This weekend, the No. 5 ranked women’s hockey team (14–3–5 overall, 12–1–3 ECAC) had its unbeaten streak broken at 20 games with a loss to No. 4 Clarkson (13–3–0, 22–5–1). The streak was the longest in program history and the longest in the nation this season. Princeton, which hadn’t lost since October, still leads the ECAC because of its win over Cornell, though both have 27 points. Clarkson is in third with 26 followed by Colgate in fourth with 22, all through 16 games.
On Friday night, the Tigers hosted St. Lawrence (8–6–2, 13–12–3) in a game that had one of the best finishes of the year with first-year forward Maggie Connors scoring the game-winning goal with 3.2 seconds left. After the Saints scored first, Princeton responded with two goals to take a 2–1 lead at the end of the first period. Connors scored the first goal for the Tigers, and senior forward Keiko DeClerck scored her first goal of the year to give Princeton the lead.
A scoreless second period sent the Tigers to the third period leading 2–1 still. The Saints tied the game first with 6:26 left at two before Princeton took the lead after a goal from first-year forward Sarah Fillier with 3:20 left. Unfortunately for the Tigers, St. Lawrence was able to net the equalizer with an extra attacker after pulling its goalie with 1:21 left. In overtime, the pressure all came from Princeton, but it did not look like it would be able to net a goal until Connors’ game winner. Junior goalie Steph Neatby made 38 saves in a dominant performance for the Tigers, improving her record to 3–0–1.
On Saturday, against the defending national champions, Princeton was able to outshoot Clarkson 38–20 but was just unable to translate that pressure into goals. The Golden Knights scored first, striking 36 seconds into the game. The Tigers responded quickly behind a goal from sophomore forward Shannon Griffin to tie the game at 1. Before the first period was done, Clarkson netted a second goal to take the lead for good, but it was reviewed for a potential high stick and held up. The Golden Knights extended their lead in the second period to 3–1, and the Tigers were never able to translate their offensive pressure into goals in the second or third period. Princeton’s powerplay unit, to date one of the best in the country, was unable to convert on any of its power play attempts, going 0–4. Sophomore goalie Rachel McQuigge was in net and made 17 saves on 20 shots.
Next weekend, the Tigers will look to clinch the Ivy League title with a win Friday night against Brown. With four games left in the season, the ECAC regular-season championship is still up for grabs with six games left for all of the teams. Princeton will also have another game against Clarkson in the last weekend of the season that could have big implications for determining the regular-season champion. Another game that the Tigers will keep an eye on this weekend will be the Friday night match-up between Cornell and Clarkson, a game that Cornell won earlier this season 3–1. Friday night’s game is in Providence at 6:00 p.m., and on Saturday Princeton will play Yale in New Haven at 3:00 p.m.