Maddi Welch stabilizes SU after poor 1st period in loss to No. 10 Colgate


first_img Comments Published on December 7, 2018 at 12:49 am Contact Arabdho: [email protected] | @aromajumder A Syracuse turnover in the defensive zone sent the puck to Colgate’s leading scorer, Jessie Eldridge, with an open slot in front of her. As she passed the hash marks, Eldridge released her shot, aiming for the top right corner. But SU goaltender Maddi Welch stood tall and used her blocker to turn the puck aside and into the corner, where it rolled into a scrum.Welch made 24 saves and gave up four goals in a 5-2 loss to Colgate (10-5-2, 5-2-1 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference) on Thursday night, including three in the first period. But the senior goalie was also a big reason Syracuse (4-13-1, 4-3 College Hockey America) hung around until late in the game against the No. 10 Raiders. The Orange defense conceded breakaways and multiple chances where Colgate players charged the net, but Welch preserved the two-goal deficit into the first intermission. “Despite the score, she’s been coming up huge for us, and I think it’s awesome to have her back there,” defenseman Allie Olnowich said. “…we know we can rely on her back there, and she’s really been stepping into the role.”SU head coach Paul Flanagan called the first period one of the worst he’s seen in his Syracuse tenure. Welch and the defense refocused to hold the Raiders to just two goals the rest of the way, one of which was an empty-netter.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWelch said the locker room was positive, even after the first, and answered back well in the second and third. For her specifically, it was about forgetting the past and looking ahead to stopping the next puck. “I just go over the goals in my head, and I can’t pull it back out and I can’t take it back, so it’s kind of one of those things where I have to move forward,” she said. Nemo Neubauerova had two nearly identical goals for Colgate in the first period to create its 3-1 lead. Both times, Syracuse was unable to clear the puck from in front of the net, and Neubauerova was left unchecked to finish the scoring chance. The defensive lapses came down to mental mistakes and not knowing the defensive zone coverage, Flanagan said. His system has the center shadow the opposition center, the strong side winger covering the point, the weak side winger staying in the middle, the strong side defender on the puck carrier and the weak side defender staying in front of the net. On one of the goals, Flanagan said four of the players didn’t do what they were supposed to do, and two players went out to cover the point. “That’s a defensive breakdown and it’s all up there,” Flanagan said, pointing to his head. “That’s not having the team prepared, and you’d like to think that after practice yesterday they’re ready to go, they’re prepared.”But it’s not all on the defense. Flanagan said Welch was frustrated after the game, and part of that was at letting in a soft goal off her mask short side. It was at a crucial point in the game as Syracuse had just scored to make it 3-2 and created momentum. But just a minute-and-a-half after Lauren Bellefontaine’s goal to pull within one, Eldridge skated in from the side boards and flipped the puck up and off Welch’s mask, into the top corner.“Things like that, she knows she’s got to get better at,” Flanagan said. “She’s working and I think she’s getting there. Just got to move forward with that.”center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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