Princeton Tigers women's hockey
Photo Credit: Shaquan Woody

Princeton Tigers win on a Comeback Against Dartmouth

The Princeton Tigers faced their other ECAC rival the Dartmouth Big Greens last Saturday, November 4, winning the game on a beautiful comeback win. Coming off a 1-1 tie against the Harvard Crimson the previous day, the team from New Jersey fought until the end to win and keep their historical 12-year and 11-game win streak against the New Hampshire team.


Without the captain and considerably best player of the team Sarah Fillier - as she headed to play for team Canada on the rivalry series against team United States -, the team aimed for a more offensive game instead of a more defensive game, which they had to play against Harvard. This game was also the first-ever appearance of goalie Jennifer Olnowich, who played a really solid game with 25 saves. The head coach of the team, Cara Morey, described the changes as "building this puzzle of like each line having its own identity and its own kind of role within the system."


The Game


During the first period, we observed through the few first minutes the start of a very fast paced game, such as the one from the day before. From the 10th minute, Dartmouth started being more dangerous offensively and being able to gather more shots on goal while bringing a very physical game. Even with a power play for the Big Greens team, caused by a hooking call, the game stayed with the same score as it had started.


Dartmouth struck first in the second period with a goal from Izee Powell. The Tigers had also not been able to score the first goal in a couple of other games this season, which was something that we were able to discuss with Morey, during the post-game interview.


"It's hard when you think that you should have a handle on these kinds of games, and then they get away from you a little bit.  And I think we play in the toughest league in college hockey, so getting the players to understand that every game matters and anyone can win every night. It's a little bit different in our league that way, so I wouldn't say it worries me. It's always kind of a worry, but it's like a challenge to get that mentality. Like again, it's consistency and it comes through practice all week long making sure we are consistent in what we do. But I would say that the fact that like even the third period against Harvard, the overtime, and our third period, we've shown that we can battle back and we can stay in and we can grind it out and that is actually pretty inspiring and it makes us believe in ourselves a little bit more. " - Morey explained.


Not long after, Sarah Paul, who had overgone shoulder surgery in her freshman year, and took a gap year for her knee, was able to quickly respond, score from the top of the leaf circle, and tie the game for the Tigers. She showed through her game that she was ready to be back after a grueling two years.  


"I'm just happy to be back. I'm grateful for all the support that I've got from my family, my athletic therapist, athletic trainer back home here, to coaching staff, trainers. Everybody just wants what's best for me, which helps make the transition a lot easier. It's been. It's been strange to get back in and to game-like scenarios, but my teammates are really supportive and making it easier for me, so it's just really fun. I'm just excited and happy. I love hockey so it's just really fun and I'm just happy to be back really." - Paul said.


With a sequence of two penalties against Princeton, one called on Emma Dornseif for Body Checking - which led the player to receive a major penalty and stay five minutes at the penalty box - and a hooking one on Catherine Kerin, only a couple seconds into the 5-on-3, Dartmouth was able to gather the lead once again with a goal from Shae Messner.


Back in the third period, the Black and Orange seemed to be eager to show their potential to bounce back and work hard for each other here and not let off work hard in the words of Sarah Paul, as she said that they discussed this matter in the dress room between periods. And they succeeded.


During a power play, Issy Wunder tied the game for the Tigers, leaving the game 2-2. Not long after, Jane Kuehl scored, followed by another goal by her sister, Annie Kuehl, getting their lead even farther.


On another power play occasion, caused by a five-minute major on Mia Buonarosa for elbowing, Princeton got many chances but wasn't able to put the puck into the net. To finalize the game, rookie Maggie Johnson gathered her first-ever collegiate career goal, making it 5-2, giving the victory to Princeton and continuing their win streak. 


What’s Next For Princeton


For the season, Morey believes that, for the second-half, the biggest goal and what she is looking forward to seeing the players elevating their game to a more veteran mentality, as the team consists of a majority of freshman and sophomore players. She says that there's a lot of young mistakes happening on the ice and that in Princeton they don't have a hierarchy where they're watching seniors and juniors play, but actually playing and learning from experience. 


"We're going to take the win, take the energy and the positivity, and be happy that we showed up for each other and keep rolling off our positives. Take a look at what we can change or what else we can improve on and kind of focus on ourselves." - Paul said after the win.


The Princeton Tigers face Mercyhurst in a two-day series on the Hobey Baker Rink this next Friday and Saturday, November 10th and 11th.

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