Senior Johnson scores 3rd and 4th goals of career on same night

first_img Published on February 5, 2014 at 12:59 am Contact Connor: [email protected] | @connorgrossman Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse senior forward Cara Johnson hadn’t scored a goal since her freshman year, and she positioned herself perfectly to break that streak on Tuesday night. After a shot from a fellow SU forward clanked off the left post and settled almost directly in front of the goal box, Johnson was there to wrist it past the Saints’ goalie for her first goal of the season.Syracuse (15-11-2, 6-6-2 College Hockey America) defeated St. Lawrence (9-15-3, 8-5-3) 3-0 at the OnCenter Complex, and it was a night that Johnson won’t soon forget.“[St. Lawrence] messed up their break out and couldn’t get to the puck before I did,” Johnson said. “It all happened so fast, it’s almost a blur to me.“I do know I was lucky, though.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith just two and a half minutes left for St. Lawrence to make up a two-goal deficit, they opted for an extra offensive player and pulled goalie Mikaela Thompson. Johnson was opportunistic once again, and got the puck in front of the open net to collect her second goal of the game, and the season.Despite netting two goals, Johnson wasn’t inclined to believe this was the best game her or her teammates could have played.“The team really needed this game to stay positive,” Johnson said. “Myself included, we all picked up the pace a little more in the third (period) and were able to do the things we needed to do to win.”Johnson has played 116 games in her four years in the program, and she doubled her career goal total from two to four on Tuesday night.All 116 of those games have come under the guidance of head coach Paul Flanagan, who has seen her grow immensely as a player and person on and off the rink. Flanagan was very vocal regarding the mentorship Johnson has provided to the younger players on the team.“She’s got a good perspective and balance on the game,” Flanagan said. “She prides herself in talking to the younger plays during games and keeps her composure on the bench.”Johnson and junior forward Allie LaCombe have a long history on the ice together, both grew up in Minnesota playing hockey with one another. LaCombe, who’s a year younger than Johnson, has always looked up to Johnson admirably. Both Minnesota natives were able to score Tuesday night, and LaCombe was not shy about her pride for her fellow Minnesotan.“I know it’s her first goal, but she works hard every single game and practice,” LaCombe said. “Sometimes all the hard work doesn’t show up on the score sheet.”Johnson has embraced her role as a senior leader this year, and is highly regarded an instrumental defensive forward for her line. Her experience has allowed her to realize the kind of player she needs to be on the ice for her team, and that job description doesn’t include being a consistent goal scorer.She realizes as her final season winds down, she has had to work harder and play every game as if it would be her last.“The position I’m in now is so much different then when I was a freshman,” Johnson said. “The season’s going to be over sooner than you know it, so you can’t take it for granted.”Her teammates value her perspective on things as an outspoken and occasionally unspoken leader and mentor who maintains a consistent, level-headed approach to the game.“Cara doesn’t ever get too high when things are going well for the team and won’t let it get too low either,” Flanagan said.Johnson has tried to keep a simple mindset for the remainder of the season, and has set out just two goals for herself and the team.“Just win,” she said. “And beat Mercyhurst, too.” Commentslast_img

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