Lack of discipline hurts Syracuse in loss to Robert Morris

first_imgA Savannah Rennie shot just over 14-and-a-half minutes into the second period popped up off the goalie’s shoulder, and the rebound caused a scrum in front of the net. The play was whistled dead as the puck was played with a high stick, but the pushing and shoving didn’t stop. SU’s Emma Polaski and Robert Morris’ Natalie Marcuzzi grabbed each other’s jerseys while sharing words. Polaski snapped first, shoving Marcuzzi to the ice, and roughing penalties were assessed to both players. As Polaski was led to the box, she chirped the refs. It was her second penalty of the afternoon, and she wasn’t happy about the overall officiating. It was the last time Polaski would skate on the ice as the refs responded by giving her a 10-minute misconduct, and SU head coach Paul Flanagan benched her for the entirety of the third period.She was not made available after the game. “Because she was undisciplined, she’s got to sit in the box, and then she has to sit on our bench,” Flanagan said about Polaski. “If a player’s injured, you live with it, but that’s really uncalled for.“Hopefully she learns a lesson, and her teammates learn a lesson from that.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter snapping a 10-game losing skid Friday night, Syracuse (5-17-1, 5-5 College Hockey America) dropped the second of a back-to-back against Robert Morris (9-11-4, 7-2-1), 5-1, Saturday afternoon at the Tennity Ice Pavilion. The Orange started the game with a strong 12-to-14 minutes, Flanagan said, but following that, they went away from what made them effective. A lack of discipline across the board swung the momentum in RMU’s favor. In the second period, Syracuse stopped chipping the puck in, stopped moving their feet and took six penalties, including the misconduct, for 20 of its 26 penalty minutes. “Just can’t have that,” Flanagan said. “You can question the calls, but you just gotta be smarter along the wall.” It was the difference-makers and leaders from Friday night that took a brunt of the penalties. Allie Munroe, a senior captain, took a slashing penalty 8:43 into the second period. Forty-four seconds later, the puck was in the back of the Syracuse net, and the Orange trailed 2-0. A little more than halfway into the second period, Munroe was again called for a penalty, this time boarding. Once more, just under a minute into the power play, Robert Morris capitalized. The initial cross-crease pass was denied, but the puck sat in front of the net with Welch out of position, and Amber Rennie came in to clean up and make it 3-0.Munroe finished the game as a minus-1 and had six penalty minutes, second on the team behind Polaski (14). “I was undisciplined tonight, and it’s unacceptable,” Munroe said. “I’m going to go back to work in practice and really try to focus on that. I’m pretty disappointed in myself for getting all those penalties.” Similarly, Polaski and her linemates had been praised by Flanagan after Friday night’s win for being the top line for getting things going, generating offense and forechecking. Polaski was praised for getting the others on her line going. But as the Orange went on a power play, looking for an opening goal late in the first period on Saturday, Polaski killed the momentum. Looking to win the puck back in the offensive zone, Polaski reached in with her stick into a Robert Morris player’s midsection and pulled. “It’s just killer,” Flanagan said. “You always say, there’s never a good penalty in the offensive zone.” Lindsay Eastwood got one back for the Orange with her second power-play marker of the season, but any hope of a Syracuse comeback was snuffed out when Munroe took her third penalty of the game 10:46 into the third. Robert Morris scored their third power-play goal of the game on the man advantage that followed, and the Colonials added a shorthanded empty-netter to make it 5-1.Friday night was the happiest the Orange locker room had been in about two-and-a-half months. Flanagan joked it was a “sh*thouse.” The “core values” the Orange had reinforced throughout their 10-game losing streak seemed to have finally paid off in a win against the top team in the CHA. But that all came crashing down less than 24 hours later. Discipline, one of the three core values introduced to SU by sport psychologist Dr. Mark Randall last season, is always preached, Eastwood said. But on Saturday afternoon, it was nearly non-existent after the first period. In past years, Syracuse bloomed late. Last year, 11 of its 13 wins came in conference play. But Flanagan said SU will have to “right the ship in the discipline category.”“We’ll worry about the technical aspects later, but it starts with our discipline or lack thereof,” Flanagan said. Comments Published on January 19, 2019 at 6:13 pm Contact Arabdho: [email protected] | @aromajumder center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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