Orange fly past No. 3/4 Eagles in ACC ice hockey

Syracuse scored four goals and held Boston College to one goal in a big ACC upset.

Senior goaltender Kallie Billadeau called it the biggest win in team history.

While that may or may not be true, there’s no doubt Syracuse (3-4) certainly made a statement against a national powerhouse Friday night.

Sparked by 43 saves from Billadeau and goals from four different skaters, the Orange surged past No. 3 Boston College (5-2), 4-1, in front of 258 fans at Tennity Ice Pavilion.

“We really haven’t had a ton of signature wins, or very few I guess, but it ranks right up there,” head coach Paul Flanagan said. “We need good memories early in the year to carry us through the middle part of the year, and hopefully into the playoffs.”

Only 2:44 into the contest, center Jessica Sibley took a pass from Danielle Leslie and eluded two defenders below the left faceoff circle en route to her third goal of the season.

But even with an early 1-0 lead, the Orange had little time to get complacent.

The Eagles applied plenty of pressure in its offensive zone, drawing three minor penalties by Syracuse in the first frame. However, Flanagan’s penalty killers clogged all shooting lanes in front of the net and preserved the one-goal advantage.

“Every time there’s a blocked shot on the penalty kill, it just pushes the team up,” forward Julie Knerr said. “We needed those. It might have saved the game.”

In total, the Orange shut down eight Boston College power-play opportunities. Billadeau certainly came up big, but she received a lot of help from her teammates as well.

“There’s a big focus on sacrificing the body and blocking shots,” Billadeau said. “It’s pretty great what these girls do. I mean, they’re throwing themselves in front of 80-mph shots.”

They were even doing it on offense.

In the midst of a power-play opportunity, Kaillie Goodnough ripped a slap shot from just inside the Eagles’ blue line. The puck deflected off the stick of a well-positioned Allie LaCombe and into the cage to give Syracuse a 2-0 advantage early in the second period.

Margot Scharfe later added an insurance tally to increase the lead to three.

Meanwhile, the Orange defense continued to cause havoc in its own zone, limiting Boston College to only 10 shots on goal. The Eagles had a golden opportunity on a breakaway with the clock running down in that middle frame, but Knerr dove to the ice to knock the puck away.

Although she was called for a hooking penalty, Knerr probably saved a goal. It was just one example of Syracuse’s ability to recover from mental mistakes.

“Sometimes you make a bad one, but like today we always have our teammates’ back after one that maybe screwed up,” Knerr said. “When we play all together like that, that’s how we come out with a W,”

Midway through the third period, Kate Leary poked home her own rebound to put the Eagles on the board.

However, that would be the only goal allowed by Billadeau. The senior stopped 43 shots, which would be nerve-wracking for most goaltenders.

But not Billadeau.

“I like it. It keeps me busy, keeps me in the game,” she said.

Sadie St. Germain provided the final dagger with her second goal of the season.

The Orange returns home Nov. 22 for a clash with Robert Morris.

“If we can replicate that effort," coach Flanagan said, "we’re gonna win a lot of hockey games.”

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