This past weekend, the No. 6 women’s hockey team (20–5–1, 15–4–1 ECAC) played its last road weekend of the regular season traveling to upstate New York to face St. Lawrence (12–13–7, 7–9–4) and No. 7 Clarkson (21–5–6, 12–4–4). Princeton split the weekend beating the Saints on Friday night before losing to the Golden Knights on Saturday afternoon.
On Friday, against St. Lawrence, the Tigers jumped out to an early lead, as they have been doing, when first-year forward Annie Kuehl scored less than three minutes into the game. Kuehl finished off a breakout with help from junior forward Sharon Frankel and sophomore forward Maggie Connors.
Over halfway through the second period, Frankel found the back of the net herself to take the Tigers’ lead to 2–0. Connors and Kuehl again played a key role, taking it from behind the net and finding Frankel in the slot across the way. Frankel then took it from there with a backhanded shot over the goalie's stick-side.
A long, scoreless stretch preceded sophomore forward Sarah Fillier’s goal that marked her 100th career point late in the third period. Senior forward Carly Bullock brought the puck through center ice on the breakout and then found a trailing Fillier, who finished it off. Bullock later added an empty-netter that gave Princeton a 4–0 advantage — one that senior goalie Stephanie Neatby protected over the last few minutes. Neatby’s shutout was the 12th of her career with 16 saves. Neatby is now tied for fourth all-time in career shutouts, two behind the record held by Kristen Young ’09 and Rachel Weber ’12, and fifth all-time in career saves. This win also clinched home-ice for the Tigers in the ECAC Quarterfinals, a best-of-three series starting on Friday, Feb. 28.
Saturday afternoon, Clarkson edged Princeton 2–1. The Tigers were unable to get out to the quick start they have had in the past few games and went down 2–0 before they were able to get on the board with a goal from Kuehl in the second half of the second period. Princeton had a number of opportunities throughout the rest of the game that it was unfortunately unable to capitalize on. Kuehl was awarded the ECAC Rookie of the Week honors for her three-point weekend (two goals, one assist). Junior goalie Rachel McQuigge was in net for the Tigers during this game, making 27 saves on 29 shots.
Saturday’s results allowed No. 1 Cornell (23–1–3, 17–0–3) to clinch the ECAC regular-season title and hosting rights for the ECAC semis and finals. In addition, the eight-team playoff field of Cornell, Princeton, Harvard, Clarkson, Yale, Quinnipiac, Colgate, and St. Lawrence was finalized with only seeding left to be determined. Cornell, Princeton, and Harvard have all secured home-ice for the quarterfinals. Clarkson needs one win on its road trip to Harvard and Dartmouth to clinch home-ice. The Tigers need at least three points this weekend to ensure themselves the No. 2 seed.
Princeton hosts Brown (3–21–3, 2–16–2) on Friday night at 6 p.m. and Yale (15–12–0, 12–8–0) on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. The Tigers previously swept these two teams on the road by a combined 6–2 score. Saturday’s game will be the Tigers’ Senior Day with a ceremony following the game to celebrate Bullock, Neatby, senior forward MacKenzie Ebel, senior defender Claire Thompson, and senior defender Sylvie Wallin.