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IHOC : Orange reserves key victory over McGill in exhibition

first_imgDown by a goal going into the second period, Syracuse needed a spark. Orange head coach Paul Flanagan looked to the end of his bench, turning to his fourth line to provide some energy.The fourth line consisting of Cara Johnson, Sadie St. Germain and Jacquie Greco did just that. They pushed the tempo and constantly pressured the McGill players to regain momentum for SU.‘They led the charge for us in the second period,’ Flanagan said. ‘They inspired the rest of the team by how fast they were getting in the zone and just dogging and going after the McGill defensemen.’Led by that reserve line, the Orange came out of the intermission with a purpose and scored two goals to take the lead in the second period. SU held on to beat McGill 2-1 in an exhibition matchup Friday in front of 220 at Tennity Ice Pavilion. The trio of Syracuse reserves provided an energy boost and keyed the Orange’s offensive attack in the decisive second period.The offense scored the game-winning goal with increased pressure by SU on both ends of the ice. Pressure that led to a clean breakaway opportunity for Johnson with the scored tied 1-1 with 2:31 to go in the second period.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe sophomore forward received a leading pass from Caitlin Roach that went through two McGill defenders, leaving her in a one-on-one with goaltender Taylor Salisbury. Johnson buried the puck past McGill’s Salisbury in what proved to be the game-winner for SU, giving the Orange a 2-1 advantage.‘I know the fourth line works really, really hard in practice,’ Johnson said. ‘We try every practice, every game. It was great to get out there and get a goal.’By that point, the momentum had already shifted in SU’s favor. The Orange notchedits first goal to even the score earlier in the period when the Orange picked up a power-play goal — an area the Orange offense has struggled with throughout the season.The goal came when freshman defender Kaillie Goodnough wound up for a slap shot, and junior forward Holly Carrie-Mattimoe deflected the puck into the back of the net.Immediately following the score by Syracuse, McGill head coach Peter Smith called a timeout to talk things over with his Martlet squad. Even before the goal was deposited, Smith could tell Syracuse was playing with an aggressive attitude in the second period.‘I thought we were getting outbattled,’ Smith said. ‘It wasn’t just about the goal. They scored the goal on the power play, so it wasn’t really about the goal. But I just thought we were getting outbattled.’In the first period, McGill dictated the pace of the game. The Martlets outshot the Orange 9-2 and got on the board with a score from forward Ann-Sophie Bettez, who went top shelf with a wrist shot against SU starting goaltender Jenesica Drinkwater.But the momentum shifted in favor of the Orange after the first intermission. The Syracuse forecheck pushed McGill on its heels. The only time the Martlets held onto the puck is when they conservatively passed back and forth in the defensive zone.And it all comes back to the much-needed lift the fourth line provided.Johnson said the role of her line is to be pests, constantly getting in its opponents’ faces and bringing an up-tempo style to the ice.‘I like being out there and bring the energy to the team,’ Johnson said. ‘In the first period, we were really down, and me and Sadie knew we had to get out there and raise the energy. Jacquie Greco as well, she brings a lot of energy to the team.’Even in an exhibition, SU played with intensity to take down McGill. Flanagan said his team didn’t treat it as a meaningless game. Although he said exhibition games can be a concern in getting his team prepared, the head coach thought his team went into the game ready for a fight.‘They had a real good focus,’ Flanagan said. ‘Sometimes you play an exhibition game against some no-name team that comes down here, and it’s tough to generate excitement. The girls were definitely into it, and I thought they did a real good job of it.’[email protected]  Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Published on November 6, 2011 at 12:00 pmlast_img

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