IHOC : Syracuse back line limits Union opportunities as Orange comes from behind to win

first_imgKallie Billadeau’s third goal allowed Saturday was a fluke. Union’s Emilie Arseneault skated up to the blue line and dumped the puck into the zone for a line change, but Billadeau redirected the puck off her blocker and into the back of her net.It capped a three-minute stretch late in the second period in which the Orange allowed three goals to fall behind 3-0. The rough span had little to do with the play of the defense, though.‘We actually, I thought territorially, we’re doing such a good job,’ SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. ‘They had four shots and three goals, so that makes it pretty tough.’Aside from those three minutes to end the second period, the Syracuse defense was dominant Saturday, holding Union to just 13 shots during the course of the entire game. The defense’s play proved crucial in SU’s 5-3 comeback victory to earn a weekend split after losing 4-3 in overtime to the Dutchwomen on Friday. The Orange prevented Union from adding to its lead and chipped away with five goals in the decisive final period.And the SU defense did it all without sophomore Akane Hosoyamada — one of its best defenders. Hosoyamada broke her femur in Friday’s overtime loss to Union, but the Orange adjusted well and rallied around Hosoyamada’s injury on Saturday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘That was part of it, get a little rallying point for ‘AK’ (Hosoyamada),’ Flanagan said. ‘She’s laying in a hospital bed with a broken leg. … All in all, that (win) was a lot of fun.’A stout Orange defense played an important role early on as its offense struggled to finish plenty of scoring chances. The Syracuse defense held the Dutchwomen to just three shots in the first period.It wasn’t until the final three minutes of the second period that the Syracuse defensemen and Billadeau actually appeared vulnerable, as Union found the back of the net three times in a 1:54 stretch. Even during that stretch, Flanagan said it was tough to peg the blame on the defense. The first Dutchwomen goal came from Arseneault on a power play and the third came on Billadeau’s misplay.In the less than two-minute stretch, the Orange defense only allowed three shots, but all three found the back of the net.‘I thought they played amazing defensively, and they got in the mix offensively,’ Billadeau said. ‘ … It’s big. They’re playing well.’And on Saturday, Syracuse got the majority of its offensive contributions from the defense.That was even more impressive without an offensive-minded Hosoyamada. The sophomore dished out 16 assists and scored 18 points while playing in every game her freshman year and had two assists in seven games this season.The Orange’s first goal of the game actually came from the player who replaced Hosoyamada in the lineup. Kaillie Goodnough scored her second career goal just two minutes into the second period when she got herself open in front of the net for an easy goal to put SU on the board.‘(Hosoyamada) was a very offensive defenseman, so I kind of stepped up tonight and popped in the first goal,’ Goodnough said. ‘She is a hard player to replace. She works really hard.’Defensemen Christina LaCombe and Caitlin Roach also added scores. Roach’s goal proved to be the game-winner to cap the Orange’s come-from-behind victory.‘Roach had a great weekend,’ Flanagan said. ‘She must’ve had 12, 13, 14 grade-A scoring chances in the two games and she finally cashed in. I thought she was probably our best player all weekend.’With Hosoyamada out of the lineup, the defense was a legitimate concern, but it looked as good as it has all season. The defensive unit held the Union offense in check most of the game and was at the forefront of the team’s rally offensively.‘We stepped it up even though we were down a defenseman,’ Roach said. ‘People stepped up and filled her spot. It’s a hard spot to fill, but we did pretty good filling it up.’[email protected] Comments Published on October 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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