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Women's hockey garners playoff berth with 3-3 tie

Usually when a team earns a playoff berth from its last regular season game, the match is a victory. A winless weekend, however, brought the women's hockey team a spot in the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament. The Tigers (11-15-2, 8-13-1 ECAC) fell to Harvard, 3-1, Saturday at Bright Hockey Center in Cambridge, Mass and Sunday skated to a 3-3 tie at ECAC No. 2 Northeastern.

After losing to Harvard (14-15, 8-14 ECAC), Princeton could not drop the Northeastern game and still make the tournament. The elimination game mentality forced the Tigers to raise their level of play and avenge their Nov. 16 7-5 loss to Northeastern (25-4-5, 17-2-3 ECAC).

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The Tigers major improvement from the earlier matchup was their hot start. Against Northeastern, all three of Princeton's goals were in the first thirty minutes of the game. At 7:53 in the first period, sophomore center Danya Marshman sparked the team's run with a power-play goal off an assist from freshman right wing Laura Hayes.

"The change was mental more than anything, head coach Jeff Kampersal '92 said. "In previous games, we didn't pick up our play until we were slapped in the face. We specifically focused and prepared for the first five minutes of each period. Hockey is a game of momentum, so if you have the first five minutes, you control the period."

This strategy worked until the third period when the Huskies scored three unanswered goals. The Tigers failed in their attempt to control the first five minutes of the period, as Northeastern scored twice in the first three minutes of the period. The Tigers held on to a one goal lead until with just 29 seconds remaining in the game Northeastern's Jennie Setaro blasted the puck by senior goaltender Tammy Orlow to force the game into overtime.

Orlow had a spectacular weekend. Saving 44 of 47 shots on goal Sunday and 28 of 31 against the Crimson.

Saturday, as well, the Tigers started off strong with freshman right wing Abbey Fox scoring the only goal of the first period. The Tigers, however, remained quiet for the rest of the game. Kampersal attributed the loss to Harvard's tremendous crowd support and Harvard's desire to stay alive in the playoff race. The victory secured the Crimson at least the eighth spot in the league.

The Northeastern tie earned Princeton seventh place in the league and a rematch with the Huskies in the first-round of the ECAC tournament March 7. But don't count out the possibility of a Tiger upset.

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"The tie gave us confidence, because we know how to beat Northeastern," Kampersal said. "If we come out with the same effort as last Sunday and pour our heart and soul into the game, then we will be there at the end of the game."

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