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Princeton women's hockey splits weekend series against Harvard, Dartmouth

<p>Maggie Connors brings the puck into the offensive zone against Harvard.</p>
<h6>Photo Credit: Owen Tedford / The Daily Princetonian</h6>

Maggie Connors brings the puck into the offensive zone against Harvard.

Photo Credit: Owen Tedford / The Daily Princetonian

This past weekend, the No. 7/7 women’s hockey team (5–2 overall, 3–2 ECAC) hosted two familiar Ivy League foes at Baker Rink. On Friday, Harvard (5–0, 5–0) defeated the Tigers 6–2, but Princeton responded and ended the weekend on a high note, beating Dartmouth (1–4–1, 1–3–1) 2–1. While not the start it was hoping for to try to defend its Ivy League title, the Tigers are still very much alive in the race, as all of the teams will play each other a second time still.

On Friday, the Crimson jumped out to a quick 3–0 lead by the end of the first period. In an attempt to shift the momentum, Princeton changed goalies from junior Rachel McQuigge to senior Stephanie Neatby at the start of the second period. A goal from junior forward Sharon Frankel, assisted by senior forward Carly Bullock and first-year forward Daniella Calabrese, narrowed the Harvard lead to 3–1.

Unfortunately for Princeton, the Crimson responded within two minutes to take a 4–1 lead into the second intermission. Quickly into the third period the lead was extended to 5–1 in favor of Harvard, before sophomore defender Mariah Keopple could score the Tigers’ second goal, assisted by Bullock and sophomore forward Maggie Connors, and narrow the lead to three. But again the Crimson responded almost immediately to take a 6–2 lead, which would hold through the end of the game. 

On Saturday against Dartmouth, Princeton found its first lead of the weekend, when Frankel scored about halfway through the first period, assisted by junior forwards Shannon Griffin and Annie MacDonald. Before the end of the first period, Dartmouth tied the game at 1–1 going into the first intermission. After no scoring in the second period, the game went to the third still even.

Quickly into the third, though, Connors made an excellent individual play when she stole a pass from her defensive blue line and went the length of the ice. The Tigers’ 2–1 lead held through the end of the game. McQuigge was back in net for Princeton and made 19 saves on 20 shots to secure the win.

The Tigers were without senior defense Claire Thompson and sophomore forward Sarah Fillier this weekend, as both were competing with the Canadian national team in Pittsburgh in exhibition games against the United States. Canada swept the United States in the two-game series, winning 4–1 on Friday night and 5–3 on Sunday. Fillier scored once on Friday, her second career goal for Team Canada. On Sunday, both Tigers made the scoresheet, with each tallying one assist.

Up next, Princeton will make another trip to upstate New York to take on Union (1–8–1, 1–2–0) on Friday night and then RPI (0–10–1, 0–4–0) on Saturday afternoon.  Both teams are currently in the bottom four teams of the ECAC league standings, along with Brown and Quinnipiac.

The next time the Tigers are home, they will be hosting No. 6/5 Clarkson (8–1–3, 3–0–1) and St. Lawrence (4–4–3, 1–1–1). The Friday night game against the Golden Knights will also be this year’s Black Out Baker night, when the first 500 fans receive a Black Out Baker t-shirt, and fans are encouraged to wear black.