This past weekend, the women’s hockey team (4–2–2 overall, 3–0–1 ECAC Hockey) traveled up to Syracuse, N.Y., to take on the Syracuse Orange (4–7–1) in two games. In the first game, on Saturday, a close affair ended in a 1–1 tie after overtime. The game started quickly with each team scoring its goal in the first period, before the goalies turned into stonewalls defending the net. The Tigers’ sophomore goalie Rachel McQuigge was under pressure all game and played well, racking up 30 saves over the course of the game.
In the second game, on Sunday, Princeton jumped out to an early lead with two goals in the first period and never looked back, going on to win 5–3. The Orange never tied the game over the next two periods, as the Tigers always found a way to respond whenever Syracuse closed the gap a single goal. Again, Princeton’s depth was on display as the Tigers’ five goals came from five different skaters: sophomore forward Sharon Frankel, freshman forward Maggie Connors, sophomore forward Sarah Verbeek, senior forward Karlie Lund, and senior defender Stephanie Sucharda. Verbeek also had the Tigers’ lone goal in their game on Saturday.
One skill that served Princeton well this past weekend was its ability to win face-offs. On Saturday, the Tigers won 46 of 62 draws, and they won 43 of 63 on Sunday.
“If you’re able to start the play with possession by winning the draw, you get a lot of momentum,” junior forward MacKenzie Ebel commented, regarding the Tigers’ success on face-offs.
This coming weekend, Princeton will return to its home ice at Hobey Baker Rink, where it looks to extend its unbeaten streak to eight. Since losing to No. 1 Wisconsin in the first two games of the season, the Tigers have yet to lose. Their games next weekend will see them return to conference play as well, with a game against Colgate (7–4–1, 3–1) at 6 p.m. on Friday evening and against No. 6 Cornell (4–1–2, 3–1) at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Friday’s game is also when the Tigers will look to “Blackout Baker” and will be giving free T-shirts to the first 500 fans at the game. Ebel said that Princeton has “had some really exciting games against [Colgate]” in the past and expects this one to be no different.
These will be Princeton’s first games against ranked opponents since opening weekend. In addition, these games will be important for the Tigers as they try to maintain their conference lead. They currently sit atop the standings with seven points so far, with Colgate, Cornell, and Quinnipiac (3–5–2, 3–1) all just behind them with six points each. Looking ahead further, after a break for Thanksgiving, Princeton will play Quinnipiac in a home and away series the weekend of Nov. 30. The next four games will definitely give the Tigers a good idea of where they stand in the conference as they face some of its best teams.