Sister act

Stefanie Marty and her sister Julia face off as the SU women's hockey team tied Northeastern in its home opener.

In the stands of the Tennity Ice Pavilion stood the Marty family wearing orange and blue, holding a stuffed gray wolf. The entire game, the family cheered in thick Swiss accents.

Normally, a family rooting for both teams at an ice hockey game would be an unusual sighting. Except for the fact that the Syracuse women’s ice hockey team was playing the Northeastern Huskies.

Photo: David Trotman-Wilkins
SU forward Lisa Mullan battles a Huskie defender for the puck during Friday's first period of play.

The family had good reason to cheer for both teams. Stefanie Marty plays for Syracuse and her twin sister, Julia, plays for Northeastern.

Stefanie Marty shined bright with her family in the stands and her sister across the ice. She notched two goals and one assist in Syracuse’s 4-4 opening night tie Friday night.

“It’s funny because her sister is on the other team,” SU junior forward Megan Skelly said. “She’s her twin so you notice her. It was a little bit weird.”

The Orange used any opening night jitters to their advantage in the first period. The team came out with energy and dominated play for the first period. Marty put Syracuse on the board 11 minutes into the game, converting on a pass from behind the net by Skelly. Skelly would add a goal of her own three minutes later.

Marty factored into three of Syracuse’s four goals and was a plus-3 rating for the night.

“The fact that her mom and dad were here to watch the twins play, it probably was a little more special for her,”  SU coach Paul Flanagan said.

Flanagan said Marty is consistent in her performance on the ice.

"Every single night she’s there," he said. “I thought she deserved even a couple more [goals,] she played so well.”

While the Orange started the game strong, Northeastern countered with aggressive play of its own in the second and third periods. With Syracuse leading 3-2, the Huskies scored thee unanswered goals. 

“We did have them on their heels; we had opening night energy out there,” Flanagan said. “It was a combination of us stepping back a little bit and they picked it up.”

Down a goal with just over six minutes remaining, Syracuse caught a break when the Huskies got into penalty trouble. Two subsequent penalties put the Orange on a 5-on-3 power play for 1:16.

Isabel Menard fired a rocket from the point past Northeastern goaltender Florence Schelling at the 5:20 mark of the third period, tying the game 4-4. Stefanie Marty and Megan Skelly assisted on the goal.

Skelly scored a goal and two assists in the game. 

Marty, a native of Switzerland, had even more reason to feel at home playing against Northeastern. The Huskies’ goalie, Florence Schelling, and Stefanie Marty have played together for several years on the Swiss national team.

The Orange outshot Northeastern by a 45-20 margin for the game and 29-13 in the final two periods.

Flanagan has a large selection of players to choose from this season, and consequently he continues to tinker with lineups and line combinations. The coaching staff decided to go with a young roster for opening night, starting eight freshmen. Friday night’s roster was not set until the night before. 

The most significant starting freshman was goaltender Jenesica Drinkwater. Drinkwater was strong at the net, making several key saves off Northeastern breakaways and plays where Syracuse gave the puck away in the defensive zone.

“I was a little nervous at first, but it was definitely an awesome experience,” Drinkwater said. “It was pretty exciting to get the start.”

Flanagan was also impressed with freshman defender Christina LaCombe. The Minnesota native played a regular shift, including seeing significant time on special teams, and finished the night with a plus-2 rating.  

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