first_imgFinals are looming, Winter Break beckons, a “well-deserved” rest is just days away. Syracuse has much to look ahead to. But before that, the team will face the No. 2 team in the country, Clarkson, this weekend.“These are the games that really count,” team captain Jacquie Greco said. “These are the games we kind of work all year for.”SU (9-6-1, 4-1-1 College Hockey America) is in fine form heading into its last games of the semester having won four of its last five, and the team is fresh off a 4-3 upset over defending CHA champion Robert Morris. The Clarkson series presents a near-perfect opportunity for the Orange to cap its first half of the season with a national attention-grabbing upset.Doing so means stopping Canadian youth internationals Jaime Lee Rattray and Erin Ambrose and scoring past 5-foot-9 goaltender Erica Howe. An upset against Clarkson could punctuate the season. Though head coach Paul Flanagan said the results themselves are not critical for this weekend, it’s important for the team to put together a strong showing. Anything less promises to sour the midseason break.“If you can leave feeling good about yourselves, win, lose or draw, you can leave after exams feeling pretty good. It just makes your break better and you come back feeling reinvigorated, feeling better about it,” Flanagan said. “So that’s all. You just don’t want to end on a real bad note. Just because it does, I know as a coach it’s dragging around for three weeks and it’s terrible.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut any chance the Orange had of catching a sleeping giant evaporated when the Golden Knights lost to a Colgate team with only three wins. Flanagan said he expects Clarkson to be reinvigorated when the Orange makes the trip to Potsdam, N.Y.But the Orange seniors have some history on their side, a hopeful reminder of what leaving campus on a high can do.In December 2009, SU beat Princeton 4-3 and 1-0, with the second win coming in overtime.“It was one of the best things ever and it happened right before break, and we had so much confidence going into the next half of the season,” Greco said.SU went on to upset then-No. 8 Cornell after the break, en route to the winningest season in program history.This season, Clarkson boasts a roster full of physical players with speed that can give the Orange a miserable weekend. Clarkson’s loss to Colgate is largely seen as a hangover loss after the Knights downed No. 3 Cornell the night before the game against lowly Colgate.Though that defeat served as a powerful wake-up call for Clarkson, it is something for the Orange to hold onto, Greco said.“Everyone is hearing about it,” Greco said. “‘Oh my god, like Clarkson just lost to Colgate, like what the heck.’ So we want to be that team, to be like ‘Clarkson just lost to Syracuse, oh my god,’ and it gives us a little more jump.”At a point in the season where lines appear to be resettling, shots that weren’t going in are finding the back of the net and the team regains its swagger, the Clarkson game is somewhat timely.“You can feel it in the atmosphere,” center Holly Carrie-Mattimoe said. “You can feel it on the ice in practice. I guess, again, the intensity is up and everyone’s talking, everyone’s cheering people on.”Not that SU needs additional motivation. The Golden Knights’ ranking speaks for itself.The team can look at its record and think about proving itself on a national scale, Carrie-Mattimoe said. Wins against teams like Clarkson do just that.SU knows a powerhouse awaits, both in Potsdam on Friday and on Saturday at home. But, in pursuit of a dynamic win, the Orange can’t get caught up in its opponents’ ranking.“We can’t be intimidated, too,” forward Shiann Darkangelo said. “It’s just like any other game, we just kind of get ready to play. … We got to beat them more than anything.” Comments Published on December 6, 2012 at 3:05 am Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_ Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *