Johal’s Two Goals Powers Syracuse to First CHA Win
By Andrew Della Piana | @dellie_5
HENRIETTA, N.Y. – On October 14th, the Orange defeated the Engineers of RPI to capture their third win of the 2023-24 campaign. Little did it know, but Syracuse women’s ice hockey (4-13-2, 1-6-1 CHA) would have to wait 49 days for their fourth victory after defeating RIT (8-7-2, 4-4 CHA) 3-1 to split the home-and-home weekend series. SU also earns its first CHA triumph since January 25th over the same RIT squad.
Both teams had great chances in the opening period, but Darci Johal took over in the final four minutes of the stanza. The Orange took a 1-0 lead as the Holy Cross transfer strided across the blue line and found the top right corner. Less than two minutes later, the graduate student redirected Tatum White’s shot past the five-hole to give Syracuse a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
As the second period began, SU was off to another fast start. Four minutes into the frame, Kate Holmes created a turnover in the RIT zone and found Sarah Thompson who tapped in the open net. With a three-goal advantage, the Orange began to focus on maintaining the lead and playing more conservatively on offense.
The third period was narrated by penalties and a noticeable change in Britni Smith’s game plan as RIT increased its pressure on Allie Kelley. At the 5:32 mark of the final frame, Mia Tsilemos scored her first collegiate goal with a wrist shot into the top corner. In the end, the ‘Cuse hung on thanks to Kelley’s 27 saves on 28 shots, one of her best statistical games of the season.
Syracuse can breathe a sigh of relief, but they have a quick turnaround, hosting No. 4 Colgate on Tuesday in the final game of the 2023 part of the campaign.
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