Syracuse women’s ice hockey nabs first win of season, tops RIT 7-1

SU ice hockey tops RIT 7-1

Freshman Sarah Thompson logged her first collegiate goal in the win.
Published: November 27, 2020 | Updated: November 30th, 2020 at 8:07 am
Syracuse Women's Hockey Forward Emma Polaski celebrates after scoring a goal in the first period vs. RIT.
Syracuse Forward Emma Polaski celebrates after scoring a goal in the first period vs. RIT.

In the first game of this weekend’s doubleheader against RIT, the Syracuse women’s ice hockey team secured their first win of the season on Friday, beating the Tigers 7-1.

Syracuse holds the all-time series advantage (21-11-4) against the Tigers and the Orange was quick to prove their worth once again with great offensive pressure early, scoring four first period goals.

The Orange struck first just 2:42 into the first period following two back-to-back penalties for the Tigers. The two-skater advantage for Syracuse allowed for heavy pressure out in front of the RIT net and many players taking quick pokes toward the net paid off when alternate captain Emma Polaski finally got one through. Jessica Digirolamo and Lauren Bellefontaine logged the assists on the power-play goal.

Syracuse took the 2-0 lead after Polaski tapped a quick behind-the-back pass to Abby Moloughny who kept the forward motion with a quick tap over to Bellefontaine in front of the net. The junior forward’s slid the puck into the open right side of the net 6:28 into the first frame for Syracuse’s second tally of the night.

SU had more goals left in them as they tallied back-to-back unassisted goals just under a minute apart late in the first period. Taking the 4-0 lead over RIT heading into the first intermission, senior forward Victoria Klimek grabbed the first goal with 6:13 remaining in the first period and Moloughney followed shortly after with her second point of the game.

RIT struggled offensively in the opening frame, only launching three shots on goal compared to Syracuse’s 14.

Syracuse’s Marielle McHale stickhandles the puck around RIT’s Madison Itagaki.
Syracuse’s Marielle McHale stickhandles the puck around RIT’s Madison Itagaki.

Syracuse opened up the second period with their second power-play goal of the night. Polaski picked up her second of the contest just 4:29 into the middle frame, putting the Orange up 5-0. Mae Batherson grabbed the sole assist on the addition.

With 6:38 left in the second stanza, RIT’s Tori Haywood slid the puck across the front of the net, knocking Syracuse goaltender Allison Small off her feet and allowing Carrissa Hlywa to pick up the rebound for her first collegiate goal and her team’s first of the game. Haywood tallied the primary assist on the 5-1 tally, while Elie Larson grabbed the secondary.

The third period wasn’t much different. Syracuse added back-to-back insurance goals with under four minutes left on the game clock. Freshman forward Sarah Thompson added to Syracuse’s lead with her first career goal and Marielle McHale launched one into the back of a mostly empty net to finish off the game with a 7-1 win over the Tigers.

Following their two losses last weekend, head coach Paul Flanagan was pleased with tonight’s performance.

“It’s good to get a W after last weekend,” said Flanagan. “I thought our kids were pretty energized early.”

As for maintaining that focus heading into Sunday’s contest against RIT, Flanagan said the win tonight really helped but they still need to be prepared.

“Take this W and build on it,” said Flanagan. “Accentuate the positives and just know our opponent is going to be ready on Sunday.”

The Orange is set to face off against the visiting RIT for the second game in their weekend series on Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Tennity Ice Pavilion.

Syracuse's Victoria Kilmek takes a shot open goal around RIT's Ellie Larson.
Syracuse's Victoria Kilmek takes a shot on goal around RIT's Ellie Larson.
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is a magazine, news and online graduate student and sports lead producer for The NewsHouse.