The Quinnipiac University women’s hockey team skated onto its home ice at the Northford Ice Pavilion last Tuesday evening hoping to earn a key ECACHL win against the Princeton Tigers.
The Bobcats were riding momentum based upon a two-game sweep of Robert Morris a week and a half earlier, but were still unable to engineer an upset against the nation’s 8th-ranked team as the Tigers earned a 3-0 victory.
Princeton went ahead early in the game with a breakaway goal by freshman Annie Greenwood at 6:23 in the first period. She was assisted by sophomore Brittany Salmon and senior Heather Jackson.
Despite being outplayed in the first period, the Bobcats only trailed by one goal. Strong play from freshman goaltender Connie Craig helped to hold down the deficit to a single goal despite the Bobcats being outshot 14-2.
Quinnipiac came out strong in the second period and created several good scoring opportunities, but was unable to convert on any of them. Continued strong defense and goaltending held the score at 1-0 entering the third period.
After a relatively strong showing for two periods, the third period did not go well for the Bobcats. At 7:20 of the third period, Princeton junior Laura Watt was assisted by fellow juniors Kim Pearce and Dina McCumber on a power play goal.
At 12:15 in the third period, Princeton junior Kate Hession scored with the teams at even strength to expand the lead to 3-0. Pearce recorded her second assist of the night on the goal.
Quinnipiac pulled Craig for an extra skater with three minutes left in the game, but was unable to slice into the Princeton lead. The Bobcats were outshot 21-5 in the final period and 46-16 for the game.
While Quinnipiac head coach Michael Barrett was pleased with his team’s play at certain intervals of the game, he was unhappy that the team displayed lapses at key points.
“We have to put together a full game,” Barrett said. “We can’t have those down periods.”
Craig represented a bright spot for Quinnipiac. Despite surrendering three goals and suffering a loss that dropped her record to 8-13-3, Craig tied her career high with 43 saves and earned the honor of third star of the game.
Princeton senior goaltender Roxanne Gaudiel recorded 16 saves in a shutout win that improved her record to 11-4-4.
Princeton improved to 12-5-4 overall and 8-2-2 in the ECACHL, while Quinnipiac dropped to 9-13-4 overall and 3-9-2 in conference play with the loss.
Over the weekend, the Bobcats lost games on the road to Clarkson and St. Lawrence. Quinnipiac trails 8th-place Yale by four points for the final playoff spot in the ECACHL.
“We need to pull some upsets to get to the playoffs, but I think we can do it,” Barrett said.