Princeton Women’s Ice Hockey (3-2-1, 1-2-1 ECAC) began the weekend as an undefeated team, but fell down in their rankings as they lost to both No. 6 St. Lawrence (8-0-1, 3-0-0 ECAC) on Friday Nov. 4 and Clarkson (8-3-1, 4-0-0 ECAC) on Saturday Nov. 5 at Hobey Baker Rink.
Friday night began with the ceremonious hanging of the Tigers’ 2016 Ivy League Championship Banner. After the puck dropped, the Saints were first on the board, with Dakota Golde scoring halfway through the first period. Hannah Miller picked up a loose puck inside the left circle and passed it back to Golde at the point. Princeton junior goaltender Alysia DaSilva was unable to block the high shot on her blocker side that Golde put past the crease. Justine Reyes of the Saints increased their lead with a power play goal in second period, giving her team a 2-0 lead. With about ten minutes left in the second period, Nadine Edney scored off of a steal at Princeton’s net, making the score 3-0 Saints. In total, the Saints produced 11 shots on goal and put some strong pressure on DaSilva, who handled the pressure well—stopping 38 of 41 shots.
Despite the temporary shut out, the Tigers were able to gain some momentum towards the end. Princeton’s only goal was scored with about one minute left in the game, when junior forward Kiersten Falck deflected senior defender Kelsey Koelzer’s shot from the point and whipped the puck past Saints goalie Grace Harrison. Flack’s goal ended Garrison’s shutout streak at 75 stops.
Saturday was a special day for the team because Denna Laing, Princeton Women’s Hockey Player of the Great Class of 2014, was in the stands and on the ice to drop the puck and show her support. Laing played professionally for the Boston Pride but was severely injured while playing in the first ever Women’s Classic game. Kelsey Koelzer commented, “Having Denna Laing come out and drop the puck for us and knowing that she was in the stands pushing for us was a major motivator this weekend. I think on Saturday it was a huge part of our fast start and a constant reminder to keep fighting throughout the game.”
The Tigers did in fact have a great start, gaining a 2-0 lead in the first period against Clarkson University. The first goal of the game was scored by senior forward Cassidy Tucker, who got the puck off of a deflection from Koelzer. The second goal was scored by senior Morgan Sly, led by an assist from sophomore forward Karlie Lund.
Orange and Black began to lose their momentum late in the first period though, and Clarkson started its 4-goal run with a shot from Loren Gobel. The score was tied 2-2 by a shot from Michaela Pejzlova. A shot from Kelly Mariani of Clarkson was the game winner. The Golden Knights added one last goal to secure the win.
Going forward in the season as the Tiger’s prepare to play Harvard, Koelzer remarked, “I think our team just needs to work on keeping a consistent level of play for the full 60 minutes. We have proven to ourselves that we have the speed and talent to outplay teams, so now we just need to work on getting that throughout the whole game.”