Sam Maller | Asst. Photo EditorIce Hockey
Syracuse refocuses, looks to break 3-game losing streak at Lindenwood
Syracuse will try to rebound from its three-game losing streak this weekend, and it couldn’t have asked for a better opponent to do that against: two-win conference doormat Lindenwood.
The Orange (10-11-1, 4-3-1 College Hockey America) has overlooked opponents with records similar to Lindenwood’s (2-19-1, 2-5-1 CHA) this season. Connecticut was 1-5-1 when ithosted SU in late October, but beat the Orange for one of its three wins this season. Union earned its third win of the season against SU Nov. 3.
To turn the season around on the ice, Syracuse needs to consistently put shots on net and convert those opportunities. But making that a reality requires SU to stop psyching itself out before games, whether against a strong or weak opponent on paper.
“We obviously know what happens when we do overlook opponents, for example UConn or Union,” said senior captain Jacquie Greco. “Those were games we should have won. There is nothing worse than feeling like you should have won a game and you didn’t. So we’re done with that.”
SU head coach Paul Flanagan believes the current slide may be chalked up to the Orange doing just the opposite. Facing some of the nation’s best in then-No.7 Mercyhurst and No. 4 Cornell, his players over-respected their opponents.
“We talk a lot about that, to not size up your opponent, which we probably did in an adverse way against a real good team last night,” Flanagan said. “I think we had some kids on our club that thought, ‘These guys are a really tough team and walloped us last year, and this could be a long night,’ and I think we pre-judged Cornell last night.”
Flanagan has warned his players all week long against returning to the mental habits that at times doomed the Orange this season, he said. Instead of over or underestimating its opposition, SU needs to strike a balance and play its own game.
Lindenwood recently defeated Robert Morris, the defending College Hockey America champion. The win for lowly LU serves as a much-needed wakeup call for the Orange, Greco said.
“That kind of opens our eyes a little bit,” Greco said. “That is probably actually good for us because then if they didn’t do that we probably would have overlooked them and would have got upset like Robert Morris did.”
The Orange knows that after a three-game losing streak it’s vital to correct the mistakes made in recent games and come out with two wins and four crucial CHA points this weekend.
Captain Holly Carrie-Mattimoe believes that if the team is to turn around its form, it needs to move past recent disappointments.
“I think we basically need to forget what happened,” Carrie-Mattimoe said. “We need to know that we have a great opportunity to win some games and show our team that we’re ready to play in this next semester.”
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