Follow us on Instagram
Try our daily mini crossword
Play our latest news quiz
Download our new app on iOS/Android!

Women’s hockey roars past Dartmouth in playoff opener

Players in white and orange uniforms hug another player with fans cheering through the glass.
The team and fans celebrating senior Emma Kee’s goal.
Photo courtesy of Instagram/princetonwhockey.

In the first year of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Hockey Playoffs’ new format, No. 13 Princeton (14–10–6 overall, 6–10–6 ECAC) defeated the Dartmouth Big Green (6–21–3, 3–16–3) in the first round.

Straight from the opening puck drop, the Tigers controlled the action. Attacking mostly from the left and center, Princeton piled on over ten shots in the first ten minutes. Sophomore forward Issy Wunder had four of her own, but Dartmouth goalie Hann Humphreys initially stood strong.


Just under nine minutes into the period, senior defender Stefanie Wallace fed a pass to Wunder, who ripped a shot towards Humphreys. While Humphreys made the save, the puck ricocheted right in front of the net, where star senior forward Sarah Fillier swooped in to score and make it a 1–0 game for the Tigers.

Just two minutes later, Wunder fed a pass to sophomore forward Emerson O’Leary, whose shot was saved by a swerving Humphreys. The Tigers continued to pressure 30 seconds later, when Wunder rifled off a shot of her own that was stopped by Humphreys.

With six minutes to go in the period, Dartmouth forward Cally Dixon committed a holding penalty, as she got tangled up with sophomore forward Sarah Paul in Princeton’s defensive zone. Paul, however, had the last word on the ensuing power play, as she received a pass from O’Leary on the left wing. With two Dartmouth defenders blocking their own netminder’s line of sight, Paul rifled a wrist shot into the right corner of the net.

With a 2–0 lead, the Tigers continued to press, but despite a 24-6 advantage in shots on goal, the lead remained at two heading into the intermission. Suffice to say, it was a dominant, electric period from the Tigers’ offense. After scoring eight goals last weekend as a team, senior forward Emma Kee spoke as to what inspired the strong play in the first.

“We focused on scoring goals in smaller games a little bit [in practice] and I think that competitive edge brought it, we brought it,” Kee told The Daily Princetonian. “We played for each other today.”


While junior goalie Jen Olnowich had far from her busiest period, she stepped up when necessary. Early in the second period, a Dartmouth 2-on-1 turned into a shot from the close-range defender Caroline Appleyard, but Olnowich was right there to make the save. Later, Dartmouth forward Tiffany Hill threatened Olnowich on a breakaway with three minutes left, but no damage was done as Hill missed wide.

Olnowich and first-year Uma Corniea have both shined for the Tigers in net this year, and head coach Cara Morey talked about the difficulty of choosing who starts each game.

“We’re looking at matchups,” Morey said. “Jen did well against Dartmouth last time; sometimes goalies match up against teams.”

Five minutes into the second, Dartmouth was beginning to clear the puck from their defensive zone when Fillier raced in to steal the puck. Left all alone, the left-winger roped a shot from the right side just past Humphreys’s shoulder, making an incredibly difficult goal look elementary. The Tigers now had a commanding 3-0 lead but were hungry for more.

Get the best of ‘the Prince’ delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe now »

A few minutes later, the Tigers were in the dwindling seconds of a penalty kill as first-year defender Gabby Kim received the puck in the Tigers’ defensive zone. Kim passed to senior forward Emma Kee, who raced down the ice on a breakaway. Kee scorched a wrist shot past Humphreys, bringing the bench roaring onto its feet as the senior scored her second goal of the season in her final game at Baker Rink. While the goal technically wasn’t short-handed, it came right after the Dartmouth power play ended, and the penalty-kill unit was still on the ice.

“She’s our penalty killer, and she wants a shorty [short-handed goal], and she talks about it all the time,” Morey said to the ‘Prince.’ “In practice, sometimes I accidentally blow it dead because I’m watching the power play, and she’s taking off on a breakaway, and then she’s really mad at me … so when she had [the chance], I was like please do it, please do it, please do it. I might’ve jumped higher than anyone when [she] put that in.”

Kee confirmed Morey’s words, saying that “I always say every week, it’s my dream to score on the PK [penalty kill].”

A couple minutes later, Dartmouth forward Hamilton Doster received a pass from teammates Appleyard and defender Anne Averill and fired the puck past Olnowich. While the shot went to an official review, it was confirmed as a goal, and Dartmouth cut the lead to 4-1.

However, any thought of a comeback soon became a moot point. As the minutes ticked away in the second, and then the third period, Princeton kept piling on shots, and Dartmouth had very few of their own. Both goalies held strong, but despite the lopsided margin, Fillier was looking for a hat trick in her last game at Baker.

With just under three minutes to go in the game, Fillier saw her chance, taking the puck behind the Tigers’ goal and racing down the ice all by herself. With one woman to beat, she deked the sole defender remaining and fired a wrist shot past Humphreys for the goal and was promptly mobbed by her teammates in a gleeful celebration.

Fillier’s impact as a leader cannot be understated on this team — she is at or near the top in just about every Princeton hockey record.

“She was a program changer for us; she was probably the biggest recruit in the world at the time,” Morey said. “Picking Princeton was a huge statement because we weren’t a program that was currently in the top ten, and she elevated us.”

The final seconds mercifully ticked by, and the Tigers won their last home game of the season 5-1. Now, Princeton advances to the quarterfinals of the ECAC playoffs, where they will play defensive juggernaut No. 3 Clarkson University (29–3–2, 18–3–1) in a best-of-three series. The Tigers have lost to the Golden Knights twice this year, both by 1-0 margins.

Morey hinted at a long film study session for her and her assistants in preparation for the Clarkson series, aiming to “figure out where we’re strong, play to our strengths, and then figure out any adjustments we need to make in order to win, how we’re going to put pucks in the net against this stifling defense of Clarkson.”

Kee concluded with a more simple directive for herself and the rest of the team. 

“Just continue our hunger; we’re ready to go. We don’t want our season to be done.”

Max Hines is a staff Sports writer for the ‘Prince.’

Please send corrections to corrections[at]