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Women’s ice hockey drops to seventh place after disappointing weekend losses

The Tigers will face Colgate in the first game of the ECAC quarterfinals Friday.
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As the weekend approached, the women’s ice hockey team (14–13–1 overall, 10–12–0 ECAC) had a prime opportunity to climb the ranks and finish strong in conference play with matchups against Clarkson (26–8–2, 15–6–1) on Friday and St. Lawrence (16–17–3, 10–9–3) on Saturday. 

However, their hopes were crushed after they suffered tough losses in both games, which ultimately placed them in seventh place. This positioning will have them play against the No. 2 seed Colgate (28–4–2, 18–3–1) on Feb. 24 in the Eastern College Athletic Conference(ECAC) quarterfinals.


On Friday night, the team traveled to Potsdam, N.Y., to play against Clarkson. The Tigers started off strong, with an early 2–0 lead thanks to the help of junior forward and leading scorer, Sarah Fillier. The Canadian Olympic gold medalist won a power-play draw just 1:19 into regulation and scored just seven seconds after the draw off an assist from senior forward Maggie Connors.

The same duo struck again later in the period on a fast break, with Connors whipping a backdoor pass to Fillier, who tapped it in. Princeton held onto its 2–0 lead going into the second period, but the game quickly turned into a back-and-forth battle. 

After Clarkson defender Stephanie Markowski cut the deficit in half, Princeton first-year forward Emerson O’Leary answered with six minutes left in the second period, restoring Princeton’s two-goal lead. With the power play running down, fellow first-year forward Katherine Khramtstov shoveled a beautiful backdoor pass between two Clarkson defenders to O’Leary for the goal. However, Clarkson then tied the game up in the second period, with their own power-play goal from defender Sara Swiderski.

The game was tied at 3–3 going into the third period, but the Tigers were able to bounce back with some positive plays of their own. Less than a minute into the third period, Connors received a pass at the top of the slot and slammed it home for Princeton’s fourth goal of the game, and third on a power play. 

Once again, though, the Tigers could not stop Clarkson’s Markowski. She scored her third goal of the game — a hat trick — five minutes after the Tigers retook the lead, which sent the game to overtime. Just as quickly as Princeton had jumped out to a lead in the third, Clarkson forward Anne Cherkowski sent the Tigers home, scoring the winning goal just 22 seconds into overtime.

This game was closely contested, with each team taking 53 shots and Clarkson having slightly more shots on goal with 27 to Princeton’s 22. 


On Saturday, the Tigers faced St. Lawrence in the final regular game of the season — a game that would determine their final seeding for the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals. With St. Lawrence just half a point ahead of Princeton prior to puck drop, a Princeton win would have secured the sixth seed for the Tigers. 

Unfortunately for Princeton, St. Lawrence got out to a lead, scoring twice in the second period, and, despite a shorthanded breakaway goal by Connors in the third period, Princeton was unable to recover. St. Lawrence sealed the game with a goal from Taylor Lum with just two minutes left in the game. The game ended with St. Lawrence on top, 3–1. Nevertheless, the game marked a milestone for Connors, whose goal put her in a three-way tie for ninth in program history in scoring, and for Fillier, whose assist tied her for fifth in program history.

Looking forward, Princeton’s next game is in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals, where they will face Colgate at their arena in a best-of-three series. The Tigers will hope to repeat last year’s success at the tournament when they knocked off top-seeded Harvard in the opening round.

Kevin Yang is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

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