Princeton women’s hockey (0–2–0 overall, 0–2–0 Eastern Collegiate Athletic) opened their season on a tough note, losing to No. 4 Colgate (10–1–0, 1–1–0 ECAC) 5–1 on Friday night, then falling just short against Cornell (3–1–0, 1–1–0) 3–1 on Saturday night. The Tigers scored just two goals in the two games, despite outshooting their opponents in both. Sophomore goalkeeper Jennifer Olnowich started both games, stopping 44 out of the 51 shots she faced.
Against Colgate, the game got off to a slow start. Both teams played physically throughout the game, featuring multiple scrums after the whistle. Ultimately, the Colgate Raiders scored first, as Kaitlyn O’Donohoe one-timed a rebound off Olnowich for a 1–0 lead with 6:16 to go in the period.
The Tigers quickly answered, as junior forward Sarah Fillier took a pass from senior forward Maggie Connors at the top of the right circle and wristed one goal home to tie the game at 1–1. This was Fillier’s first game back with the team after spending last season playing with the Canadian national team, a stint that included a gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
In the second period, Colgate retook the lead, as Sydney Bard scored a power-play goal off another rebound to make it 2—1. Olnowich made a few fantastic saves throughout the rest of the period, keeping the Tigers within one heading into the third.
However, Colgate showed why they are ranked fourth in the nation, as they scored three goals to put the game away. Sara Stewart gave the Raiders a 3–1 lead 2:16 into the final frame on a wraparound, followed by a breakaway goal by Neena Brick 4:36 later to make it 4–1. O’Donohoe’s second goal of the game capped off the scoring, as she scored on a 2-on-1 break to extend the lead to four. Following the fifth goal, first-year goalkeeper Taylor Hyland replaced Olnowich in net, stopping both shots she faced.
The Tigers kept things closer against Cornell the next day, out-skating the Big Red for most of the game. Cornell struck first 11:56 into the game when McKenna Van Gelder found a loose puck and squeaked it in for a power-play goal.
In the second period, Olnowich kept the Tigers in the game, making multiple highlight-reel saves, including stopping multiple breakaways and a point-blank one-timer. With 1:13 to go into the period, Princeton finally got on the board, as first-year forward Emerson O’Leary capitalized on a semi-breakaway. O’Leary beat her defender after taking a cross-ice pass, then deked the goalie with a beautiful forward-to-backhand move to tie the game, with assists by first-year forward Katherine Khramtsov and sophomore forward Mia Coene.
Princeton fought the entire third period to break the tie but was ultimately undone by Van Gelder, who scored her second goal of the game with 9:01 to go. A couple late pushes to tie the game were turned away, and an empty net goal in the final minute iced the game for the Big Red. Despite the loss, the Tigers out-skated and outshot the Big Red for most of the game. However, they were shut down by another red-hot goalie, as Deanna Fraser stopped 33 out of the 34 shots for Cornell.
The Tigers are back in action next weekend, as they travel to Brown (3–0–1 overall, 2–0–0 ECAC) and Yale (2–0–0, 2–0–0) looking to pick up their first win of the year.
Ben Burns is an associate Sports editor at the ‘Prince’ who typically covers basketball, hockey, and soccer. Please direct any corrections requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.