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Syracuse women’s ice hockey wins first CHA championship to earn NCAA Tournament bid

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SU took down top seed Robert Morris, 6-2 to take the title last night.

NCAA Football: Syracuse-Dino Babers Press Conference Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange women’s ice hockey team upset Robert Morris 6-2 in the College Hockey America (CHA) title game on Friday night to take home the conference championship.

It’s the first league title in the program’s history, and as a result, they’ll be headed to their first NCAA Tournament in program history as well.

The team had an all-around great game against top-seeded RMU, breaking out for a four-goal second period to take a commanding 5-1 lead going into the final period, where they coasted to the win.

Allie Olnowich got the scoring started about half way through the first, but the Colonials tied things up shortly before the end of period. Neither team hit the back of the net for the first seven minutes of the second, but then Syracuse’s Kristen Siermachesky broke the tie. Brooke Avery made it 3-1 just three minutes later, and Savannah Rennie established a 4-1 lead just three minutes after that. Lauren Bellefontaine would notch goal No. 5 for the Orange with about two minutes remaining in the period to grab the 5-1 lead.

Following a Robert Morris goal to narrow the lead to 5-2, SU buckled down on defense and killed off the rest of the period without another one allowed. Abby Moloughney added a power play goal with about three minutes left to finalize the big upset.

Goalie Ady Cohen had 26 saves on the game, adding to the impressive CHA Tournament showing where she stopped 55 of 60 shots on goal. The Orange swept the CHA All-Tournament team after the impressive run of three wins in three days over in Buffalo.

Syracuse (13-21-3) came into the CHA Tournament as the No. 3 seed, and needed two upsets to pull off the league title. They beat Lindenwood 4-1 on Wednesday, then 2-seed Mercyhurst 4-3 on Thursday before the resounding 6-2 victory over Robert Morris on Friday.

The win was redemption for the program after years of knocking on the door since its inception in 2008-09. Coach Paul Flanagan had lost the CHA Championship Game six different times in that stretch before coming away with the victory on Friday.

You can check out some women’s ice hockey bracketology here (Syracuse is projected as an eighth seed... out of eight). The official NCAA Tournament bracket will be announced on Sunday.