WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Only two Syracuse teams have won their first 20 games, and C.J. Fair has been a member of both. This current one, he says, is "a hard-fought 20-game winning streak." Not much came easy during the Oranges latest victory. No. 2 Syracuse matched the best start in program history Wednesday night, pulling away to beat Wake Forest 67-57 behind a strong second half from freshman Tyler Ennis. Ennis scored 16 of his 18 points after halftime and Fair finished with 16 points for the Orange (20-0, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), while Trevor Cooney scored all eight of his in the final 1:45. Syracuse remained one of three unbeaten teams in Division I with No. 1 Arizona, which beat Stanford 60-57 on Wednesday, and No. 4 Wichita State. The Orange pulled away late while sidestepping a possible trap with a visit from No. 17 Duke coming up this weekend, and joined the 2011-12 group as the only Orange teams to start 20-0. "Weve got a long stretch ahead of us," Fair said. In their first visit to Tobacco Road as ACC members, they had to work for it against a Wake Forest team that had been perfect at home and tough on visitors in the top five. "It was just one of those games youre just trying to struggle through defensively, and we did just a good enough job defensively to be able to get the win," coach Jim Boeheim said. "You have to find a way to win these games, and this team has been able to do that." Travis McKie scored 12 points for the Demon Deacons (14-7, 4-4), and his free throw with 4:10 left pulled them to 54-49. But while Wake Forest came up empty on its next two trips down court, Cooney caught fire. "We needed one of those timely 3s to go in," McKie said. "If we just wouldve got three more of those 3s to go in, wed be looking at a different outcome." The guard buried a fall-away jumper that he called "the toughest shot I had all day." He followed that with two free throws to give Syracuse its first double-figure lead and streaked down court for an open-court dunk after a steal by Fair to put the Orange up 62-50 with 1:19 left. "I heard C.J. say, Shoot it," Cooney said. "And no one needs to tell me to shoot it." By then, they could look ahead to hosting the Blue Devils at the Carrier Dome in one of the seasons most widely anticipated matchups. Devin Thomas scored 12 points for Wake Forest, which had won 13 straight at Joel Coliseum and had won three straight home games against top-five teams -- a run that included a rout of then-No. 2 Miami last season. Just about all of the Demon Deacons key stats suggested they would be blown out: They shot 34 per cent, were outrebounded 55-35, made just three of their 20 3-point attempts and were 18 of 30 from the free throw line. "Theyre long and athletic, so their zone is definitely a force to be reckoned with," McKie said. "We had great looks. We just didnt knock it down." But some of the Oranges numbers were equally poor -- they shot 36 per cent and were 22 of 33 from the free throw line -- and that allowed Wake Forest to stay within striking distance for much of the game. "For the most part, we did a good job on their shooters, and when they got an open look, they just didnt make it," Boeheim said. "Same as us." Joel Coliseum was buzzing when Wake Forest turned an eight-point deficit into a one-possession game in the span of a few seconds midway through the second half. Robert Morris transfer Coron Williams swished a 3-pointer before Madison Jones swiped the ball from Cooney and hit a quick layup to make it 40-37 with 12 1/2 minutes left. Ennis, who was 0 for 6 from the field in the first half, followed by reeling off eight points -- all on drives down or across the lane -- in about 4 minutes to give the Orange a bit of breathing room. His finger roll helped Syracuse match its largest lead to that point, 48-40, with about 8 1/2 minutes left. Jerami Grant finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Orange. Wholesale Jerseys China
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. The Montreal Canadiens goaltender has won three of his four games since returning from a lower-body injury that kept him out from the end of the Olympic break until March 15.SAN JOSE, Calif. - Captain Joe Thornton set the tone by dishing out hits almost every chance he got. The rest of his San Jose teammates followed his lead as the Sharks wanted to send a message to the Los Angeles Kings in case these California rivals meet again with much more on the line in a few weeks. Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture scored second-period goals and the Sharks clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs by beating the Kings 2-1 on Thursday night in a possible playoff preview. "I wanted to hit something tonight, thats all. That was the game plan," Thornton said. "Were starting to ramp up our game a little bit. That was just the case tonight. We might see these guys in 12 days or so, so just play hard and see what happens." Thornton matched his career-high with six hits and also nearly got into a fight with Slava Voynov in the second period as part of a physical game between two teams that have serious animosity toward each other. San Jose had a franchise-record 52 hits in all, including 10 by Tommy Wingels, as the Sharks didnt back down a bit against the powerful Kings. "I liked fact that we stood our ground and battled hard," coach Todd McLellan said. "The physical battles, theyre known to win a lot of those. We were in them for the most part." Antti Niemi made 26 saves and the Sharks overcame a first-period deficit to move within a point of Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division. The Ducks still have two games in hand and the inside track on the top spot. Jordan Nolan scored the lone goal for the Kings, who had their eight-game road losing streak snapped by their first loss away from home since Jan. 28 in Phoenix. Martin Jones made 19 saves as starter Jonathan Quick got rest a night after shutting out the Coyotes to clinch a playoff berth. The Kings are locked into third place in the division after the loss and will play the Sharks in the first round unless San Jose passes Anaheim in the standings. "We play similar styles, its in-your-face hockey and if we do play them in playoffs it would be fun to watch," Nolan said. Of more immediate concern was an upper-body injury that knocked star defencemann Drew Doughty out midway through the first period.dddddddddddd Doughty appeared to hurt his left shoulder while checking Tyler Kennedy. There was no word on the extent of Doughtys injury. "Anytime you lose a D-man especially one of his calibre its a big hole," defenceman Jake Muzzin said. "I thought we did well trying to replace him." These teams have met in two of the past three postseasons with San Jose winning a first-round series in six games in 2011 and Los Angeles winning a seven-game, second-round series last spring. The home team has won 16 of the past 17 games in this series, including all seven in last years playoffs. The Kings were the only road team to break through in that stretch with a 1-0 win on Jan. 27. The Sharks took over the play in the second period, scoring twice to take a 2-1 lead. The first goal came just 4 seconds after Kings forward Dustin Brown was sent off for roughing Andrew Desjardins. Thornton won the ensuing faceoff from Jarret Stoll and the puck got back to the point to Brent Burns, whose shot deflected off Pavelski to tie the game. San Jose went ahead a few minutes later when Jones couldnt control a shot by Tommy Wingels and Couture scored his 21st goal on a wraparound. "Thats probably the best weve played in a while, the most physical weve played in a while," Couture said. "Theyre a good team over there, but I felt tonight we were more physical. We played pretty well." The Kings threatened but couldnt tie it in the third as Niemi stopped Anze Kopitar in the final minute to seal it. The Kings got on top early on a double deflection as Alec Martinezs point shot deflected off Jaret Stoll and then Nolan before it beat Niemi less than 4 minutes into the game. The Sharks didnt test Jones much early as most of the opening period was played in San Joses end. Their best chance came when Marty Havlat shot wide on a breakaway. NOTES: Martinez has 15 points in his past 17 games. ... Kings F Dwight King was sideline by an undisclosed injury and D Matt Greene played his 500th game as Willie Mitchell got the night off. ... The Sharks dressed D Scott Hannan in place of Matt Irwin. ' ' '