Syracuse squeaks by RIT on Piacentini’s overtime goal

first_imgAfter Rochester Institute of Technology erased a two-goal deficit late in the third period, it seemed the intermission song “Last Friday Night” would ring true for the hosts after the momentum shifted to the Tigers in the waning minutes.Seven nights ago RIT came back to beat Syracuse 4-3 in Rochester. This Friday, the Tigers were on the verge of a repeat performance. But less than one minute into overtime, Syracuse sophomore forward Melissa Piacentini slipped the puck through the five-hole of RIT goalie Jetta Rackleff. The previous Friday night was erased and Syracuse let out a long breath as the 5-foot-2 spark plug came to the rescue in the extra period.In a back-and-forth contest, the Orange (12-9-2, 4-4-2 College Hockey America) was able to prevail over the Tigers (10-12-2, 5-4-1) by a score of 5-4 before a crowd of 315 fans at Tennity Ice Pavilion on Friday night. Piacentini netted the winner on her second goal of the night, a week after losing to RIT on a late goal minutes after relinquishing a comfortable lead.“It was awesome,” Piacentini said. “It almost felt like revenge on them just because they beat us on Friday.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPiacentini opened up the scoring less than three minutes in after taking the puck coast to coast for a lengthy wrist shot.The Tigers, however, responded with goals from Kolbee McCrea and Morgan Scoyne, the latter of which came when Syracuse was a player down, which prevented SU from gaining any traction for most of the first period.The disgruntled home fans could see the same sentiment from head coach Paul Flanagan, as he slammed the small rink-side door before heading to the locker room at the first intermission.“That was frustrating for us,” Flanagan said. “It’s very disrupting when you don’t get a chance for your team to be on the power play.”After a dry spell in the second period in which Syracuse pestered the net with many of its 49 shots on the night, freshman forward Jessica Sibley was finally able to find the net with just over a minute remaining.The goal was Sibley’s eighth on the year and came on a Syracuse power play. It also took advantage of a pregame strategy implemented by Flanagan.“We shot to the left sometimes and she robbed us,” Sibley said. “But we knew that her block side wasn’t good, so we started going there and it worked for us.”Heading into the final period, the Orange had double the amount of shots as the Tigers, but the extra attempts weren’t paying dividends on the scoreboard. After the first nine minutes of the final frame were played relatively evenly, Syracuse finally broke through.Junior forward Allie LaCombe pounced on a scuffle in front of the net and slotted home the goal to give the Orange its first lead since the midway point of the first period. Less than four minutes later, Sibley sliced and diced through several RIT defenders, placing the puck neatly in the top left-hand corner. It was a highlight-reel goal that she said was one of the best she’s ever scored.But after goals by Melissa Bromley and Marissa Maugeri, the score was once again deadlocked, this time at four goals apiece.“We made a couple missed coverages on a couple of the goals and that really cost us, particularly that fourth goal,” Flanagan said. “The third goal, I don’t think (goalie) Jenesica (Drinkwater) saw it. It was just that puck had eyes and it got in.”The Orange controlled the overtime, holding possession and rattling off three shots before the fourth found the back of the net to secure the victory, its fifth in the last six games.The grittiness of the contest was nothing new for the Orange, as many games this season have seen close finishes due to missed opportunities.But Friday, SU rode the stick of Piacentini to a relieving win. “It happens quite alot, which is one of our flaws, that our consistency can be off,” Piacentini said. “We all knew that a two-goal lead wasn’t a great lead, so we wanted to keep pushing forward.” Comments Published on January 18, 2014 at 1:02 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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