by Christian De Guzman

Bryan O’Quinn started the Syracuse Silver Knights season in a suit and tie. But 12 games into the season with a 5-7 record, O’Quinn put his gloves back on and returned to the Syracuse net. He made his first appearance of the season on Sunday against the Chicago Mustangs, and there appeared to be no rust on the Syracuse goalkeeper. O’Quinn put on a show for the fans at Dave and Buster’s Field at the War Memorial Arena as he helped lead the Silver Knights to an 11-2 victory over Chicago.

Syracuse started the match on fire, with two quick goals in the span of 24 seconds. Darren Toby was the first Silver Knight on the scoreboard with a goal 9:55 left in the 1st quarter. The Syracuse defender rifled home a shot in the box to make the score 1-0. Not long after the restart, Slavisa Ubiparipovic received a ball in the box from Moises Gonzalez, and fired a shot home. His goal with 9:29 left in the 1st make the score 2-0.

The goals continued for Syracuse in the 2nd quarter. After a slow start, the Silver Knights tacked on three more goals in under six minutes. Jerjer Gibson’s strike put Syracuse up 3-0 with 6:55 left in the quarter. Antonio Manfut then scored from a tight angle on the right-side of the net to give the Silver Knights a 4-0 lead with 5:21 left in the quarter. Finally, Bo Jelovac placed a shot that got by Mustangs keeper Resendiz. The goal from the Silver Knights defender put Syracuse up 5-0 with 1:16 left in the first half.

The power play was Syracuse’s friend in the 3rd quarter. Both Silver Knights goals in the quarter came with an extra man on the field for Ryan Hall’s squad. Slavisa Ubiparipovic and Kenardo Forbes were the beneficiaries of the extra attacker, as their goals in the third quarter gave Syracuse a 7-0 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Syracuse continued to apply pressure to the Mustangs, and goals kept coming for the Silver Knights. Joey Tavernese added to his team leading goal count with his 21st of the season. Nate Bourdeau also scored two goals within 32 seconds of each other, and Zachary MacNabb finished the scoring for Syracuse with his first goal of the season.

Chicago would finally break the clean sheet for Syracuse with 5:55 left in the fourth quarter. Juan De La Cruz found the back of the net for the first Mustangs goal. Ephraim Beard would be credited with Chicago’s second and final goal after his shot deflected off a Syracuse defender.

But it would be too little, too late, as O’Quinn and the Syracuse defenders shut down a Mustangs attack that fired 31 shots in Sunday’s contest. O’Quinn made 17 saves, which is tied for second this season for saves made by a Syracuse goalie in a single game. Andrew Coughlin saved 18 shots against the Milwaukee Wave on December 17th and stopped 17 shots against the Harrisburg Heat on December 10th. The two goals O’Quinn allowed is also tied for a season low. Coughlin held the Heat to two goals in the season opener for Syracuse.

The offense also tied a season high with 11 goals scored. Previously, the Silver Knights scored 11 against the Heat on January 6th. With the victory, Syracuse starts a winning streak for the first time this season, showing that the decisions to add O’Quinn to the roster and Ryan Hall to Head Coach are paying off for General Manager Tommy Tanner.