This coming weekend, the No. 7 women’s hockey team (13–4–0, 8–3–0 ECAC) returns to ECAC play when it travels up north to take on two Ivy League opponents, Dartmouth (5–7–3, 2–4–3) on Friday and No. 9 Harvard (10–4–0, 9–0–0) on Saturday. When these teams met earlier this year in Princeton, the Tigers defeated Dartmouth 2–1 on a late goal and lost to Harvard 6–2, after the Crimson got out to an early 3–0 start before Princeton got on the board.
Historically, this has been a tough road trip for the Tigers, although they swept a year ago, the first time since 2009. Then-first-year forwards Sarah Fillier and Maggie Connors were instrumental last year, with Fillier netting three goals and Connors scoring four goals.
Fillier and Connors, two of Princeton’s top three point-scorers with 32 and 23 points, respectively, have both excelled this year. Connors is tied with senior forward Carly Bullock at 23 points. Along with forward Sharon Frankel and senior defender Claire Thompson, they are the only five players with double-digit points on the season.
Fillier’s play most recently won her one of three NCAA Stars of the Week, after the Tigers’ sweep of Saint Anselm last weekend. Fillier had a seven-point weekend with four goals and three assists over the two-game series. Connors also had a hat trick during the series.
Princeton’s series against Saint Anselm saw a few other noteworthy moments for the Tigers, including first-year Emma Kee’s first career goal, sophomore goalie Cassie Reale’s first shutout, sophomore Kayla Fillier’s first career goal, first-year Daniella Calabrese’s first career point, and sophomore Chloe Harvey’s first career multi-point game. Senior goalie Stephanie Neatby’s win on Saturday moved her in to fifth all-time in Princeton history, five wins behind Roxanne Gaudiel ’06.
Prior to the series against Saint Anselm, Princeton split a non-conference series against No. 5 Ohio State (11–5–4) in Las Vegas. The Tigers won the first game 4–2, with two goals from Connors and one from Thompson and sophomore defender Mariah Keopple each. Neatby was in net for Princeton, making 31 saves.
The Buckeyes won the second game 5–2 with both Tiger goals coming from first-year Annie Kuehl. Neatby was again in goal for Princeton. Connors and Keuhl’s performances won them ECAC awards for Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively.
The Tigers’ games this weekend will be important in ECAC and Ivy League standings. Harvard leads Princeton by two points in the ECAC and 15 points in the Ivy League. These two games will also be the Tigers’ last two games before they take a break for finals until their game on Jan. 28 at Quinnipiac. This weekend’s games will be available for streaming on ESPN+.