PRINCETON, N.J. — The memory of the scoreless tie exactly one year ago between Colgate and Princeton evaporated quickly on Saturday at Baker Rink. Tiger freshman Annie Greenwood knocked a loose puck past Colgate goalie Brook Wheeler on a power play just over two minutes into the game. By the time the period was over, Greenwood had a hat trick, and the Tigers had a 4-0 lead. Greenwood added one more goal before the night was over in the 6-2 Tiger win.
The first period was a shocker, given that Colgate (7-5-3, 4-1-1 ECACHL) had been undefeated in league play, and Wheeler had a 1.77 goals against average. No. 7 Princeton (7-3-1, 4-1-1 ECACHL) apparently hadn’t read the stats, dominating the first period in all facets of the game.
“Our seniors have done an awesome job of getting our kids ready to play each day,” Princeton coach Jeff Kampersal said. “We got a break on that power play, made a couple of crisp passes and that seemed to get the momentum going.”
“I think we came off from last night with the tempo still there and it just fed into tonight,” Greenwood said, referring to Princeton’s 7-0 win over Cornell Friday night. “We were just all over them right off the bat, and I think it makes them tough for them to come out and play, so we just took over kind of in the beginning.”
After a goal by Tiger freshman Christine Foster, Greenwood took a pass from junior Kim Pearce, who was promptly ridden to the ice by a Colgate defender. Greenwood broke free and took the puck right into the crease, made a sweet move and backhanded it into the net for a 3-0 lead. Greenwood struck again two minutes later, sneaking the puck into the corner of the net.
“I didn’t think we came out and played as well as we can,” Colgate coach Scott Wiley said. “You get in a hole like that, you challenge the kids a little a bit, you’re asking them to step up and I thought our kids performed well from the 20-minute mark on.”
Wiley was eager to give Princeton credit, though. “I told Jeff after the game, I think that’s the best team he’s had since I’ve been here. They’ve got good jump and good energy, and the power play’s clicking right now, and we gave them some opportunities.”
After the first period ended, the Raiders played the Tigers even. The only goal of the second period came from Colgate freshman Clancy Todd. Princeton senior goaltender Roxanne Gaudiel made several acrobatic saves to keep the Tiger lead safe.
“Roxy was outstanding,” Kampersal said. “When all else failed, Roxy was there to bail us out. She was solid all game, but in the second period she made an unreal save.” The save Kampersal referred to was a glove catch made while doing the splits.
The third period began with Princeton adding to the lead. Sophomore Brittany Salmon stole the puck and glided free to the net. She deked Wheeler and went top shelf for the goal. Colgate came right back, though, with senior Becky Irvine sneaking one across the goal line.
Colgate’s last best chance came during a 5-on-3 power play with roughly six minutes to play. The Tiger defense was up to the challenge-in particular, juniors Laura Watt and Kate Hession and senior co-captain Heather Jackson. Both penalties were killed off, and Princeton had the win.
All that was left was for Greenwood to strike one more time, in her prettiest score of the night. Stationed in front of the net, she re-directed a shot by Hession for her fourth goal.
Kampersal described one of Greenwood’s goals as “Gretchen Anderson-esque,” referring to his 30-goal scorer who graduated two seasons ago. Since then, the Tigers have been searching for a scorer with that kind of prolificacy. Greenwood may be the one he’s looking for.
“She doesn’t make mistakes most of the time when she shoots,” Kampersal said of Greenwood. “She’s got a pretty good knack for the net.”
Princeton hosts Quinnipiac on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Colgate, after breaking for exams, will travel to New Hampshire on January 4, also at 7 p.m.