The Syracuse Orange women’s ice hockey squad will look for the program’s 1st NCAA bid when they begin College Hockey America tournament play on Friday in Buffalo. The winner of the CHA Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament so the Orange will have the opportunity to win their way in. Syracuse finished 2nd in the CHA regular season standings with a 14-4-2 league record. Robert Morris won the regular season title and will be the #1 seed. These two squads get a bye in the CHA Tournament and will open play on Friday with their opponents still to be determined. Robert Morris will face the lowest-remaining seed from Thursday’s opening round with Syracuse facing the other 1st-round winner.
Syracuse has made it to five CHA Championship games in program history. The last two seasons ended in heartbreak as the Orange suffered OT losses in the championship game (RIT in 2015 and Mercyhurst last year). This year Syracuse is hoping to break through and earn that first CHA title and NCAA berth.
The team is led on offense by Stephanie Grossi who has tallied 14 goals and 14 assists in 32 games and Emily Costales who has 9 goals and 16 assists this season. The real strength of the Orange has been the play of goalie Abbey Miller. Miller has started 29 games and posted a CHA-leading 1.61 goals against average on the season. She’s been even stronger in conference play with a GAA of 1.23 and a save percentage of .931. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if Syracuse is going to win, it’s going to require stellar play in net from Miller.
Syracuse will play at 7 pm on Friday night. If they win, the championship game is Saturday. Follow all the action at the team’s Twitter account and check out the below video to see the team in action earlier this month.
Good Luck, Orange!