Abbey Miller steps up for Syracuse, holds Penn State in 2-2 tie

first_imgWith fewer than two minutes remaining and only three players on the ice in a tie game against Penn State, head coach Paul Flanagan’s confidence never wavered. Starting a senior and last season’s second team All-College Hockey America goalkeeper Abbey Miller, he knew her experience would preserve the tie.Saving 21-of-23 shots, Miller’s play in net kept Syracuse (2-7-2, 1-0-1 College Hockey America) within reach of Penn State (2-7-5, 0-2-4), resulting in a 2-2 tie. With SU committing 11 penalties on the day, Miller faced consistent pressure from the Nittany Lions’ attack, leading to a one-goal deficit for the Orange late in the game. After a late Brooke Avery goal, Miller’s performance following two late penalties pushed the game to overtime.“She was there, taking away their opportunities, especially late in the game,” Flanagan said. “She was seeing the puck pretty well… she looked confident in net.”Fifteen minutes into the first period, Syracuse dominated the pace of play. The Orange had outshot its opponent by eight, and led by a goal via junior defender Allie Munroe.Yet a nifty move by PSU freshman Sophie Slattery on the breakaway freed up the forward for a possible chance on net. With senior Megan Quinn on her trail, Slattery’s off-balance wrist shot bounced off the Orange defender’s stick and past Miller with only four seconds remaining in the period.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter a dominating first period, the Orange had allowed its opponent to escape with no deficit.Capitalizing on the momentum, the Nittany Lions controlled the Orange in the second period. Still, it was Miller who made the necessary saves to prevent Penn State from extending its lead.“She kept us in today’s game,” Munroe said. “She always helps the team. She makes big saves. She’s kind of our rock back there.”Following a succession of three games where SU had allowed eight power play goals in losses against Boston College and Northeastern, the Orange held Penn State to one goal on eighteen advantage opportunities this weekend.Syracuse’s issues with discipline, Munroe said, led to 10 penalty kill situations Saturday. Still, with Miller in net, the Nittany Lions only converted one of these opportunities.“Miller is a huge help,” Quinn said. “She always has our back and today was no different.”The Orange’s ability to get in passing lanes and block shots held the Penn State attack from reaching the net, Miller said.After committing two penalties with under four minutes remaining, the Orange was down two players. With the clear advantage, the Nittany Lions began to pass the puck near the goal, looking for a deflection or lucky bounce.In the final minute, as the Orange struggled to put a stick on the puck, Miller stood tall. After a deflected shot found its way near the net, the senior’s diving glove save pushed the puck away and forced the game into overtime.“Abbey always looked like she was there, but there were a few times where it didn’t look too good for us,” Flanagan said. “Maybe she got a little lucky, but she stood up tall in back to back games.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 11, 2017 at 7:24 pm Contact Adam: adhillma@syr.edu | @_adamhillmanlast_img read more