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Goaltender Allie Kelley turned in the second-best performance in Syracuse history in Syracuse’s 2-1 overtime loss to Merrimack in the 2023-24 home opener at Tennity Ice Pavilion. Kelley recorded 56 saves, one shy of the Orange record set by Kallie Billadeau against Cornell (57, November 30, 2010). The graduate student’s save total is the most for an Orange netminder since Arielle DeSmet had 54 saves at Penn State on Feb. 5, 2022. Kelley recorded 23 saves in the third period and had 16 each in the first and second frames.

“Allie’s performance was extremely impressive,” said head coach Britni Smith. “We talk about our game being battle and compete, and that is all six on the ice. She did a fantastic job keeping us in that game, giving us an opportunity at the end to put one in and force an overtime. Huge kudos to her.”

Merrimack scored the first goal of the game less than four minutes into the game to take a 1-0 lead that held until Syracuse senior Sarah Thompson evened the score with a power-play goal with just less than 15 minutes remaining in regulation. Graduate student Kate Holmes fired a shot from the blue line that was knocked around in front of the net before Thompson one-timed the loose puck into the back of the net.

“The focus for us was to continue to compete. We never gave up. There was never a time in the game where I felt we were rolling over and allowing them to have that game. That says a lot about our team,” Smith said. “Obviously it did not translate to more shots on net for us or less for Merrimack but for us, that is our takeaway, that we competed for 60 minutes.”

The Syracuse defense recorded 16 blocked shots, including three by freshman Jocelyn Fiala and the Orange were a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

Syracuse and Merrimack will play the series finale on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Tennity. Fans are invited to stay after the game for an autograph session with the team.

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