This week, the No. 4 ranked women’s hockey team (13–2–5, 11–0–3 ECAC) will look to extend its eighteen-game undefeated streak, the longest stretch in program history and longest in the nation this season, at home against Penn State (10–10–5), its last non-conference opponent, on Tuesday, St. Lawrence (12–11–3, 7–5–2) on Friday, and No. 5 Clarkson (20–5–1, 11–3–0) on Saturday. Over 14 games, Princeton leads the ECAC by two points over Cornell and three points over Clarkson. These will be Princeton’s first games this season against St. Lawrence and Clarkson, respectively; wins over both would help move them closer to an ECAC title.
Before breaking for final exams, Princeton travelled to then-No. 4 Cornell and No. 8 Colgate. On a Friday night in Ithaca, the Tigers came out with two goals in the first period from first-year forward Maggie Connors and junior defender Claire Thompson. Princeton was blanked in the second period, but put the game away in the third behind two goals from first-year forward Sarah Fillier and another goal from Connors to win 5–0. Sophomore goalie Rachel McQuigge made 26 saves in a shutout performance for the Tigers, and McQuigge’s second shutout this season.
The next day, Princeton came out strong against Colgate with Thompson netting the first goal just over two minutes into the game. Colgate was quick to respond, tying the game at one before the end of the first period. In the second period, the Tigers got out to a 3–1 lead with goals from Connors and junior forward Carly Bullock. When the Raiders entered the third period, they were able to tie the game at three with just over six minutes left in the game. Connors scored another goal with just over a minute left, one which appeared to be the game winner, until Colgate tied the game with less than 10 seconds left. This sent the game to overtime, where neither team was able to score, ending the game in a 4–4 draw.
Those following the team this year will have noticed the outstanding play that from Princeton’s first-years. These rookies are getting recognized at both the national and conference levels. Connors won the ECAC Hockey Player of the Week for her play in these games over the weekend, where she had a total of six points (4 G, 2 A). Fillier was awarded the Hockey Commissioner’s Association National Rookie of the Month for December. Fillier also helped lead the Tigers to a 4–0–1 record and recorded eight points (6 G, 2 A) this month, and leads the nation in points per game, averaging 2.00.
This week’s games promise to be close, exciting matches. In particular, Princeton will have to bring its best game against Clarkson on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Knights are the back-to-back defending national champions and have won three of the last five national championships. Last season when Clarkson came to Princeton, they were ranked No. 1 in the country, but the Tigers were able to upset them 2–0 during one of Clarkson’s only four losses for the entire season. Princeton’s win snapped Clarkson’s fifteen-game win streak, so the tides have clearly been reversed for the teams’ meeting on Saturday in Hobey Baker Rink.
For those who are unable to make it to this week’s games on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, 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 look to close out their Ivy League schedule and secure an Ivy League title when they travel to Providence, to take on Brown, and New Haven, to face Yale, on February 8th and 9th, respectively.