May 9, 2010

Courtesy of Syracuse

QUEENS, N.Y. - No. 2 Syracuse captured the BIG EAST regular-season championship outright on Saturday, May 8 with a 15-7 win against St. John's (5-9, 2-4) in the regular-season finale for both teams at DaSilva Memorial Field.

The Orange concluded the regular season with a 13-1 overall record and an undefeated 6-0 mark in the inaugural year of the conference. Syracuse is the only team in the league to finish conference play without a loss.

Syracuse's 13 regular-season wins is the most for the program since 1986 when it went 13-2 in the regular season and finished the year 14-3.

The Orange used a balanced attack to hand the Red Storm its fourth consecutive defeat. Nine different Syracuse players scored in the contest. Senior Chris Daniello (Cross River, N.Y.) led the charge, tying his career high with four tallies. He also added an assist to finish with a game-high five points.

Juniors Jeff Gilbert (Liverpool, N.Y.), Joel White (Cortland, N.Y.) and redshirt sophomore Tim Desko (Syracuse, N.Y.) were SU's other multi-goal scorers. All three players had two goals in the contest. For Gilbert, it was his first career two-goal game. Gilbert was also credited with an assist in the third quarter for a personal-best three points.

Defensively, Syracuse got a combined 20 saves from its three goalies in the victory. Junior John Galloway (Syracuse, N.Y.) made seven stops in the first half and left the game with the Orange in front, 10-2, at halftime. Senior Al Cavalieri (Lathrup Village, Mich.) started the second half and made 11 saves in a little more than 25 minutes of action, including eight stops in the third quarter. Sophomore Paul Dubas (New Canaan, Conn.) finished up, playing the final 4:44 and totaling two saves in his collegiate debut.

The Orange jumped on the Red Storm early Saturday, scoring on its first two possessions, and the visitors led 3-0 before a goal by Charlie Holenstein got the Red Storm on the board with 6:06 left in the first quarter. Goals by junior Jovan Miller (Syracuse, N.Y.) and senior Cody Jamieson (Six Nations, Ontario) extended the SU margin to 5-1, however, the Red Storm won the ensuing faceoff after Jamieson's goal and Tyler Novotny scored six seconds later to trim the SU lead to 5-2 after the first quarter.

The second period proved to be the turning point. Syracuse netted five more goals and held the Red Storm scoreless in the frame to go up 10-2 at the intermission. Highlights in the quarter included Desko deflecting a Josh Amidon (Lafayette, N.Y.) pass by St. John's goalie Jeff Lowman with 12:57 to go in the half give SU a 7-2 advantage, and White scoring SU's first man-down goal of the year at the 5:51 mark of the period.

In the second half, Syracuse led by 10 (12-2) after a goal by Daniello with 10:07 to go in the third quarter, and the Orange took its largest lead of the contest (15-4) on Daniello's final goal of the contest with 9:41 left to play.

Daniello's fourth goal capped what was a 10-2 overall Orange scoring run before St. John's tallied the game's last three goals to produce the final score.

Holenstein and Harry Kutner paced the Red Storm with two goals each. Lowman finished with 12 saves before being replaced by senior Gavin Buckley in the fourth quarter. Buckley registered four stops in the last game of his college career.

The Red Storm outshot the Orange, 43-42, for the contest. But the play of SU's goaltenders helped keep St. John's at bay. The Orange held the advantage in ground balls (33-31) and won 15 of the game's 26 faceoffs.

Syracuse will learn who it will face in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, May 9 when the 16-team tournament field is announced. The bracket for this year's NCAA Championship will be revealed at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Game Notes: The Orange is 3-0 all-time against St. John's, including a 2-0 mark in road games against the Red Storm ... Syracuse has won the three games in the series by a cumulative score 65-21 ... The victory extended the Orange's winning streak to 11 games ... It was White's second straight two-goal game and his third consecutive contest with at least one point ... Junior Alex Giocondi (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) attempted the first faceoff of his career in the fourth quarter and went 1-for-2 at the X against the Red Storm ... Freshman Kyle Carey (Worthington, Ohio) won the first two faceoffs of his career in the fourth period ... Galloway earned his 43rd victory to move into a tie with UMBC's Jeremy Blevins (2006-09) for fifth on the Division I career wins list ... Galloway's seven saves increased his career total to 438, good for sole possession of 10th place on the Syracuse all-time saves record list.