshire’s first two power-play opportunities, but came undone late and allowed a game-winning score on a power play late in the third period.But his team’s execution on its own power-play unit was lacking, unable to take advantage on five of its six opportunities to take control of the game.“We’ve just got to read defenses,” Flanagan said after SU’s 4-3 loss to the Wildcats. “I think too many times we pumped it into somebody’s pads, they were prepared on their kill and we just got to be a little smarter than that and make that fake.”Syracuse got off to a rough start this weekend, losing its first two games to New Hampshire and Northeastern at Tennity Ice Pavilion. The Orange (0-2) knows if it wants to change the path the team is headed down, the special teams need to improve.During its opener against New Hampshire, SU had much success throughout the game on its penalty kill. The team also connected for a goal when SU forward Holly Carrie-Mattimoe knocked in a rebound on its first power-play opportunity to tie the game 1-1.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut the Orange failed to convert its next five power-play opportunities, allowing New Hampshire to stay in the game and score its game-winning goal on a power play with a little less than two minutes remaining in regulation.Against Northeastern on Saturday, though, the team struggled on its penalty kills, surrendering three goals on six power plays for the Huskies. SU failed to execute on the power play as the team went 0-for-5 on those chances.Freshman defender Nicole Renault, who ran point on many of the team’s power plays against Northeastern, said execution needs to be crisper on the opportunities the team gets.“We need to connect our passes better, settle down a little bit,” Renault said. “I think we’re trying to get it to the net too fast, we need to settle it down and wait for the perfect time.”Senior captain Carrie-Mattimoe also played on most power-play opportunities and penalty kills. During the first period against Northeastern, Carrie-Mattimoe and Syracuse struggled with killing power plays, a deficiency Huskies forward Kendall Coyne exposed to put her team ahead 1-0 three minutes into the game.“We just have to pick up our communication and know which man we have, make some stops and starts, and get the puck out, which is the ideal goal of the penalty kill,” Carrie-Mattimoe said.Flanagan and his players said they have only had a week of practice with special teams, which could be a huge reason for their issues in the area this weekend.Despite the struggles, Flanagan believes that with time, this unit will improve.“Obviously I want to get to where I can talk to you guys and say it was an A-plus night with our special teams,” Flanagan said. “And we’ll get there and we’ll have those nights.“This early in the season, it is the first time playing against competition and not just practicing against your own team. I’d say overall a B for the special teams, which is pretty encouraging.” Commentslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *