Despite the tough run the Tigers had at Baker Rink this weekend, they were still able to come away feeling more prepared to face Quinnipiac on Tuesday. On Friday, St. Lawrence (7-5-2 overall, 4-2-1 ECAC) defeated Princeton (6-3-1, 4-2-0) with a final score of 7-3. On Saturday, the Tigers battled Clarkson (10-4-1, 5-1-1), last year’s national champion, falling short at3-2.
On the whole, the Tigers felt that it was disappointing they couldn’t pull off a win, but they were still able to walk away with simplified systems for Tuesday’s game. St. Lawrence, a quick, aggressive team on offense and defense, pushed the Tigers back in the first period. St. Lawrence also had great goaltending.
“They have a lot of skilled forwards, and in the first period they definitely outplayed out,” sophomore forward Molly Contini said. “In the second and third period we really picked it up. We worked on simplifying our systems because we get in trouble when we try to do too much.”
After the first period, the Tigers had a good sense of St. Lawrence’s playing style and were able to score three goals in the second period. Sophomore forward Hilary Lloyd, senior forward Brianna Leahy and Contini were all able to find the back of the net. Contini made the last goal to tie up the game going into the third period – a goal that Contini describes as a great team effort.
“It was a play that we had practiced, and it was a great way for the team to pull it together, and tie it up going into the third period,” Contini said.
The Tigers had a very consistent level of effort, but St. Lawrence walked away with the win, scoring three times in the last period.
As the team reflected on their play on Friday, Contini believed that the team gave St. Lawrence a little too much respect at the beginning of the game.
“We need to have it in our heads that we can play with anyone in the ECAC, and even though we didn’t get the result we wanted, we were tied going into the third period and we had a shot at winning the game. We want to have that positive attitude in the remaining games that we have,” Contini said.
Clarkson was one of the deepest teams the Tigers will face this season. They are described as a disciplined team that sticks to its systems and executes them well. Clarkson has claim to the top three scorers in the ECAC on its first line as well as solid goaltending and a defender who played for the Four Nations Cup. Despite Clarkson's strong power play, the Tigers’ defense was able to hold off the Golden Knights well for junior goaltender Kim Newell.
Sophomore defender Kelsey Koelzer and Leahy both had goals on Saturday, with freshman forward Kiersten Falck assisting both.
“Kelsey creates a lot of opportunities to score. She’s a great defender but she’s a real force on offense as well. Kim always battles for us and gives us a chance to win each night,” Contini said.
Going into Saturday’s game against Clarkson, the Tigers wanted to play a complete game – putting forth a consistent effort throughout the sixty minutes. While they did not walk away with the win, Contini felt that Saturday was their most complete game this season. In preparation for their game on Tuesday, the Tigers will continue to think about this as well as winning their individual battles.
“We were able to tie it up going into the third period both games which shows that we don’t quit. We had some chances that we didn’t capitalize on this weekend, but it just reminds us that we can’t take anything for granted. We can’t take a minute off,” Contini said.
Going into Tuesday, the Tigers are excited to take on Quinnipiac. Despite the loss, Princeton’s penalty kill has gotten stronger, and it was able to hold close to last year’s national champions.
“Quinnipiac has very good defense, and they don’t allow many goals, so we are going to have to battle hard in the defensive zone,” Contini said. “It will be similar to playing Clarkson, but we are getting better each weekend. It’s going to be very exciting.”