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Women’s Hockey sweeps weekend, wins exciting Senior Day matchup

The Princeton Women’s Ice Hockey team (13-10-2, 11-6-1 Eastern College Athletic Conference) might have played its last game at Hobey Baker Rink this season. If the Tigers cannot clinch home-ice advantage for the ECAC quarterfinals, at least they will have sent their seniors out with a bang.

Coming into the weekend the Tigers had clinched a playoff spot in the ECAC and were sitting in sixth place, needing to make up ground in order to finish in the top four and host a best-of-three quarterfinal series in the postseason. They certainly did their part on Friday, beating Colgate University (7-22-1, 4-13-1 ECAC) 4-1.

Sophomore Molly Contini opened the scoring, registering a goal assisted by senior Brianne Mahoney and sophomore Hilary Lloyd halfway through the period to give the Tigers an early lead. Sophomore Morgan Sly would add a second tally at 4:31of the second period, assisted by freshmen Emily Achterkirch and Kiersten Falck. However, the Raiders refused to give in, with Lauren Wildfang scoring to cut the visitors’ deficit in half.

In the final frame, the Tigers pulled through to seal the victory. Sly scored her second goal of the night, this time a power-play effort assisted by Mahoney and senior Brianna Leahy at5:26. Then, after the Raiders had pulled goaltender Ashlynne Rando for an extra attacker, junior Jaimie McDonell added an empty-net goal assisted by Contini and Lloyd to cement the 4-1 victory. Junior Kimberly Newell finished with 21 saves in net for the home side.

A night later the puck dropped on one of Princeton’s most important games of the season. Not only was it Senior Day —potentially the last ever home game for the squad’s four seniors — but the opponent, No. 9 Cornell, had eliminated the Tigers in last year’s ECAC tournament, and now stands in the way of any hopes of home-ice advantage this postseason.

In the opening period Cornell’s Emily Fulton scored her 18thgoal of the year, a power-play conversion at13:32after senior Ali Pankowski had been sent to the box for interference. After sophomore Cassidy Tucker scored an unassisted goal at16:32of the second period, the teams at Baker Rink seemed poised to offer an exhilarating last period. The the two Ivy squads did not disappoint.

Starting the period five-on-four after Falck drew a checking penalty with thirty seconds to play in the second, Fulton added her second tally of the night to put the visitors on top 2-1 early in the third. Seven minutes later the home side evened the score, with McDonell notching her ninth goal of the season — assisted by Pankowski and Lloyd. Then, with only a minute and nineteen seconds to play, Lloyd delivered the decisive blow, converting a power-play chance off sophomore Kelsey Koelzer’s assist to down the Big Red and send seniors Pankowski, Leahy, Mahoney, and Ashley Holt off of Baker Rink ice with a memorable Senior Day victory. Newell was lights-out in net, stopping 37 of 39 shots.

The Tigers sit at sixth in the ECAC with 23 points, two behind St. Lawrence and three behind fourth-ranked Cornell with four games to play. In the Ivy League, Princeton trails only Harvard — and by just one point — with the Tigers having yet to play two Ivy League games to the Crimson’s one. The Orange and Black hit the road this weekend for a crucial two-game swing against No. 7 Clarkson University (19-8-3, 13-3-2 ECAC) and St. Lawrence University (17-9-4, 11-4-3 ECAC).

Men’s Hockey battles on the road, come up short against conference foes

The Men’s Hockey team (3-17-2, 1-14-1 ECAC) dropped two road tilts this weekend, falling 2-0 to No. 20 Colgate (15-10-3, 7-6-3 ECAC)on Fridayand 4-2 to Cornell on Saturday (10-10-3, 8-7-1 ECAC).

In the opening weekend of the season on November 7thand 8th, the Tigers hosted the same opponents. Against then-No. 4 Colgate, the Princeton side committed thirteen penalties in a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of the Raiders. While unable to achieve a victory, the rematch showed some improvement from the young Tiger team.

After a scoreless first period of play in Hamilton, N.Y., Colgate’s Joe Wilson scored what amounted to be the game-winning goal. Both goalies shut the door from there, with the Tigers unable to break through against opposing netminder Charlie Finn on 19 shots, and sophomore Colton Phinney stopping 34 attempts in a stellar performance for Princeton. Darcy Murphy added the dagger for the Raiders, putting home an empty-net goal with twelve seconds remaining after Phinney had been pulled for an extra skater. The Tigers committed only three penalties to the Raiders’ two, which made for a much cleaner game then the first meeting between the ECAC foes.

The following night, in chilly Ithaca, N.Y., the Orange and Black again found themselves squaring off against a familiar opponent. The first encounter between the Ivy League schools turned out to be a thrilling 2-1 Princeton victory at Baker Rink — one of the highlights of the season for the Tigers. The rematch featured double the goals and a different victor, with the visitors unable to match Cornell's production.

The home side struck first, with Madison Diaz scoring just2:11into play. Sophomore Kyle Rankin then responded two minutes later, equalizing on the power-play for the Tigers on an assist from sophomore Quin Pompi. However, Cornell’s Christian Hillbrich would put the Big Red back on top with a goal at5:35, capping off an eventful first six minutes of play.

With five minutes to play in the second period, though, Rankin would once again strike back for the Princeton side, earning his first career two-goal performance and bringing his squad back into contention. Junior alternate captain Mike Ambrosia assisted on the goal.

For all of the back and forth, it was the home team that laughed last, with Holden Anderson scoring the game-winning effort at5:33of the third period. With Phinney off the ice for an extra attacker, Jake Weidner put a shot through the vacant goal to send the Tigers back to Princeton having dropped two hard-fought, tightly contested games.

The men of Princeton Hockey return to action at home this weekend, battling conference foes Clarkson (11-13-4, 8-6-2 ECAC) and St. Lawrence (16-10-2, 12-4-0 ECAC) at Baker Rink at7pm on FridayandSaturdaynights.

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