Syracuse special teams adjust to increased penalty calls in conference play

first_img Published on January 27, 2016 at 10:26 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langer Nicole Ferrara skated toward the penalty box and seemed to be pushed from behind after Rochester Institute of Technology goalie Jetta Rackleff saved her shot. Ferrara reacted by raising her arm backward, but she was called for a face-masking penalty. Paul Flanagan begged the ref for an explanation. The SU head coach thought it either should have been called as a penalty on the RIT player or as offsetting penalties.It’s been a recent trend that Flanagan finds himself unhappy with some of the calls that were made throughout the game. “You get frustrated because you don’t know what they’re gonna call. One second something’s a trip, then the next second, the trip isn’t a trip,” Flanagan said after Saturday’s 3-1 win over RIT. “I guess what I’m saying, I think our referees have to work for some consistency.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textEver since the start of conference play Syracuse (11-12-3, 7-3-2 College Hockey America) has found itself on the power play and the penalty kill more than before. SU’s player-up and player-down units have been average this season and each is currently ranked third out of six teams in the CHA. The Orange averages just 3.5 penalties per game and their opponents only average 4.4. In the past four games, two two-game series with Mercyhurst and RIT, SU has been called for 6.5 penalties per game and its opponents have been called for 7.3. Flanagan has said that his team will have to focus more on power-play and penalty-kill situations simply out of necessity and that the added high-intensity 5-on-4 play makes his frontline players more fatigued as the game goes on.“We’re gonna put a premium on power play and PK,” Flanagan said on Saturday. “You look at the amount of minutes, why would we work on anything but?” Defender Megan Quinn’s solution to guarding the penalty kill is to aggressively slap the puck away when it’s in the corner and to get in front of any possible shot attempts from opponents. Offensively, the Orange has struggled all season to score goals with a shot percentage of just 8.3. It doesn’t get much better on the power play as the team’s shot percentage then is 13.3, and just 11.5 in conference play. Against RIT, the Orange spent a lot of time methodically moving the puck around the perimeter. Flanagan said that while passing the puck around the perimeter to get a good look, the team was essentially killing its own power play.He said that his players need to make quicker decisions with the puck on the power play, instead of just moving the puck around.Quinn, who’s spent time this year on the power play, thinks that making crisper passes and not missing open areas will help resolve the power play issues. “Power play I feel like is just moving the puck fast … also moving our feet on the blue line and trying not to get pucks blocked,” Quinn said. As the season hits the home stretch, the Orange will have to adjust its play and prepare for the added down-a-skater situations that will inevitably arise in CHA play. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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