Shooting, offensive play need improvement before CHA Tournament begins

first_imgThroughout the season, Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan has stressed the importance of shot selection — not just volume, but quality. Now, a month away from the College Hockey America tournament, issues remain.“The biggest thing for us now is being consistent from the offensive perspective,” Flanagan said.After its worst start in program history, Syracuse sits in third place in the CHA. The Orange (10-16-2, 8-4-2 CHA) haven’t lost in five games, since Jan. 24, but still have issues capitalizing on their shots.“We know we’ve had a pretty shaky season,” freshman forward Madison Beishuizen said. “But every practice every game, like every workout, we just know that we gotta build to be at our best when the tournament starts.”This past weekend against RIT, the Orange outshot the Tigers in both games, combining for 122 total shots. Despite the volume directed at Tigers goalie Terra Lanteigne, Syracuse was only able to score five times, winning 3-1 on Friday before settling for a 2-2 draw on Saturday, in a game when the Orange outshot RIT 63-29.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRoshan Fernandez | Asst. Digital EditorOn one second period power play, Syracuse shot seven-straight times but couldn’t convert. During that stretch, Lanteigne made five saves, but two other SU shots — from Kristen Siermachesky and Anna Leschyshyn — were off-target. SU’s game plan, players said, was to put as many pucks as possible on Lanteigne, who led Division I in save percentage (.944) last year. Yet SU only came out with one win over the weekend.“Yeah, I think if we continue to play like that,” forward Abby Moloughney said after a 5-1 win over RPI, “And we continue to get lots of shots on net, which we did, then hopefully we can put some in the net against the CHA teams.”Flanagan also pointed to turnovers in the offensive end as a recent trend and said SU needs to be better at controlling the puck as well as using the area behind the net to generate chances.These problems occurring against RIT are notable because the two teams may meet in the playoffs. If the standings hold, Syracuse would be the No. 3 seed and face the last-place Tigers in the first round, as Robert Morris and Mercyhurst would get byes.Defense and goaltending have been highlights for the Orange as they enter their final stretch, though. In a 5-1 win against RPI, the Orange only allowed 16 shots on net. Against Penn State, Allison Small made 39 saves en route to a 3-1 win.Still, the offense needs to do its part. In last year’s CHA playoffs, Syracuse averaged 4.67 goals per game, well above this regular season’s average of 2.93.“We gotta bear down,” Flanagan said. “We gotta get our chances, we should have had two or three goals.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 11, 2020 at 11:35 pm Contact Will: [email protected]last_img read more