This past Friday and Saturday, Women’s Hockey traveled north to Hanover and Boston, respectively, continuing their current seven game road trip. With a program-record win streak on the line, the Tigers began the weekend with a 4-1 victory over the struggling Big Green. However their luck ran short on Saturday when the Tigers fell 1-4 to the Crimson.
From a statistical perspective, the Tigers were the clear favorites heading into Friday’s match against Dartmouth. Prior to Friday, the Tigers had won or tied the last six games against Dartmouth. Furthermore, the Big Green had not won a single game since Thanksgiving, totaling eleven losses in the process. On the other hand, Princeton had won its eleven previous games.
With the stage set, Princeton and Dartmouth faced off in Hanover’s Thompson Arena late Friday afternoon. Despite the record disparity, the first period of the game was scoreless for both teams. In fact, the two were neck and neck, taking an equal number of shots.
The game’s first goals went to Dartmouth’s Laura Stacey early into the second period. For the majority of the period, Dartmouth staved off all Princeton attempts to even the score. Finally, with just over two minutes remaining in the period, freshman forward and Princeton point leader Karlie Lund edged the puck into the net past two Big Green defenders.
Thereafter, the momentum was in the Tiger’s favor. Senior forward McDonell caught fire in the third period, scoring two goals of her own. For the first, the veteran Tiger converted a cross-rink fast break play into a lead for the Tigers. Then, later in the period, McDonell and the rest of the Princeton offense outmaneuvered Dartmouth to solidify the lead.
To cap off the game, junior forward Molly Contini scored an empty net with just over 20 seconds remaining in the match.
In contrast, the Tigers and Crimson collided on Saturday night as growing rivals. Prior to the match, Princeton maintained a two-game series win streak over Harvard. Moreover, the second ranked Tigers held a two point lead over the Crimson in the ECAC standings. A win for Harvard would end Princeton’s twelve game win streak.
In the previous two matchups, Princeton won highly contested battles. When the two teams faced last year, Princeton won off a narrow 1-0 victory. Then, when the two faced in December, the Tigers scored the winning goal in overtime.
With redemption in mind, the Crimson jumped to a quick start on Saturday, scoring two unanswered goals in the first period. These goals alone proved insurmountable for the determined Tigers.
A minute into the second period, junior forward Morgan Sly gave the Orange and Black a sliver of hope, narrowly tipping the puck into the Crimson goal. However, two minutes later, Harvard’s offensive leader Miye D’Oench responded with a goal of her own, restoring the Crimson’s commanding two point lead. To seal the defeat, Harvard would go on to score on an empty net in the final seconds of the game.
The weekend loss dropped Princeton into third in ECAC standings behind Quinnipiac and Clarkson. Even so, the Tigers still hold the top spot in Ivy League standings as they face Colgate and Cornell next weekend.