PRINCETON, N.J. — No. 1 St. Lawrence continues an unbeaten season, but not by much. The Saints left Baker Rink fortunate to escape with a 1-1 tie against No. 8 Princeton, considering they had to kill over a minute of a two-skater disadvantage in overtime.
With 22 seconds left in the game, Princeton junior forward Kim Pearce was tripped while headed for the net with the puck. St. Lawrence sophomore defender Annie Guay took the penalty and joined teammate Kerri Wallace, who was already in the box for tripping.
“In the old days, that was a great play when the defenseman dives and knocks the puck into the corner and then the kid’s momentum causes her to trip over her stick,” said St. Lawrence coach Paul Flanagan. “It’s a nice play defensively, but I guess it’s on the books that she’s tripping.”
Through the end of regulation and into overtime, St. Lawrence excelled on the kill. A minute and five seconds of 6-on-4 was killed, and then another thirty seconds of 5-on-4. Then, at 3:34 of overtime, Princeton’s freshman defender Katherine Dineen was whistled for tripping. It was the Tigers’ turn to hang on, and the game ended deadlocked. Tiger senior goalie Roxanne Gaudiel ended with 30 saves, while her St. Lawrence counterpart, Megan Guckian, stopped 25 shots.
“We did a great job, it was a great effort, [Emilie] Berlinguette primarily,” Flanagan said of his penalty killing unit and his senior forward.
In all there were nineteen penalties called in the game, and both sides exhibited superior penalty killing units.
“All the penalties are going to shorten your bench,” Flanagan said. “That’s what’s frustrating when you get a lot of penalties and a lot of special teams. Our power play girls also kill penalties, so you’re really wearing down your best players. Your best six kids are playing the last seven or eight minutes of the game, and the quality diminishes because they’re gassed.”
After two scoreless periods of hockey, St. Lawrence (9-0-2, 2-0-2 ECACHL) struck first, and of course, it was on a power play. A shot deflected off the stick of freshman forward Marianna Locke between the legs of Gaudiel.
But Princeton (4-2-2, 2-1-1 ECACHL) hung tough. Through the whole game the Tigers had battled against St. Lawrence’s size and strong forechecking, using a speedy transition game to keep the Saints on their toes.
With just over four minutes remaining in the game, junior forward Laura Watt swatted a shot that hit high off the glass on the power play. Freshman forward Annie Greenwood collected the puck behind the net and dished to Pearce, who found the corner of the net for the tie.
Both teams had some golden opportunities early on. Early in the second period, in the last seconds of a penalty kill, senior co-captain Heather Jackson had a great shorthanded chance for the Tigers, but couldn’t get enough mustard on her shot. Seconds later, Guckian was out of position and the puck streaked across the crease, just out of reach of senior co-captain Tarah Clark.
The Saints missed a chance the same period when sophomore forward Sabrina Harbec was on a breakaway, but her shot went high.
The Tigers’ last near-miss came when they put the puck in the net less than a second after the buzzer ended the third period.
Flanagan was philosophical about the tie.
“We just did a stint of eleven out of thirteen games on the road, and we came out of it with two ties and the rest wins,” he said. “I look at that schedule and would I be happy with our record-absolutely. But what I do like about the team is they’re really disappointed in the locker room. There’s other times when you may be, ‘Hey, take the point, let’s get on the bus and run,’ and they treated last Sunday’s tie [against Harvard] like a loss. That’s their mentality, they’re not just satisfied with a point, they’re going for the win. Hopefully they can keep that up.”
St. Lawrence returns home to face Connecticut on Friday. Princeton continues a long home stint with Mercyhurst, also on Friday.