With some excellent performances over Intersession, the women’s ice hockey team moves closer to obtaining home-ice advantage for an ECAC (Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference) playoff series.
The Tigers (11-10-2, 9-6-1 ECAC) opened their post-final exam portion of the season with a 4-2 loss to Boston College (25-0-1). This certainly isn’t that shocking, given that Boston College is the No. 1 ranked team in the country, with Princeton holding the No. 16 spot. Sophomore forward Morgan Sly and sophomore defenseman Kelsey Koelzer scored Princeton’s two goals in the game.
However, the Tigers fared far better as they faced fellow Ivy League teams Dartmouth (10-10-2, 6-8-2) and Harvard (16-4-2, 12-3-1) over the weekend. The game against the Big Green proved to be a thriller, as the Tigers battled Dartmouth to a 2-2 tie. Princeton certainly did not do itself any favors early on; Dartmouth took an early lead, ending the first period up 1-0. The lead grew larger from there, as the Big Green managed to convert on a power play about halfway through the second period.
However, the Tigers came roaring back, as senior forward Brianna Leahy got the puck into the net with4:05left in the second period. The game would remain a stalemate until about nine minutes to go in the third period, when junior forward Molly Contini scored to bring the Tigers back even with their opponents. Even after the period concluded and the game went into overtime, the score would remain at 2-2, with Big Green unable to convert on their one opportunity in extra time.
After this exciting match, the Tigers pulled off one of their most impressive wins of the season with a victory over the Crimson, currently ranked No. 5 in the nation, and No. 2 in the ECAC standings. Junior goalie Kimberly Newell had a fantastic performance, stopping all 32 shots she faced. Her shutout online casino is particularly impressive given that the Harvard team has been scoringan average of 3.77 goals per game, ranking thirdnationwide in that category. Sophomore forward Molly Contini scored the Tigers’ only goal of the game, racking up her 14thgoal of the season as she scored what would be Princeton’s only goal of the game. The win over Harvard is Princeton’s first victory over a top five team this season at home (having lost to Clarkson and twice to both Minnesota and ECAC rival Quinnipiac).
With the upset victory, the Tigers move closer to the coveted home-ice advantage in the ECAC playoffs. Currently ranked fifth in the ECAC standings, the Tigers are a mere three points behind St. Lawrence University for the fourth spot. Princeton is in control of its own destiny now— its six remaining games all come against ECAC opponents, five of which rank lower than Princeton. Some wins now would do wonders in helping the Tigers move up the rankings in a closely contested ECAC conference.
The winner of the ECAC playoffs is automatically given a bid to the NCAA championship tournament. The Tigers are going to need every advantage they can get if they want to move on and contend for the National Championship come March.