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Laing's hat trick leads Tigers to tie with Rensselaer

The women’s ice hockey team spent the past weekend in New York, playing two conference games against Union and Rensselaer, tying one and losing the other.

The Tigers (9-8-3, 6-6-2 ECAC) played a tough game against Union on Friday night. Earlier this season, the Tigers played Union at home in a decisive 4-1 win. However, the game went very differently in Schenectady. In the first period, Princeton led in the shots-on-goal category, eight to four. However, Princeton’s offensive strike was countered by its penalties, with two penalty kills for hooking and tripping. After 20 minutes in the first period, the game was still scoreless.

The women’s hockey team was outscored just 6-5 over the weekend, recording a tie and a loss.

The women’s hockey team was outscored just 6-5 over the weekend, recording a tie and a loss.

The first goal of the game came 2:26 into the second when Union right wing Stefanie Thomson, assisted by Christine Valente and Maddy Norton, scored the game’s first goal on a power play. Less than two minutes later, Union doubled its lead with an unassisted goal from Kathryn Tomaselli. The second period ended with the Dutchwomen up by two going into the third.

Freshman center Cassidy Tucker made it a one-goal game when sophomore center Jaimie McDonell found freshman right wing Hilary Lloyd, who found Tucker for a backhanded goal, her fourth of the season, with just under five minutes to play in the third period. Despite the new momentum, the Tigers were unable to tie the game. Defense was a big part of the game, as Union’s goalie Shenae Lundberg ended the game with 28 saves while sophomore goalie Kimberly Newell had 21 for the Tigers.

On Saturday, the Tigers played Rensselaer, another team that they had faced and beaten earlier in the season. Hoping to beat the Engineers, the Tigers captured momentum early. Senior center Denna Laing scored in the first 25 seconds, assisted by junior defender Ali Pankowski and senior defender Rosa Alleva. At 5:37, Laing scored again, this time assisted by left wing Brianna Leahy and senior right wing Sally Butler. Rensselaer fought back, with its first goal off of a power-play opportunity at 9:19 in the first to make the score 2-1 going into the third.

“Defensively, we need to be more disciplined in our defensive zone, and we continuously need to work on improving our penalty kill when it’s in our zone,” Laing said. “Four out of the six of the goals scored on us this weekend were power-play goals, so that really hurt us. Offensively, we need to work on putting the puck away when we have the chance.”

At 4:14 in the second, Tucker scored her fifth goal of the season  to regain the two-goal lead for the Tigers. However, Rensselaer tied the game up with two more goals, one at 12:26 in the second and another early in the third.

Tied at 3-3, Laing would score her third goal of the game, achieving her first career hat trick, at 3:13 on a Rensselaer power play. Rensselaer tied the game up quickly, however, scoring on the same penalty to make the game 4-4.

“It was really exciting at the time because it put us ahead in the game and it was on a shorthanded goal, which are always extra exciting,” Laing said. “But I couldn’t have scored any goals without the hard work my linemates put in to get the puck to the net.”

Going into overtime, the Tigers were unable to convert on another power-play opportunity, and the game ended in a 4-4 overtime tie. Princeton will take a two-week break for finals and host its next game against Penn State on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at Hobey Baker Rink.

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