A Weekend to Remember for Syracuse Women’s Ice Hockey

Wednesday, Feb 14, 2024 at 12:10 pm by Sports Editor

By: Gino Antimarino | @ginoantimarino

Game 1:

Syracuse women’s ice hockey (7-22-3, 4-12-2 CHA) battled RIT (13-16-2, 7-11-0 CHA) in a home-and-home series this past weekend. The Orange had a chance to collect some much-needed points in the conference as they sat on the outside looking in for the playoffs. But points are exactly what SU lacked in game one of the series, as it fell 1-0 to RIT in Rochester. Despite the low-scoring affair, Syracuse played some pretty stellar defense, recording 24 blocked shots. SU goaltender, Allie Kelley, made 26 saves on the day, as well, to keep the Orange in it. All in all, the defeat marked the seventh time the Orange have been shut out in a game this season. However, there was still another game for Syracuse to recollect itself and make some progress in the CHA standings… 

Game 2:

The second matchup of the series did not take place at SU’s traditional home, but rather, the Crunch’s. Saturday was the first time the Orange played at Upstate Medical University Arena since 2019, when SU lost 4-3 in overtime to St. Lawrence. Syracuse defender, Rachel Teslak, played in that game, but… not for the team in orange and blue.

“Yeah obviously a very special game,” Teslak explained the emotion behind playing at Upstate for Syracuse this time around. “It’s always fun to have that crossover year-to-year and I love being an Orange so it’s awesome.”

What else was awesome for SU-faithful was getting the win, 3-0. Syracuse basically told RIT, “Anything you can do, I can do better.” But on a serious note, the Orange hit several milestones in the game including forward Charlotte Hallett recording her first goal and first game-winning goal of the season.

“Our team was just getting to work in the offensive zone like forechecking and keeping the puck alive and getting changes,” Hallett said. “I got on the ice and Nea (Tervonen) was out there and the puck just popped right out to me and I had like an hour-and-a-half to basically walk in and take the shot. Luckily, it just went in. It felt really good, though.”

Head Coach for the Orange, Britni Smith, talked about how dynamic Hallett has been in the couple of years that she’s been at ‘Cuse. 

“Charlotte (Hallett) is someone who’s gone from D (defense) to forward for us and been ready to take on whatever role we’ve asked for her,” Smith explained. “The bench and her teammates were excited for her, for sure.”

The win also marked the second blank sheet of the year for goalie Allie Kelley. In her 100th career game, the grad student made 33 saves and recorded her 11th shutout in her career. 

“When we had a timeout with about a minute-and-13 left, the conversation was to do anything to keep the puck out of the net. At that point, we were playing for AK and I think what she’s given us all year, it was nice to be able to get that.”

Forward Darci Johal scored an empty netter at the end of regulation to practically put the game away. The tally gives her 13 goals on the season, 22 points, and 50 career points. 

“All in all, it’s the team that allows for these individual accomplishments to happen,” Coach Smith said. 

The next series for Syracuse comes against Mercyhurst for the last couple of games of the season. The Orange welcome the Lakers on Friday at 6, followed by the game on Saturday at 3.