This weekend, the No. 5 women’s hockey team (12–2–4 overall, 10–0–2 ECAC) will look to take its sixteen-game unbeaten streak, the longest in program history and longest active in the nation, on the road to No. 4 Cornell (8–1–4, 6–1–1) on Friday at 3:00 p.m. and No. 9 Colgate (11–6–3, 5–2–1) on Saturday at 3 p.m. Cornell currently sits second behind Princeton in the ECAC Hockey Standings with Colgate in fourth. Friday evening’s game against Cornell will have big implications for the national standings, the winner of the Ivy League title, and the winner of the ECAC title.
Over winter break, Princeton hosted Merrimack in a two game series on December 30 and 31 before traveling to Harvard and Dartmouth. Princeton went 3–0–1 in these four games, tying Merrimack once in its first game 1–1 with a key save by sophomore goalie Rachel McQuigge on a penalty shot 35 seconds into the overtime period. To get to the overtime period, first-year Sarah Fillier scored with just over three minutes left in the third period before Merrimack was able to tie the game with just over a minute left.
In their other three games, the Tigers had a combined scoring margin of 14–6, scoring at least 4 goals in each game and never allowing more than three. Two first-years, forward Maggie Connors and Fillier, led the Tigers in scoring over these three games, each with five goals. Other goal scorers included senior defender Stephanie Sucharda who had two, junior forward Carly Bullock, and sophomore forward Shannon Griffin, who each had one. Fillier was awarded the ECAC Rookie of the Week and Player of the Week honors for her performances over these games, her second Rookie of the Week honors. She was also named Rookie of the Month for December. Connors had won Rookie of the Week the previous time it was awarded on December 10.
A key characteristic of the Tigers this season has been their depth, which has been on display on offense by its number of goal scorers. Another aspect of that depth displayed over this three-game stretch was that each game was won by a different goalie. Junior Stephanie Neatby won the game against Merrimack, McQuigge against Harvard, and freshman Cassie Reale against Dartmouth.
Last time Princeton met Cornell and Colgate, they beat Colgate 6–0 in the #BlackOutBaker game and then tied 2–2 against Cornell. Against the Big Red, the Tigers got up 2–0 in the first period before Cornell came back to tie the game. McQuigge won the Goalie of the Week award after her performance that weekend, which included five saves in the last five minutes of the Cornell game.
For those who are unable to make the trips up to Ithaca and Hamilton on Friday and Saturday respectively, the games will be streamed domestically and internationally through links on the Princeton Athletics’ website. Live updates will also be available on the women’s hockey Twitter account @PWIH. After these two games, the Tigers will have a break for finals before playing three home games in five days against Penn State on January 29, St. Lawrence on February 1, and Clarkson on February 2.