Women’s Ice Hockey Defeats Providence 2-1
By Sam Rothman
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse women’s ice hockey broke through Friday, notching its first win of the season as it defeated Providence 2-1. The Orange struggled to come out on top in its previous four matchups, but its strong offensive play early in the game ultimately led to the win over the Friars.
Head coach Paul Flanagan said his team’s solid start was one it had been striving for all season.
“We came out with a lot of energy, created a lot of real good chances, and had them back on their heels,” Flanagan said. “That’s exactly what we wanted to do.”
Syracuse dominated the first ten minutes of the game. It still was not able to put one past Providence goaltender Madison Myers. The Friars gained momentum from Myers’ strong play in net, firing great chances on SU goalie Abbey Miller, who then responded with great saves.
SU took its first penalty of the game as Kristen Siermachesky was called for interference. Frustration set in after Syracuse had controlled the game, but was not able to convert its chances into goals.
The Orange killed the Friars penalty and it became a game of wide open hockey as both teams traded chances. The goaltenders continued to deny each offense chances to pull ahead.
It looked as though the first period would end in a scoreless tie, but Syracuse’s hard work in the offensive zone finally paid off less than 30 seconds before the half. Kelli Rowswell was patient with the puck and found an open corner to put her team up 1-0, Syracuse’s first lead in a game all season.
Rowswell said it felt really good to get the first goal and that the team was confident going into the second period.
However, SU had trouble carrying the momentum through the rest of the game. The Orange outshot the Friars 15-7 in the first period, but with 5 minutes left in the second period, shots were even as Providence crawled its way back into the game.
Miller carried her team through Providence’s shot surge in the second period. Her strong play in net gave Syracuse confidence despite being outplayed.
“My role is to give my team the best opportunity to win,” said Miller. “Making big saves gives my team momentum to go score.”
Flanagan said he felt his team stole the second period from the Friars. Syracuse survived Providence’s offensive pressure, and even scored a goal. Brooke Avery put in Rowswell’s rebound to take a 2-0 lead with 3 minutes left in the second period.
SU was called for a cross-checking penalty six minutes into the third period. Providence capitalized on this power play opportunity. Blair Parent scored a goal right off the faceoff, bringing her team within one.
The win wasn’t smooth skating for SU. After Providence cut into Syracuse’s lead, it became a Friars shooting spree. The team took shot after shot, and Miller denied each one, keeping her team in the game as Providence pushed to find that tying goal.
“In the third period Providence dominated us,” said Flanagan. “They outworked us. They did everything they needed to do–except score that second goal.”
Providence wasn’t able to tie the game thanks to Miller. She recorded 31 saves in the matchup, marking her fifth consecutive game this season with more than 30 saves.
With the win, the Orange improves to a 1-3-1 record on the season. Syracuse looks to build momentum off this win and carry it into its rematch with Providence on Saturday. Puck drop is at 3 p.m. at Tennity Ice Pavilion.