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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019 at 9:04 pm

Syracuse Women’s Ice Hockey Team Shines in Exhibition Game against Montréal

By Noah Cierzan

CitrusTV Women’s Ice Hockey Beat Reporter

The Syracuse Women’s Ice Hockey team had high expectations coming into this season after making its first NCAA tournament appearance in program history. Those expectations were fully realized as Syracuse cruised to a 4-1 exhibition win over Montréal at the Tennity Ice Pavilion on Sunday.

The Orange returned seven of their nine highest point scorers from last season, along with goalie Ady Cohen, which head coach Paul Flanagan recognized as the source of his team’s confidence in the contest.

Syracuse was hot out of the gates and kept the pressure on the Carrabins all game. SU outshot Montréal 61-25 and dominated in shots on goal with 37 compared to the Carrabins’ 13.

Four different players scored for the Orange with four more tallying points off assists. Sophomore Lauren Bellefontaine and Junior Jessica Digirolamo both led the team with two points.

SU scored its first three goals on power plays, a stark change from last season. The Orange sported an .180 conversion percentage on power plays in 2018, so converting on three of five of their power play opportunities was encouraging for Flanagan.

“Maybe we shouldn’t work on it (anymore),” said Flanagan chuckling.

The Orange defense also put up a strong performance, not allowing Montréal to convert on any of their power play opportunities. Cohen also only faced seven shots in the 30 minutes with backup goalie Allison Small facing just five.

Flanagan led his squad to a record of 13-22-3 last season, but even with that success, this year feels different for him.

“We usually struggle in these early season exhibitions,” said Flanagan.

Syracuse will now have the week to prepare for the beginning of the regular season where they open up the season against No. 3 Clarkson on Friday. The Golden Knights are no push over, but Flanagan knows his team has the confidence to take on out of conference powerhouses.

Friday will be the official start of Syracuse’s journey back to the NCAA tournament.

ncierzan@syr.edu | @ncierzan