SYRACUSE, N.Y. – No. 6 Syracuse improved to 2-0 on the year by holding off Army (2-2), 10-9, in front of 5,619 fans Sunday, Feb. 26 at the Carrier Dome. The Orange scored three of the game’s last four goals to outlast the Black Knights in a tight game that featured seven ties and four lead changes.
Senior Tommy Palasek and sophomore Derek Maltz paced the SU offense with three points apiece. Palasek recorded one goal and two assists. Maltz finished with two goals and one assist in a career-best performance.
Syracuse also received two goals each from redshirt senior Tim Desko and junior Luke Cometti. Cometti’s second goal, with 7:36 to play, proved to be the winner, but the contest went down to the wire as the Orange defense turned back several Army chances late in the fourth quarter that would have tied it.
The Black Knights’ final offensive opportunity came after a big hit on Peter Macartney resulted in an Orange turnover. Army called timeout with 18 seconds left. On the restart, the Black Knights put the ball in the stick of Alex Van Krevel and he drove to the cage. Van Krevel let a shot go with two seconds remaining and Orange goalie Dominic Lamolinara made the save to seal the win.
“I thought when we needed to we played well and we dug it out,” SU head coach John Desko said. “We had the ball at the end to try to finish it off and lost the possession there, but we were able to hold on and Dom made a big save.”
Lamolinara’s last-second stop was his fifth of the day and his fourth in the final quarter. Lamolinara replaced starter Matthew Lerman at halftime and played the last 30 minutes to earn his first career win.
The Orange outshot Army for the game, 41-32, and owned a 41-31 advantage in ground balls. Syracuse also controlled the faceoff circle thanks to sophomore Chris Daddio, who attempted all 22 draws in the game and won a career-high 16 of them.
Several of Daddio’s faceoff wins were aided by Macartney, who manned the wing and collected a personal-best six ground balls. Macartney also scored the first goal of his career in the opening quarter.
Despite the statistical disadvantage, Army stayed close even after Syracuse threatened to pull away early. The Orange used a 3-1 run over the last 3:25 of the first quarter to take a 4-2 lead into the second period.
However with the Orange offense appearing to find its rhythm, the Army defense stiffened. The Black Knights allowed just seven shots, forced six turnovers, and kept the Orange off the scoreboard in the second quarter.
At the other end of the field, Army’s offense took advantage, registering three second-quarter goals. Connor Hayes’ tally with nine seconds left before halftime gave the visitors a 5-4 advantage at the break.
The two sides continued to trade blows in the third quarter. After goals by Maltz and Palasek 10 seconds apart put SU in front, 6-5, Army’s Devin Lynch and Garrett Thul scored in a 25-second span to push the Black Knights ahead, 7-6.
But the final surge belonged to Syracuse. After Thul’s goal, the Orange notched three of the game’s next four goals to regain the lead, 9-8. John Glesener’s unassisted tally with 11:33 to go tied it, but Cometti put Syracuse back on top a little more than four minutes later and the defense did the rest with Lamolinara coming up big at the end.
For Army, Thul led the way with a game-high three goals. Lynch and Glesener finished with two each. Goalie Zach Palmieri played all 60 minutes in the cage and made a career-high 14 saves.
Lerman recorded four saves in the first half for Syracuse before being relieved by Lamolinara.
The Orange plays the first of three straight road games Sunday, March 4 when it faces top-ranked Virginia at Klöckner Stadium. Faceoff between the Orange and Cavaliers is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Game Notes: Syracuse has started off 2-0 in each of the last five seasons … Sophomore Drew Jenkins recorded his first career point with an assist on Maltz’s first-quarter goal … Junior JoJo Marasco’s goal at the 14:22 mark of the fourth quarter extended his streak to seven straight games with at least one goal … Marasco also collected a career-high eight ground balls in the contest … Daddio’s 16 faceoff wins were the most for an SU player since Danny Brennan won 19 against Virginia in the 2008 NCAA semifinals.