Abbey Miller’s career day spoiled by lack of execution in Syracuse’s 4-0 loss to Mercyhurst

first_imgMercyhurst scored its third goal of the period, capping its dominant victory. A frustrated Abbey Miller slowly skated to the side of the rink and slammed her stick against the boards.In the midst of a muted moment for her teammates and fans, Miller was the only player for the Orange to show any sign of life.Syracuse (9-15-2, 8-5-1 College Hockey America) fell to the Lakers (13-13-2, 10-3-1) 4-0, at Tennity Ice Pavilion, spoiling its chance to make a jump in the conference standings. After an impressive 4-1 victory Friday in which the Orange exploded offensively, SU looked flat and uninterested against Mercyhurst in the second game of the weekend. If not for Abbey Miller’s career-high 38 saves, including 17 in the first period, the loss may have been even more lopsided.“The only person I feel bad for is Abbey Miller,” head coach Paul Flanagan said. “If she didn’t play well it would’ve been 10-0. If it weren’t for Abbey, the game would’ve been over a lot sooner.”Right from the get-go, the Lakers appeared rejuvenated and more confident than the Orange, despite Friday’s result. After the first period started with five shots on goal each for both teams, Mercyhurst finished the period outshooting SU 13-1. During the stretch, Miller stopped seven shots in a row before letting one slip by with four minutes left in the period.The goal occurred while defender Megan Quinn’s stick laid on the ice behind the net after getting knock out of her hands. Without her stick, the senior resorted to staying close to Miller and shuffling back and forth across in front of her. It wasn’t enough, however, as a Laker shot from the right side of the ice found its way to the stick-side post of Miller’s goal.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile losing her stick wasn’t Quinn’s fault, it was one of many mistakes the defense in front of Miller made in the loss.“Mercyhurst came out a little harder than we did, and we just deflated,” Quinn said. “(Miller) really kept us in it.”On Friday, Flanagan spoke about the team’s confidence entering the game against the Lakers and how it increased as the contest went on. On Saturday, all of the confidence that Syracuse had gathered seemed to have evaporated. The Orange was outshot 42-22 and didn’t respond to the determination that Mercyhurst entered with and maintained throughout the game.It was a concerning predicament for Flanagan, who was shocked at the team’s lack of a response. Instead of fighting back after a strong first period by the Lakers, the Orange folded on both sides of the puck.“Lack of effort. It’s hard to explain,” Flanagan said. “Knowing full well that Mercyhurst was going to respond (after yesterday), everyone knew that. We didn’t.”After two periods, Syracuse had been outshot by nine and Miller had saved 24 of the 25 shots on goal that she’d faced. With all of the trouble the Orange had on offense, it was still in the game entering the final period.Then, 53 seconds into the third, the Lakers scored. A shot from the blue line was mishandled on an attempted catch by Lindsay Eastwood, and after a rebound was missed, Mercyhurst converted on its third opportunity. A timeout by Flanagan with 9:40 left was called in an effort to inspire a late-game comeback, but just more than a minute later, the Lakers scored again. Three minutes later came their fourth and final score of the game, as well as Miller’s attack on the boards.“They scored that second goal right off the bat,” Flanagan said. “2-0, the whole period left to play, and I just think that we started thinking, ‘well, OK, we got the split.’ Real lack of character.”On Tuesday, Syracuse travels to Potsdam to take on reigning national champion Clarkson. Currently ranked No. 3 in the country, the Golden Knights handed the Orange its worse loss of the season in a 5-0 beatdown on Dec. 5. In order to avoid a repeat performance from last month’s performance, Syracuse will have to look past its play tonight.“We just have to try to forget this game and go back to yesterday’s game,” Miller said. “Remember how that felt, play with more passion.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 27, 2018 at 7:17 pm Contact Eric: [email protected] | @esblack34last_img

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