SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Annie Belanger made 37 saves to help the UConn women's hockey team to a 2-2 tie at Syracuse on Sunday afternoon at Tennity Ice Pavilion. The draw moves the Huskies to 2-3-2 on the season, while the Orange go to 1-1-4 after tying their fourth consecutive Hockey East opponent.
The Huskies got second period goals from Theresa Knutson (Onalaska, Wis.) and Emily Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn.) to erase an early Orange lead. Belanger (Sherbrooke, Quebec) was excellent in her second career start, helping UConn withstand a 39-19 shot advantage for Syracuse. The Huskies were a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill, also connecting on one of their five power play chances. Jenn Gilligan made 17 saves for Syracuse.
The first period was quiet, with neither team generating much quality looks. Belanger was sharp to turn aside 11 shots in the frame, helping to send the contest to the first intermission with no score.
Syracuse got the scoring started less than one minute into the second stanza, when Emily Costales recorded her first career goal at the 0:52 mark to give the Orange a 1-0 lead.
The Huskies worked back to tie 10 minutes later, capitalizing on a 4-on-4 situation with a goal at 10:57 of the second. Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick) played the puck to Knutson with space, and the freshman winger swooped in goal for a backhand attempt that was saved. Not to be denied, Knutson kept working and buried her own rebound to tie the contest at 1-1.
UConn struck again at the 16:55 mark of the second period, scoring on the power play. Caitlin Hewes (Stillwater, Minn.) sent a pass to Rebecca Fleming (Newton, Mass.) at the point, and Fleming aimed one towards the goalmouth. Snodgrass was there waiting to redirect the pass past Gilligan for her team-high fourth goal of the season and third of the weekend, giving the Huskies a 2-1 lead.
The Huskies killed a Syracuse power play that began 44 seconds into the third period, then vanquished another midway through the closing stanza. The Orange used their timeout with 1:16 remaining in regulation and pulled Gilligan for an extra attacker. With barely one tick left in regulation, Jessica Sibley scored an extra attacker goal to tie the contest at 2-2 and send it to overtime.
MacDonnell had a chance for the Huskies during the extra frame, but her odd-man rush was broken up by the Syracuse defense. Belanger made five more saves during overtime, helping to preserve the 2-2 draw.
Up next, the Huskies conclude a seven-game road swing when they play two at Rensselaer on Oct. 25 and 26. UConn swept a two-game set with RPI in Storrs last season.