The women's ice hockey team took on No. 10 Quinnipiac (15-2-5 overall, 6-2-4 ECAC) last night, the first game of three on a road trip that also takes the team to Union and Rensselaer. The Tigers (9-7-2, 6-5-1) had won their first two games this year, including a 1-0 overtime thriller against Connecticut, but Quinnipiac handed Princeton its first loss of 2014, 3-1.
Princeton and Quinnipiac first faced each other on Nov. 26. That time, Quinnpiac opened with a goal, and it wasn't until the third period when sophomore forward Cristin Shanahan tied the game and sent it to overtime. The match ended in a tie.
Quinnipiac once again took an early lead, with Kelly Babstock netting a goal just four minutes into the game. Toward the end of the first period, Quinnipiac had several shots and Babstock sent a laser from the right boards that went five hole on sophomore goalie Kimberly Newell to give them a 2-0 lead. After the first period, Princeton had taken just seven shots to Quinnipiac's 12.
In the second period, Princeton once again had 7 shots while Quinnipiac had 10, but neither team was able to score. Coming into the third period, the Tigers knew they had to be more aggressive on offense, and opened the period with a goal within two minutes. Junior forward Brianna Leahy found senior forward Denna Laing, who put Princeton on the scoreboard. It was the Tigers' sixth shorthanded goal of the season, second only to Boston College in the NCAA. Leahy had one last chance to score with less than two minutes left but she couldn't find the net. Quinnipiac then iced the game when Babstock completed the hat trick with an open net goal to make the final score 3-1. She now leads the league in goals and assists.
Princeton now occupies fourth place in the league though the fifth- and sixth-placed teams have played fewer games. The Tigers will travel to upstate New York to face Union on Friday and Rensselaer on Saturday in important conference matchups.