Syracuse head coach Britni Smith will guide the Orange in her first game as the Syracuse head coach on Saturday, September 24th at 6th-ranked Colgate (4 pm, ESPN+) in the Class of 1965 Arena. The defending College Hockey America champions have 17 returning letterwinners and eight newcomers on the roster.
Syracuse won its exhibition game last week, beating Union 3-1. Junior Tatum White and seniors Brynn Koocher and Anna Leschyshyn all scored goals. The Orange rotated the three goalies on the roster with graduate student Arielle DeSmet recording four saves in the first period, junior Amelia van Vliet posting nine saves in the second and freshman Arielle Merlino saving 13 shots and allowing one goal. Colgate won its exhibition game on Sunday against St. Lawrence 3-0.
Graduate student Lauren Bellefontaine and senior Mae Batherson are members of the 2022-23 preseason All-College Hockey America Team. Bellefontaine, who earned the 2021-22 CHA Best Defensive Forward award and All-CHA Second Team honors, was 12th nationally in faceoff wins and set the Syracuse single-season record in 2021-22. She recorded 22 points with eight goals and 14 assists and had seven multi-point games. Her 51 career assists ties for 10th in Syracuse history. Batherson, who recorded seven assists in 2021-22, has 10 goals and 30 assists in 88 career games. She played for the 2022 Hockey Canada National Women’s Development Team this past summer in a three-game series against the United States.
Syracuse won the 2022 College Hockey America regular season championship and tournament championship, earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Orange posted a 15-11-6 overall record, including an 11-4-1 mark in the CHA. The regular season begins at Colgate on September 24th.
2021-22 CHA Goaltender of the Year and CHA All-Tournament Team selection Arielle DeSmet returns for 2022-23. DeSmet ranked 12th nationally in save percentage last season. Sophomores Sarah Marchand and Madison Primeau earned CHA-All Rookie Team honors. Junior forward Rayla Clemons finished fifth in nation in short-handed goals in 2021-22. Two Orange players skated internationally this summer. Freshman Rhéa Hicks won the gold medal with Team Canada U18 at the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship. Batherson played in the three-game series for the Canadian National Women’s Development Team against the United States, which the US won 2-1. About Head Coach Britni Smith: At Clarkson, Smith played a vital role in helping Clarkson to a 207-60-26 record, including four 30-win seasons, three ECAC Hockey regular season titles, three conference tournament crowns, seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament, showings in four consecutive Frozen Fours (2016 through 2019) and back-to-back NCAA National Championships (2017 and 2018). She mentored three Patty Kazmaier Award winners, two top-three finalists and four top-10 finalists, in addition to 10 All-Americans and five Olympians. The Port Perry, Ontario native was a Top-10 finalist for the 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as a defenseman at St. Lawrence. As part of the Hockey Canada staff, Smith was an assistant coach for the National Women’s U-18 Team in 2016 and 2020, helping to guide both teams to an IIHF World Championship silver medal finish, the National Women’s Development Team in 2018-19, and the National Women’s Development Camp in 2014. Smith started her coaching career as a top assistant coach at the University of Toronto (2012-14), where she helped lead the Varsity Blues to a 21-9 overall record, including a 17-6 CIS mark in 2013-14, prior to going to Clarkson for the 2014-15 season. For complete coverage of Syracuse ice hockey, follow us on Facebook (/CuseIce), Twitter (@CuseIce) and Instagram (@CuseIce).