This past weekend, the women’s hockey team (9–2–3, 8–0–2 ECAC) traveled to play Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (6–9–4, 4–4–0) on Friday evening and Union (2–14–2, 0–7–1) on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers extended their unbeaten streak to 12 games with a 5–2 win on Friday and a 4–0 win on Saturday. These results saw No. 6 Princeton maintain its position atop the ECAC and its position in the USCHO national rankings. This 12-game streak ties the program record set in 2015–16 and is the highest in the country.
In Friday’s game, Princeton’s five goals all came from different scorers. The Tigers got out to a quick 2–0 lead in the first quarter off goals by sophomore forward Shannon Griffin and sophomore forward Sarah Verbeek. RPI scored next in the second period before Princeton added another two from sophomore forward Sharon Frankel and junior forward Carly Bullock, the Tigers’ leading scorer. After another RPI goal, Princeton had the last word with a goal by freshman defender Mariah Keopple. Sophomore goalie Rachel McQuigge, who was named the ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Month for November, had a quieter night compared to her last few outings, only having to make 16 saves.
On Saturday, multiple Tigers scored goals, only one of whom, Bullock, had also scored the previous night. The other three goals came from junior defender Claire Thompson, sophomore forward Annie MacDonald, and freshman forward Sarah Fillier, last week’s ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week. Junior goalie Stephanie Neatby, who started all of last season, played for the first time this season on Saturday. In her return, Neatby faced 15 shots and saved them all to earn a shutout. Senior forward Karlie Lund also had a great weekend, with two assists in each game.
Princeton’s strong offense, which coming into the weekend was among the top five nationally with an average of nearly 3.5 goals per game, was on display this weekend. What really makes the Tigers’ offense so good this year is not only the number of goals scored, but the number of different players who score regularly. This weekend, Princeton had eight different scorers, including six underclassmen.
The Tigers are now off until the end of the month when they will host Merrimack (11–6–2) in a two-game series in Princeton. Merrimack currently sits in fourth in the Hockey East standings with a 7–6–1 conference record. This past weekend, they beat No. 10 Boston College for the first time in program history. They won 1–0 behind a 51-save performance from goalie Samantha Ridgewell. Merrimack, like Princeton, is off until then.
Both games will be played at 3 p.m. at Hobey Baker Rink on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31. The games will be available for streaming on the Princeton Athletics website. After these games, the Tigers will have two consecutive weekends on the road, first against Harvard and Dartmouth and then against Cornell and Colgate.