No. 9 Princeton doubles up on women’s hockey

Rob Duffy

The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team looked to begin ascension on the ECAC standings this past weekend. On Saturday the Bobcats, with a 1-3 record, took on the Princeton Tigers, who had just come off a tie with nationally ranked Boston College. After QU jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the latter part of the second period, Princeton bounced back with a scoring barrage that would hold up in the end for a 6-3 Tiger victory.

Early on, Quinnipiac controlled the pace and tempo of the game despite trailing in shots on goal. The Tigers peppered senior netminder Laura Brennan, but with excellent awareness and solid help from the defense, the Bobcats quickly put the clamps on Princeton.

The last ten minutes of the first period went in Quinnipiac’s favor, as they controlled the puck at will. The Bobcats were rewarded for their efforts when captain Kristen Alcorn sent a lead pass to sophomore forward Jennifer McLean, who split two defenders and beat Princeton’s Kristen Young through the legs.

The second period saw the Tigers knot it up at one with a goal by forward Kristen Foster with nearly five minutes gone. The Tigers controlled the neutral zone and found odd player rushes. Their runs would have surely ended with goals had it not been for the gallant efforts of Quinnipiac defenders Karrah Stephen and Kristen Emerick, who laid out on multiple occasions to deny centering feeds. At 10:52 the ‘Cats regained form and worked into the Princeton zone. Team points leader Hayley McMeekin found defender Nicollete Leone as she moved into the slot and fired. Her first two efforts were denied, but with a nice third effort she pounded home the puck giving Quinnipiac a 2-1 lead.

With the score tied at two, Princeton went ahead in the waning minutes of the second. It was no surprise that the co-reigning ECAC player of the year, Kim Pearce, was the culprit with her first goal of the season. Another goal came with 25 seconds left in the period. A deflected shot eked its way past Brennan, giving Princeton a 4-2 lead.

The first half of the third period was marred with casual passing and lackadaisical defense. Quinnipiac failed to convert on several power play opportunities that ensued. Failing to make use of the advantages would prove costly. Sloppy clearances led to a Princeton shorthanded goal by Lizzy Keady. Another misguided pass found itself alone in the slot and Princeton senior defender Dina McCumber stepped up and fired home a rocket, swelling the lead to 5-2.

Each team scored once in the third period, with defender Kristin Emerick tallying her first of the season at 15:08.

“I thought we had a chance to win tonight. We were up 2-1 at the halfway point of the game and made some little mistakes that they capitalized on,” assistant coach Jamie Holden said. “That is what the game of hockey comes down to, who is going to make the least amount of mistakes.”

Quinnipiac fell to 1-4 and 0-1 in the conference on the young season. The Bobcats next contest will come on Friday when they play host to Clarkson at 7 p.m. at Northford Ice Pavilion.