CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 2 Virginia (4-0, 1-0 ACC) secured a big early lead and registered hat tricks from four different players en route to defeating No. 9 Syracuse (1-2, 0-1 ACC) 20-11 at Klöckner Stadium Saturday (Feb. 26) afternoon.
Connor Shellenberger (3 goals, 4 assists) Matt Moore (3 goals), Griffin Schutz (3 goals) and Payton Cormier (3 goals) all tallied three goals apiece in the Cavaliers’ largest trounce over Syracuse in the all-time series.
With his first faceoff victory of the day, Petey LaSalla became UVA’s all-time leader in career faceoff wins. LaSalla (19-28 FO) passed Jack deVilliers’ previous all-time mark of 604 faceoff wins. With 12 victories at the center-X on Saturday, LaSalla now has 616 career faceoff victories.
Matthew Nunes (4-0) was in net for UVA for 56:46 and posted 15 saves, while former Cavalier Bobby Gavin (1-2) suffered the loss. Gavin finished Saturday’s contest with 12 saves.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia, which trailed its opponents by a combined margin of 9-3 in first periods entering Saturday’s game, leaped out to an 8-1 lead at the end of the first. The Cavaliers scored the first four goals of the contest, including the first of the game from Moore, who missed Virginia’s previous game due to injury. The Orange responded by scoring the first two goals of the second quarter as well as the final two of the half, but not before UVA tallied three of its own, including a pair from Cormier. Virginia led 11-5 at the intermission.
The Orange carried their run into the third after scoring the first two goals of the quarter just 30 seconds apart. After Schutz’s third goal came with 10:31 left in the third, Syracuse scored back-to-back goals to shrink the UVA lead to 12-9 with 7:36 to play in the period. Then, the Cavaliers embarked on a 6-0 run that bled into the fourth period, but not before Shellenberger and LaSalla scored a pair of goals for UVA in the final 11 seconds of the third. Noah Chizmar’s first career goal with 6:41 to play in the game helped seal the Orange’s largest defeat in series history.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
Lars Tiffany on today’s fast start…
“It was very important because we’ve gotten off to slow starts the first few games this year and we’ve gotten off to slow starts against Syracuse last year in both games that we played them. That was huge for our confidence. It helps when you have a first year in goal [and] you can build a lead and then just maintain that lead. Matt Nunes was fantastic today.”
- Virginia’s 20-11 victory over the Orange marks the largest margin of defeat in a Virginia win since the series began in 1938. UVA’s previous best was a 15-7 win at the Carrier Dome on March 14, 1995.
- With his first faceoff victory of the day, Petey LaSalla became UVA’s all-time leader in career faceoff wins. LaSalla (19-28 FO) passed Jack deVilliers’ previous all-time mark of 604 faceoff wins. With 19 faceoff wins overall Saturday, LaSalla now has 623 career faceoff victories.
- Matt Moore (124 career goals) moved into 11th on Virginia’s all-time scoring list. With his third and final goal of the day, Moore passed his former teammate Dox Aitken (123 career goals). Moore needs just one more goal to move into ninth all-time.
- Moore also extended his points streak to 53 games, which started on March 31, 2018.
- With three goals and four assists, Connor Shellenberger registered a game-high seven points and has posted at least five points in his last eight games dating back to the Cavaliers’ NCAA Tournament first round matchup against Bryant (May 16, 2021) last season.
- Shellenberger has dished out at least one assist in 21 of his 22 career games and has registered at least three assists in 14 games.
- Cole Kastner caused a game-high four turnovers. Kastner has now caused four turnovers in three of UVA’s four games played so far, including in back-to-back games at Towson (Feb. 19) and against the Orange (Feb. 26).
Virginia hosts Johns Hopkins (3-1) at Klöckner Stadium on Saturday (March 5). Opening faceoff is set for 1 p.m. Next Saturday’s contest against the Blue Jays is slated to stream on ACCNX.