STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut women's ice hockey team defeated Syracuse in its home opener at the Freitas Ice Forum Friday night, 4-2. With the win, the Huskies improved to 2-5-1 overall, while the Orange dropped to 3-4-0.
UConn got the scoring started midway through the first period immediately following its first power play opportunity of the night. As Syracuse freshman Nicole Renault exited the penalty box, senior Kelly Horan (Methuen, Mass.) found the back of the net for her first goal of the season. Junior Stephanie Raithby (London, Ont.) and sophomore Kayla Campero (Wallingford, Conn.) assisted on the goal.
The Huskies quickly added to their lead just 37 seconds into the second period. Raithby had a shot from the right of the net saved, but followed up with a second that crossed the goal-line to extend Connecticut's lead to 2-0.
At the 5:34 mark, the Orange cut the lead in half on an unassisted goal by senior Jacquie Greco. Syracuse later tied the score at 2-2 midway through the second when sophomore Shiann Darkangelo knocked a loose puck in front of the net into the goal. Freshman Melissa Piacentini and Renault were each credited with assists on the goal.
The game remained tied until the 11:01 mark of the third when UConn's leading scorer freshman Michela Cava (Thunder Bay, Ont.) netter her team-leading fifth goal of the season. Campero got the play started as she flipped the puck through a pair of Orange defenders to freshman Brittany Berisoff (Kelowna, B.C.). Berisoff skated around to the back of the net and slipped the puck in front for Cava to poke into the net.
The Huskies added an empty-net goal with just over a minute left to play as sophomore Rachel Farrel (Cheshire, Conn.) fired home her fourth of the year, from beyond the center-line.
Junior goaltender Sarah Moses (New Hamburg, Ont.) made 38 saves in the win for Connecticut, while sophomore Kallie Billadeau stopped 19 shots as Syracuse outshot the Huskies, 40-23.
The two teams return to the ice tomorrow for a 3:00 pm re-match.