Syracuse women’s ice hockey falls short against Mercyhurst, 2-1

Friday, Jan 12, 2024 at 9:13 pm by Sports Editor

By Gino Antimarino | @ginoantimarino


After a relentless effort by the Orange (4-16-2, 1-7-1 CHA) to tie things up in the second and third periods, the Lakers (10-12-1, 6-3-0 CHA) hung on and took game one of the series, 2-1. In a low-scoring affair, the defenses on either side were fantastic. Syracuse goaltender Allie Kelley made 44 saves to keep her squad in the contest. Down on the other end, Mercyhurst netminder Ena Nystrøm made 21 stops.


It was a goaltending battle from the opening puck drop, but the teams in front of both goalies played some shutdown defense, as well. SU did a great job of getting in the shooting lanes with 23 blocked shots. The Orange clogged the slot in their defensive end which forced the Lakers to shoot from outside the dots. This allowed for Kelley to make a substantial amount of routine saves, however, there were several high-scoring chances from Mercyhurst that the grad student had no problems shutting down, including a breakaway in the dying moments of the first period.


The Lakers also played great in their defensive end, blocking 14 of Syracuse’s shots. Mercyhurst goalie Ena Nystrøm has been placed on the HCA watch list for goaltender of the year, and she showed how special she is. Countless grade-A scoring opportunities for the Orange were turned aside in that third period. Nystrøm gave up a goal with about 20 seconds left in the second period, but locked in for the third and turned away every shot she faced, even when SU had a powerplay opportunity and about two minutes with its goalie pulled and an extra skater on the ice. 


The lone Syracuse tally was scored by grad student Darci Johal. The forward notched her sixth goal of the season and broke an eight period scoring drought for her team.


The Orange and the Lakers get set for game two of the weekend series on Saturday. Opening puck drop has been pushed up by an hour to 1 p.m. from Mercyhurst Ice Center in Erie, PA.