The Minnesota Whitecaps faced challenging winter weather on their way to Syracuse and on their way home, but in between flights they earned a win and a tie against Syracuse University by the scores of 3-1 and 2-2.
The first game of the series was played at War Memorial Arena, home of the Syracuse Crunch. The Orange started strong, outshooting the Whitecaps in the first period 11-7. Goaltender Alex Rigsby played well and kept the game scoreless until the second period when Whitecap defenseman Winny Brown found the back of the net on a high wrist shot from the point during a delayed whistle, after Syracuse was called for a penalty. Haylea Schmid and Brooke White-Lancette were credited with assists. On the ensuing power play, just 24 seconds later, it was Schmid who tucked in a rebound from a Mira Jalosuo shot that had gone wide and ricochetted off the back boards. Brown also got the second assist on the power play goal. So, after two periods, the Whitecaps led 2-0.
In the third period, Syracuse pulled to within a goal, as Allie Munroe scored at 9:52. However, Hannah Brandt sealed the victory with an open net goal at 19:30, after defenseman Katie Frischmann moved the puck up to her, getting the assist. Final shots on goal were 29-24 in favor of Minnesota, with Rigby earning the win with 23 saves. Minnesota was 1 for 1 on the power play, while Syracuse was 0 for 2.
Game two moved to Tennity Ice Pavilion on the campus of Syracuse University. The first period was very evenly played, and it was the Orange who got the only goal of the period with just under a minute left. Heather Schwarz scored her first of two on the day as she beat Whitecaps goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie on a nice passing play.
It was the Whitecaps who got the only goal of the second period as Meaghan Pezon converted on a breakaway, beating Orange goaltender Ady Cohen at 16:17 of the period. In the third, Minnesota took the lead on a great individual effort by Amy Stech as she chased down the puck in the Syracuse end and fired a bad angled shot at the net that found its way in. But less than two minutes later, Schwarz got her second of the game to tie the score 2-2. That's the way the game ended, after a scoreless five-minute overtime period, Final shots were 38-35, and Amsley-Benzie recorded 33 saves.
Box scores are below.
Photo credit: Syracuse University