Syracuse has found a pipeline in an Ontario Juniors club

first_imgSyracuse head coach Paul Flanagan travels to Canada in search of talent. The Ontario area is a preferred spot, yielding the likes of former player and former coach Alison Domenico, as well as current defensemen Lindsay Eastwood.Both of those players came from the same club, the Nepean Wildcats. Nepean cemented themselves as an SU (2-3, 2-2 College Hockey America) pipeline this season when three players from their U18 Juniors team began their careers at SU.“I think that Ali’s familiarity helped us get Lindsay four years ago when she committed to us,” Flanagan said. “Then, obviously, we got to know the coaching staff really well, and one thing led to another.”Defenseman Abby Moloughney and forwards Lauren Bellefontaine and Shelby Calof are all from the province of Ontario and have been playing hockey together since the bantam level as 13-year-olds.“We pretty much know each other, we know how we play together,” said Bellefontaine. “When I’m working with Abby she’s my right wing. We have good chemistry and each know where we are on the ice.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThat chemistry was quickly noticed by Flanagan as one of the perks of having three players from the same club. Flanagan plays Bellefontaine and Moloughney on the same line. Syracuse also features a power play unit that includes the two forwards and Calof.Getting such a cohesive unit to commit to Syracuse is a process, Flanagan said. He’s run an Elite College Prospects camp at the Nepean facility the past two summers. Through Domenico and Eastwood, he has interacted with numerous coaches and families from the U19s down to the U14s.Another player is already committed to Syracuse from Nepean for next season as well, Flanagan said. That would put at least five former Nepean players on the 2019-2020 roster for SU.Susie Teuscher | Digital Design EditorFor the three freshmen already at Syracuse, the choice to commit was easy.“Lauren and I did our visit at the same time,” Calof said. “We committed on the same day. Then Abby mentioned that she was thinking about Syracuse too, so we had a little influence on her, I’d say,” Calof added with a smile.The choice pays dividends for SU so far. After a slow start, the Orange have won two straight, with Bellefontaine earning CHA Rookie of the Week honors for her two goals, one assist performance in a 6-3 win against Lindenwood.Moloughney filled the stat sheet so far this season, notching one goal and two assists in her first five contests. The forward attributes their success to her long-time defensemen.“Shelby has always had excellent vision and her passing has always been on point,” said Moloughney. “Shelby always has an idea of where Lauren and I are going to skate. This makes for quicker plays on the ice.”Increased pace helped transform an offense that was shutout 10 times in 36 games last season. The three freshmen, who have played together for the past five years, will look to continue the trend.“They instinctively know where each other are going to be,” Flanagan said, “and that’s a huge bonus.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 22, 2018 at 9:44 pm Contact Tim: tnolan@syr.edulast_img

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