On Sunday, the No. 6 women’s hockey team (9–2–0 overall, 7–2–0 ECAC) defeated a group of professional hockey players from the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) in an exhibition game 2–1. The PWHPA group included former Princeton player Kelsey Koelzer ’17 and Amanda Kessel, a gold medalist with the U.S. team in the 2018 Olympics. Koelzer, Kessel, and teammate Melissa Samoskevich also belonged to the U.S. women’s national team that won gold at the World Championship in 2019.
Goals for the Tigers came from sophomore forwards Sarah Fillier and Maggie Connors. After a scoreless period, Fillier struck first for Princeton on the power play, when she collected a deflected shot from senior defender Claire Thompson and scored. Junior forward Sharon Frankel also assisted on the goal.
The Tigers’ second goal came less than four minutes later, when Connors finished off a fast-break for Princeton, started in their defensive zone with a turnover by freshman Stef Wallace. Senior forward Carly Bullock collected the puck and pushed across the blue-line, after which she found Connors, who put the puck home.
PWHPA got on the board with about one minute remaining, when Lauren Williams, a Wisconsin graduate, scored on the power play against junior goalie Rachel McQuigge. McQuigge and senior goalie Stephanie Neatby split time in the game, with each in net for about 30 minutes. Neatby made eight saves in her time, and McQuigge made 23, facing a shot-heavy third period.
For the first time in several weeks, Princeton was outshot by its opponent. Previously, the Tigers had dominated the face-off circle, which had in turn led them to higher shot totals. Princeton has been strong in forcing its opponents to play out of their end, as well as putting their defense and goalie under pressure. In the five games prior to Sunday, the Tigers had seen this translate to outscoring their opponents 21–7.
Before winter break, Princeton will play two more ECAC games against No. 4 Cornell (9–1–1, 5–0–1 ECAC) on Dec. 6 at 7:00 p.m. and Colgate (9–6–3, 3–2–1) on Dec. 7 at 3:00 p.m. The Tigers will come in to this weekend trying to maintain their position on top of the ECAC standings and to gain ground on Harvard (5–4–0, 5–0–0) in the Ivy League standings.
Afterwards, Princeton will travel to Las Vegas after the end of classes to take on No. 5 Ohio State (10–4–4, 6–3–3 WCHA) in two-game non-conference series on December 14 and 15. This past weekend, the Buckeyes split a two-game series against Cornell after a win and a tie the weekend before against Colgate.