Leschyshyn hat trick pushes ice hockey past LIU in 5-0 win

SU soars over LIU, grabs 5-0 win

Syracuse swept the two-game weekend series against the visiting Sharks thanks to five goals from Anna Leschyshyn.
Published: February 20, 2021 | Updated: February 22nd, 2021 at 12:20 pm
Anna Leschyshyn score three goals between two periods during a Syracuse 5-0 win over LIU on Feb. 20, 2021.
Anna Leschyshyn score three goals between two periods during a Syracuse 5-0 win over LIU on Feb. 20, 2021.

Game two of the Syracuse women’s ice hockey weekend series against the Long Island University Sharks saw a 5-0 win by the Orange on Saturday.

Returning to Syracuse but this time behind the bench for LIU is assistant coach Nicole Renault, who played for the Orange from 2012-13 through 2015-16 and is the career record holder for points by a defenseman after recording 76 points in 145 career games with SU.

Amelia Van Vliet was back in the net for the Orange after having a stellar game Friday night, only allowing two goals in her 60 minutes.

Rayla Clemons started off the contest for the Orange in the faceoff circle. Syracuse lost the faceoff and LIU brought the puck down, getting a shot off right away but Van Vliet had no trouble putting a stop to their offensive pressure in the first few seconds of the first period.

Syracuse’s first opportunity to put up points ended in an icing call so back down to the other end both teams went. Kristen Siermachesky was finally able to clear the puck and allow for line changes from both teams.

LIU came out strong from the get-go and Syracuse had some trouble getting a handle on the puck early in the first. A turnover from the Sharks in their end gave Tatum White a perfect opportunity to get a shot off but Kenzie Harmison was ready and waiting to stop her attempt.

Marielle McHale stole the puck back from LIU shortly after and shoveled a pass over to Madison Beishuizen who tried to quickly pop it back over to McHale who saw a hole to the left of Harmison’s pads but could not connect soon enough before Harmison covered up her net.

LIU’s Megan Roe was sent to the box for a hitting from behind call and opened up more chances for Syracuse. Jessica DiGirolamo was able to get a solid shot off that was stopped up high by Harmison and Mae Batherson launched one toward the net that Victoria Klimek was ready for and tried to push in, but it would not go.

Lauren Bellefontaine was finally able to break through for the Orange and tallied her fifth goal of the season, shorthanded. Bellefontaine saw her opportunity from out by the blue line and sent one in that Harmison struggled to see through the traffic in front of her and the puck hit the post as it slid right into the back of the net. Batherson and DiGirolamo logged the helpers on the play.

Right after Bellefontaine’s addition to Syracuse’s scoreboard, the junior forward was awarded with a penalty and all of a sudden it was the Orange’s turn to fight off a penalty.

LIU thought they had their first point in the bag when Megan Bouver raced down the ice on a breakaway but Van Vliet pushed away the shot and both teams landed players in the box following the play, Matilda Af Bjur went for interference and trailing shortly behind her was Hannah Johnson for slashing.

After both teams killed their respective penalties, the Sharks’ Carrigan Umpherville landed herself in the penalty box on a checking call with just over three minutes to go in the opening period. Abby Moloughney had multiple chances in front of the net on the one-player advantage but couldn’t poke the puck through on any of them.

Johnson then stepped up to the plate and launched one of her own from back in front of the blue line, but it was deflected high and wide. Even after the LIU penalty was released, Syracuse kept up the strong pressure on Harmison and the Sharks defense for the remainder of the first frame. The Orange went into the locker room up one over LIU.

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Abby Moloughney (13) sends a shot toward goalie Kenzie Harmison in the first period of a game against LIU on Feb. 19, 2021.

The second period began with White winning the faceoff for Syracuse, but the game’s penalty count kept ticking upwards as LIU’s Paula Bergstrom sat two for interference. Similar to how the first period ended, LIU killed the penalty successfully but Cuse remained offensively dominant in the Sharks zone for almost a minute after the release of Bergstrom from the box.

With Syracuse back on the power play following yet another interference call, this time on LIU’s Delaney Bonifacio, a round of tic-tac-toe play ended with DiGirolamo whipping a shot toward Harmison to no avail. But the Orange did not let up after the final seconds of the penalty. Anna Leschyshyn continued her success from yesterday and sunk her third goal in two games, putting Syracuse up two goals over the Sharks. McHale registered the primary assist while Johnson logged the secondary.

The penalties continued to be called as Syracuse took their turn sitting in the box for two after White was sent for an illegal body check with under eight to go in the second stanza. LIU was active in the Syracuse zone on their one-player advantage, but the Orange kept the puck away from the net long enough to let the penalty expire.

Back to even strength, Cuse’s offensive drive was present again and after a shot from out far by White, a tumbling Leschyshyn in front of the net tapped it up over the pad of Harmison and just like that, Syracuse added to their lead, 3-0. The goal lifted Leschyshyn to back-to-back two-goal games after grabbing her first goal of the season last weekend in Syracuse’s three-game series against Lindenwood.

Leschyshyn’s goals ended the period and the Orange took their three-goal lead with them into the second intermission.

LIU had 20 more minutes to make up their three-goal deficit and they started off strong, registering the first shot on goal of the third period. However, unlike the second period, both teams managed to stay out of the penalty box for the first six and a half minutes of the final frame.

Bonafacio roughed a player right in front of the net and the referee, so she served her two minutes in the box and Syracuse showed off their power play skills once again. Syracuse was unable to produce much during the one-player advantage, Leschyshyn does best in the seconds following a return to even strength and sunk a top shelf rocket past Harmison for her third of the game and lifted the Orange to a four-goal lead. Johnson and McHale tallied the assists on the hat trick goal.

Cuse was not done scoring yet as Moloughney wanted a piece of the pie, adding her sixth goal of the season with just over eight and a half minutes to go in the contest. Bellefontaine and Siermachesky put themselves on the board as well with their assists on the play.

As the game clock wound down, Syracuse spent most of the remaining time in the LIU zone trying to add to their 5-0 lead. A much calmer period in terms of penalty minutes for both teams, the Orange were just too much for the Sharks and they took home the series sweep, topping LIU 5-0.

Van Vliet turned away 18 shots on goal to secure her first career shutout, and the second of the season for the Orange. On the opposite end of the ice, Syracuse sent 42 shots towards the LIU net in a game that the Orange dominated.

Syracuse returns to Tennity on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 6:00 p.m. for their final home game of the season. Tuesday’s game against RIT will also act as Senior Night to honor the Orange’s five graduates: forwards Emma Polaski and Victoria Klimek, defensemen Kristen Siermachesky and Jessica DiGirolamo, and goaltender Allison Small.

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is a magazine, news and online graduate student and sports lead producer for The NewsHouse.