February 28, 2012

Tuesday Extras: From LaxMagazine.com Writers

by LaxMagazine.com staff

Each week, LaxMagazine.com staff and writers at games across the country bring you extra opinion, analysis and news that goes beyond what's written in the game stories.

Redshirt sophomore goaltender Matt Lerman (above) and sophomore Dom Lamolinara have split time in Syracuse's first two games of the sesason.
© Greg Wall

Syracuse Using Two-Goalie System

Game Story: 'Cuse Holds Off Army; Lamolinara Makes Big Save'

Entering this season, one of the biggest storylines nationally was who would replace John Galloway in goal for Syracuse? The Orange had seven goalies on the roster – yes, seven – to keep the options open for replacing the program's all-time winningest goaltender. And now, it turns out, one person isn't going to replace Galloway. Syracuse is using a two-goalie system.

For the second game in a row and continuing the trend from preseason scrimmages, redshirt sophomore Matt Lerman and sophomore Dom Lamolinara split time. Lerman started Sunday against Army, making four saves, and Lamolinara entered to start the second half. He made five saves, including one on Army's Alex Van Krevel with two seconds left to seal a 10-9 win before 5,619 at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse coach John Desko said after the game the move to Lamolinara was predetermined, and it appears that will be the plan going forward. Syracuse is 2-0 and ranked third in the country heading into Sunday's tilt with top-ranked Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.

"Dom and Matt have both been playing pretty well, right through the scrimmages, to the game," Desko said during Syracuse's postgame press conference. "It's been a nice combination. What we're seeing in practice the rest of the week is consistent to what we're seeing in games. Both goalies have been playing pretty well. It was great, that in the situation, Dom was pretty comfortable in the second half and made a huge save for us to seal the game."

For what it's worth, Lamolinara, from Arnold, Md., and a former St. Mary's goalkeeper, appeared extremely confident in the postgame setting. He explained in detail the last possession – from the name of the defender guarding Van Krevel at goal-line extended (Drew Jenkins) to where he thought he would shoot (high).

Lamolinara even referred to an Army player's shot earlier in the fourth quarter, saying "He dropped his stick. He hadn't shot all game. He looked pretty nervous." Clearly, Lamolinara was able to handle his own emotions in a tense second-half.

"I felt like that was a really long time out," he said of the time out called by Army with the ball with 18 seconds left. "I had time to think about it. I knew that I was probably going to have to make a save, whether it was No. 9 or anybody that got it. I was focused on the ball. I knew it was going to be me and one other guy. Got lucky enough to make a good play. ... I feel I had some confidence before that but this one felt good. [We] were able to hold onto what Matt started in the first half." – COREY McLAUGHLIN

Princeton Starts New ... from Opening Faceoff

Game Story: 'Princeton's Comeback Tour Begins With Hofstra Win'

You could tell 2012 would be different for Princeton from the opening faceoff of Saturday's 12-6 victory over Hofstra. Because they won it. And the next faceoff. And the one after that.

One season after Princeton won fewer faceoffs than any Division I team, the Tigers won 13 of their first 22, a discrepancy that allowed them to control the time of possession. Junior Bobby Lucas, who missed 2011 with an injury, won 10-of-16 and senior Peter Smyth won 3-of-6.

Hofstra's struggles on the draw were especially surprising because All-American John Antoniades finished last season ranked fifth in the country in faceoff percentage. Hofstra occasionally turned to senior Zachary Pall, who provided a spark by winning seven of the 12 draws he took.

"John is still out faceoff guy," Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said. "He just had a bad day. And when he has a bad day we all have a bad day." – MARK MACYK

Ohio State Trying Not to Repeat History

Game Story: 'UMass Pulls Away from Ohio State in Second Half'

It was déjà vu for Ohio State on Saturday as for the second year in a row UMass handed the Buckeyes their first blemish of the season.

The Buckeyes came into Saturday's game at 3-0 and coming off an upset at then-No. 5 Denver. Last season the Buckeyes were in a similar situation, sitting at 3-0 and fresh off a huge win against North Carolina before UMass knocked off Ohio State, 11-9, in Amherst, Mass.

Following the 2011 loss, Ohio State stumbled to a disappointing 8-8 record and first-round exit in the ECAC tournament. Ohio State coach Nick Myers and the Buckeyes will have to work hard to try and make sure this year's team avoids the same fate.

"You grow from wins and you grow from losses," Myers said. "We'll look at this and certainly we'll grow a great deal. We have a long way to go with this team. There's just a lot more for us to do in terms of improving to be the team that we want to be."

After averaging 12 goals in its first three games, Ohio State netted just three against the Minutemen.

"Offensively [UMass] did a nice job of frustrating us and we got out of sync towards the end," Myers said. "In the second half the ball wasn't going in and the opportunities weren't falling for us. We allowed that to get to us and frustrate us. Ultimately, you've got to credit your opponent for that, but we've got to be much better on the offensive end of the field." – TYLER ROBINSON

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