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Domenico uses experience playing under Flanagan to help Syracuse on ice, in recruiting

first_imgAlison Domenico was shocked when Paul Flanagan left St. Lawrence to become the first-ever women’s ice hockey coach at Syracuse in 2008.After her first three seasons playing forward for Flanagan, two of which included Frozen Four appearances, she couldn’t believe he was leaving. Flanagan brought her to St. Lawrence to play college hockey and became her role model, and he wouldn’t be around for her senior season. “I had come to love him and I loved playing for him,” Domenico said. “I didn’t understand it at all. (St. Lawrence) had been so good with him at the helm.”Since, Domenico has graduated from St. Lawrence, moved into coaching and is reunited with Flanagan in her fourth season as an assistant coach for Syracuse (3-4-5, 2-1-1 College Hockey America). With an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament going to the CHA winner for the first time this season, the pair will try to recreate the success they enjoyed at St. Lawrence and propel SU into the national tournament for the first time in program history.After achieving success under Flanagan, Domenico will try to utilize her experience in coaching and recruiting to help the program do so. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I knew her as a player and as a person but you don’t know how someone will be (as a coach) until you work with someone,” Flanagan said. “Finding someone like Ally who’s so committed is rare, which is a big part of why I brought her on board. She’s all in.”Domenico worked as an assistant coach under fellow SU assistant coach Brendon Knight at Hamilton College for a season after graduating. The next season she coached at Ohio State University before rejoining the coach who taught her college hockey.Her roles as assistant coach for Syracuse include coaching the defense on gameday, but it’s typical to see her running shooting drills on the ice before practice starts and getting in extra work in with the team’s forwards.Domenico is only six years removed from playing and is very much in-tune with the way women’s ice hockey players operate, on and off the ice, Flanagan said. X’s and O’s aside, Flanagan said that her recent experience is something that makes her a valuable asset to the program. “It’s really nice she’s a woman coach who’s close to us in age,” SU defender Nicole Renault said. “All the girls on the team feel like we can talk to her.”Domenico said that Flanagan was more than just a coach for her with the Saints. Now, she hopes be a role-model for the SU players while teaching them the nuances of the collegiate game.Her age, gender and experience playing for Flanagan also helps the Orange in recruiting. Domenico is often on the road recruiting, even missing games at times, and Knight and her split the recruiting tasks. Both assistant coaches email and call recruits, tour players around campus, watch lots of high school hockey and visit recruits’ homes.This year-round responsibly of bringing high-quality talent into Syracuse from Vancouver to the east coast is what Domenico said she really enjoys because it means being around the game she loves. “She did anything as a player to help her team be successful,” Flanagan said. “Now, she’s doing the same thing as a coach.” Comments Published on November 12, 2014 at 12:10 am Contact Liam: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more