PRINCETON, N.J. — No. 7 Princeton won its fifth straight game Friday at Baker Rink, overpowering Wayne State 5-2. The win was a total team effort, as five different Tigers scored goals.
A three-goal outburst in the first period was all the scoring Princeton (9-3-2) would need, and for the first two scores, the usual suspects were responsible. At 2:23 freshman Annie Greenwood took the puck behind the net and wrapped it around the post for her team-leading 11th goal of the season. She has now scored in six straight games. She was assisted by junior Kim Pearce, who leads the ECACHL in that category.
Wayne State (6-9-2) struck back later in the period on a power play. Senior captain Jessica Snelgrove fired the puck from the right faceoff circle that went just above Princeton’s senior goalie Roxanne Gaudiel’s stick shoulder. But the Tigers went ahead for good when Greenwood assisted Pearce, who was positioned in front of the post and slid it across the crease, just tucking in behind the opposite post.
The Tigers got egalitarian in their scoring distribution toward the end of the period, when senior Sarah Butsch ripped a shot from between the faceoff circle and the blueline that eluded Warriors’ s goalie Valery Turcotte. In the second period, Princeton’s third line of senior co-captain Tarah Clark and sophomores Marykate Oakley and Sonja Novak combined for two scores, with Clark and Oakley notching the goals.
“Clarkie worked so hard,” said Princeton coach Jeff Kampersal. “I’m glad she scored a goal, she deserved it. Any time you can get them going it takes the burden off of some of our other players.”
After Oakley’s goal, Wayne State coach Jim Fetter pulled Turcotte and replaced her with another sophomore goaltender, Tiffany Thompson, who stopped the bleeding. But the damage had been done and Wayne State could not come back, though they did mount a threat in the third period. At 12:52 freshman Tina Vanderhoeven blasted a power-play goal through traffic that made the score 5-2.
Then, with just over five minutes to play, Wayne State was skating with a 4-on-3 advantage. Coach Fetter thought about pulling the goalie for a two-skater advantage, but decided against it.
“It’s a goalie that hasn’t played a whole lot for us,” Fetter said, “and I think she was playing well and I just wanted to give her an opportunity to stay out there as many minutes as she could. I thought we had the players out there that could score the goal, but unfortunately we couldn’t.”
The Warriors seemed out of sync all game, rarely getting any offense going. The Tigers were constantly beating them to the puck and played a swarming defense.
“I don’t think we showed up at all today,” Fetter said. “I think if anything we may have played the last seven minutes of the third period. I think we were standing, watching. We weren’t involved. Some of that may have been us being off for the last 10 days. We had last weekend off, we didn’t play any games. I can only hope that that’s what the reason is and that we’re able to show up and play 60 minutes tomorrow.”
Princeton now has scored 22 goals in its last four games after scoring just 19 in its first nine.
“We call them knock-down punches if we can score in the first five minutes, which we have done three out of the last four games,” Kampersal said. “So that gets us in a good positive momentum and gets our offense going. I wasn’t happy that we let them back in at the end of the game by taking penalties. We still worked hard, but we were still a little more relaxed than intense.”
Princeton and Wayne State will rematch on Saturday at 3 p.m.