Princeton's Kayla Fillier celebrates a goal.
(JSN file photo by David Siegrist)

Princeton Women's Hockey Clinches Playoffs in Overtime Thriller

The Princeton University women's ice hockey team took the ice on Friday, Feb. 10, to face off against Union College in an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) matchup that saw the Tigers win 3-2 in overtime, clinching a spot in the ECAC playoffs. The Tigers improve to 13-11-1 overall and 9-10 in conference play.

Senior forward, Kayla Fillier led the scoring for Princeton with two goals while a freshman, Emerson O'Leary scored the overtime winner. Sophomore goaltender, Jennifer Olnowich recorded 15 saves between the pipes.


Princeton had a decent start, recording two shots in the first two and a half minutes. Union also played well out of the gates as they had two shots, but one on target forced Olnowich to make the save. Olnowich made back-to-back saves before Union netted the first period's first goal. Riley Walsh grabbed the goal for Union, assisted by Maren Friday and Stephanie Bourque. The Tigers tried to fight back as they made nine shots, most of which were saved by Sophie Matsoukas who was in goal for Union. Princeton outshot Union 22-1 in the remaining 10 minutes of the period trying to find their own goal and finishing the period trailing 1-0.

The second period saw a fairly even matchup between the teams. No goals were scored, but both goaltenders made big saves to keep their teams in the game. Sarah Fillier won the initial faceoff for the Tigers and proceeded to get a two-minute penalty for hooking. During the powerplay, Union only had two shots, one was blocked by O'Leary, and Olnowich saved the other to deny the team's second goal. The teams traded shots for the remainder of the period with both goaltenders coming up with big saves. Neither team could capitalize on the four total power players presented in the period. Union led 1-0.

Princeton came out of the intermission with a new energy to get the much-needed win. Five shots were fired in the first minute, with Jane Kuehl having three, but Matsoukas saved them. With a little over two minutes played in the third period, the Tigers finally scored their first goal courtesy of K. Fillier. As the puck was loose in front of the net, Fillier snuck it in with the assists going to Annie Kuehl and Maggie Connors. A little over a minute later, the Tigers take the lead with their second goal of the evening. Stef Wallace played the puck to Connors, who skated down the right side of the ice, to K. Fillier who took the one-time shot for the goal. This was Fillier's second of the game. The teams traded off shots again, but Walsh scored for Union and got the tying goal with five minutes to go. The period was decided in overtime after the teams tied 2-2 at the end of regulation.

The teams barely had time to play before O'Leary netted the golden goal. Princeton's senior defenseman, Mariah Keopple took the initial shot, which Matsoukas saved, but O'Leary scored the rebound for the game-winner. The Tigers won the matchup 3-2.

What’s Up Next for the Tigers?

The Tigers will return to the ice on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 3 p.m. against Rensselaer Polytech Institute at Hobey Baker Rink for the final home game of the regular season. You can watch your Princeton Tigers on ESPN+. c

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