first_img Published on March 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 Facebook Twitter Google+ CHESTER, Pa. — In the blink of an eye, the Syracuse lead vanished. A stretch of less than two minutes brought a pair of SU penalties and three St. John’s goals.The penalties early in the third quarter brought the Red Storm back from a four-goal deficit before the Orange tightened back up, committing just two penalties the rest of the way, to hold on for a 13-11 victory at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.“We said we didn’t want to create offense for them and penalties create offense for the other team,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “We played a good man-up team, they have some good shooters.”Kevin Cernuto scored a pair on the man-up that kept the opening game of Saturday’s Whitman’s Sampler Independence Classic tight throughout. Kieran McArdle chipped in a man-up goal in the second quarter as well as St. John’s finished 3-for-6 with an extra man. On the other side, the No. 10 Orange converted just one of its four extra-man opportunities, though it came at a critical juncture.When the two teams faced off in the Big East championship a year ago, the Red Storm’s penalties handed SU a 12-4 blowout victory. Syracuse converted a pair of extra-man opportunities in the opening frame of that game as the Orange raced out to an 8-0 lead.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn the Big East opener this year, Syracuse’s penalties kept SJU alive as a St. John’s extra-man unit that was just 1-of-9 converted half of its opportunities on Saturday.“It helped a lot, gave us opportunities to score,” St. John’s head coach Jason Miller said. “I’m really proud of our man-up guys, proud of Coach (Dan) Paccione, those guys put a lot of time in this week.”Just two minutes into the second half, a Derek Maltz goal started to put the Red Storm out of reach. Down 8-4, SJU needed a spark.McArdle worked on Brian Megill behind the net. The attack forced his way around, firing a sidearm shot past Bobby Wardwell for the goal, getting cross checked by Megill in the process. The quick goal gave St. John’s what it needed.Less than 30 seconds later, the Red Storm got another. Cernuto stood on the crease and took a feed from Colin Keegan to beat Wardwell and cut the lead to two. Another penalty came, this time a slash from Peter Macartney.Again SJU took advantage. A pass intended for Ryan Fitzgerald bounced off the shaft of his stick, high in the air, and fell right to Cernuto on the crease. The attack turned and fired a quick shot, again beating Wardwell to cut the lead to one. About a minute later, McArdle scored an even-strength goal to tie the game. In just two and a half minutes, the SU lead vanished.“It’s the type of game it was. It was a close game, we felt like we had to go after it,” Desko said. “But we’re going to learn from that, too. We’re going to show them the film. We’ve been talking about that in practice, and we’ve got to get better at it.”Meanwhile, the Orange wasn’t getting anything on its man-up. With less than 30 seconds left in the first half, SJU’s Mark DiFrangia was sent off for a minute for tripping. Syracuse had a chance to break the game open with a score and take a four-goal lead into the break.Instead, the Orange held the ball and didn’t even get a shot off before halftime. St. John’s killed off the remainder of the penalty after the break.“We thought that we played well with our zones and our man-down,” SJU goaltender Jeff Lowman said. “We didn’t give up too easy shots, we made them really shoot into our defense rather than let them take shots.”On SU’s third extra-man opportunity, things finally started to click. Syracuse got off five shots, four by Maltz alone, on a man-up late in the third quarter. It wasn’t able to find the back of the net, but the Orange finally created opportunities.Then it broke through. After the Red Storm’s four-goal spurt, each team committed a pair of penalties. St. John’s didn’t convert on either of its chances. With just more than 10 minutes to play, SU finally did.Derek DeJoe fired a shot off a screen to put Syracuse up 12-10, and ultimately served as the game-winner. The Orange learned from its earlier mistakes, and the penalties that nearly doomed it, saved SU.“That’s what we saw there,” Maltz said. “We saw that if you get in and screen that guy, you can have a shooter like Matt Walters or Derek DeJoe come off, and hopefully you get a good outside shot and he puts it in the back of the net most of the time.” Commentslast_img

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