Two Princetonians are skating their way towards the podium at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Canada’s women’s hockey team is 4–0 after the preliminary round of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, with the help of Princeton alumna and defender Claire Thompson ’20 and Princeton sophomore forward Sarah Fillier. Fillier has been a member of the Canadian national team program since 2016, while Thompson joined in 2019. Both are participating in their first-ever Olympic Games.
Team Canada came into the Olympics on a high after defeating Team USA in the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championships in August 2021. It was the team’s first world title in nine years, and Thompson and Fillier both contributed to the 3–2 win. Over the course of the tournament’s seven games, Fillier (three goals, three assists) and Thompson (four assists) made strong cases to be included in the Olympics squad and were ultimately chosen for the games in January.
During her time at Princeton, Thompson was a star for the Tigers. As a junior, Thompson led the Tigers’ defense as they became Ivy League Champions. The following year, Thompson was selected to be team captain, guiding the team to their first-ever ECAC Championship and qualification for the 2020 NCAA Tournament, which was later canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Fillier, meanwhile, has been widely recognized as one of the most impressive up-and-coming players in the sport. She has played on Princeton’s team for two seasons but took a leave of absence amid the pandemic. Fillier, the highest-scoring player in Division I during her freshman year, tallied a dizzying 22 goals and 35 assists in just 29 games. She was also recognized as Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Year, along with other accolades. The following year, as a sophomore, the Tigers selected Fillier as team captain. She was also named the ECAC tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, and once again picked up 22 goals and 35 assists.
Thompson and Fillier have continued to shine this Olympic season. Team Canada secured four wins out of four games in the preliminary rounds, repeating their world championships triumph with a 4–2 defeat over their rival Team USA on Monday. Fillier has scored five goals total in Canada’s wins over the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), Finland, and Switzerland. Thompson also scored against Switzerland. Team Canada will face Sweden in the quarterfinals on Friday, Feb. 11. Should they emerge victorious against the Swedes, Fillier and Thompson would take on the winner of ROC vs. Switzerland in the semifinal. If they were to face Team USA again, it would not be until the gold medal game on Feb. 16.
Rachel Posner is a staff writer for the ‘Prince’ sports section who typically covers sports features. She is also a staff writer for the Features section. She can be reached at email@example.com.