Sports SUmmary: Women’s ice hockey starts strong but ends in 4-4 tie with Princeton

Sports SUmmary: Women's ice hockey splits a 4-4 tie with Princeton

The Orange led 2-0 early, but the Tigers clawed back to force overtime.
Published: December 10, 2021
Syracuse's Victoria Klimek shields the puck from a diving RIT defender.
Victoria Klimek, pictured here against RIT on Nov. 5, has scored three points in her last two games.

34 seconds. That’s how long it took for the Princeton Tigers to erase a 2-0 Syracuse lead in the second period. That killed momentum for the Orange and turned the game into a tug of war, eventually resulting in a 4-4 tie.

The Tigers had the game’s first three shots and pummeled Syracuse goalie Allison Small all night. In the first period, she turned aside all eight pucks that came her way.

The Orange offense was a little slow to get going, but things changed when it went on the power play. Shannon Griffin was called for slashing at 10:10, and Abby Moloughney scored her seventh goal of the year on the advantage.

Moloughney collected a pass from Sarah Marchand, who was camped behind the back of the net, and tapped it in right in front of the goal for the score.

But Marchand was not done. With under two minutes to go in the period, Rayla Clemons backhanded a shot off Tigers goalie Rachel McQuigge, and Marchand tapped in the rebound to make the score 2-0. Marchand’s fifth goal of the year seemed to put SU in control of the flow.

But momentum changed faster than you could blink. In the second period, the Orange defense went way out of position during a line change, resulting in a 3-on-1 opportunity for the Tigers. Annie Kuehl took a rebound off of Small’s pads and found the back of the net for her third tally of the year.

Just 34 seconds later, Griffin took a pass off the boards and raced up the ice. She then sniped a beautiful wrist shot over Small’s shoulder to tie the game.

From there, the two teams traded blows back and forth. The Orange countered with another power-play goal, this time from Lauren Bellefontaine, who led the team with five shots.

“I think one of the biggest things we’ve worked on all year is just getting pucks on net wherever you are,” Bellefontaine said. “If you have a shot, you need to shoot, because you never know what’s going to go in. We have to get those ugly goals.”

Marchand was once again pacing behind the net when she passed the puck out front. Bellefontaine didn’t get good wood on it, but it trickled past the netminder anyway. Head coach Paul Flanagan had high praise for the freshman’s abilities on the power play.

“She’s just always got her eyes up,” Flanagan said. “She makes those little ‘bang-bang’ plays.”

In the third, Stef Wallace scored her first of the season on a Princeton man-up advantage, which again tied the game.

Shelby Calof gave the Orange the lead once more on yet another power play opportunity. Her first goal was the third time SU scored while up a player; the team finished 3-7 for the night in special teams advantages.

But the Orange couldn’t hold on for the final 10 minutes. Just 25 seconds later, Princeton’s Grace Kuipers scored her first and tied the game up 4-4. Both teams had a few chances later in the period, as well as in the five-minute overtime, but neither could get a game-winner.

The best attempt came when Bellefontaine danced around a defender and passed to Jessica DiGirolamo, whose backhand shot was barely stopped by the Princeton goalie.

“I think we had a great whole 60 plus minutes tonight,” Small said, “so I was really happy with our team.”

The Orange will host Princeton again tomorrow at 2 p.m. for one final chance to get two points before winter break. After the game, fans will have the opportunity to skate with members of the SU hockey team.