Pass-first Schwarz shows scoring ability in playoffs

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 4, 2014 at 12:45 am Contact Connor: cgrossma@syr.edu | @connorgrossman Heather Schwarz took more shots on Saturday than in any other game in her collegiate career, and she was rewarded with a second playoff goal in as many days.A freshman forward, Schwarz was an asset to a Syracuse (20-13-3, 9-8-3 College Hockey America) offense that helped the Orange beat Lindenwood on Friday and Saturday to advance to the CHA Semifinals in Erie, Pa., this coming weekend.Schwarz admitted she’s not a prolific goal scorer, as she has only put the puck in the net once during the regular season. She has gotten time on the ice in almost every game this year, but defines herself as a player who delegates the puck and assists her teammates rather than try to take it in herself.Head coach Paul Flanagan also recognizes that Schwarz is more inclined to help on a goal than score it herself. “She made four or five individual nice plays coming down the wing and helping get pucks on net,” Flanagan said. “So I’m more encouraged about that honestly.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s good to see her start breaking out of her freshman shell.”On Saturday, she stood in surprise as the horn blared 12:04 into the second period. She tipped the puck fed to her by junior defender Kaillie Goodnough in the net past the Lions’ backup goalie Alexis Molotky.“(Goodnough) shot it and I just ended up tipping it,” Schwarz said, “but I honestly thought the goalie had it. We all weren’t too excited at first because we all kind of looked at each other and said, ‘What? That went in?’”While her forte on the ice may not be to score, the elation for her was clear as teammates slapped the top of her helmet in celebration. The recipient for many of Schwarz’s passes, Melissa Piacentini, was thrilled for her teammate.Piacentini believes that any team needs players of Schwarz’s caliber in order to achieve a high level of success.“She’s a great player who sees the ice well,” Piacentini said. “Her work ethic is very strong and she likes to get in those corners and make the right passes.”Schwarz agreed with Piacentini when reflecting on her two goals in her first two playoff games.While most players wouldn’t use the word “surprised” when asked about an athletic achievement because they expect the best out of themselves, Schwarz recognized the novelty of the statistics she put up in the weekend series.“I’m actually more of a passer than someone who likes to take the puck to the net themselves,” Schwarz said. “I usually try to make more opportunities for other people but it’s nice to have those opportunities made for me too.”Schwarz’s teammates think highly of the freshman forward for her intensity and work ethic. In addition, the elders of the team have been able to place a calm over the inevitable nervousness in a player entering her first collegiate postseason.“I was really nervous coming into these playoffs,” Schwarz said. “I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself, but the seniors have been so calm and patient and have stressed a work-hard method.” Commentslast_img

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