Eleven minutes into the second period, Syracuse’s Abby Moloughney received a two-minute penalty for slashing. Short-handed, the Orange ceded offensive pressure to Princeton in the ensuing passing of play. The Tigers rapidly shifted the puck around Syracuse’s defensive zone, mixing in shots on goal from distance as well. This forced SU players to continuously chase the puck, as the Orange were unable to contain the Tigers and clear the puck from their defensive zone.
A Princeton shot eventually resulted in a scrum in front of Syracuse’s net, which saw both SU and Princeton players collide with each other while lunging for the puck. The Tigers imposed their physicality on the Orange, leading to a shot from Kate Monihan that went past Arielle DeSmet, who was still laid out on the ice from protecting her net during the scrum.
Monihan’s shot hit the back netting — putting the Tigers up 2-0 — just one second before Moloughney would have been released back onto the ice.
Syracuse (6-9-4, 5-3-1 College Hockey America) made defensive adjustments throughout the rest of the contest to prevent Princeton from scoring a third time, but it couldn’t level the scoring to prevent a loss against Princeton (6-5-3, 5-2-1 ECAC Hockey). Mistakes in transition and the inability to earn penalty kills ultimately cost the Orange. Princeton used their physicality and pressing to offput Syracuse in the first two periods, and the Orange weren’t able to consistently match the Tigers’ intensity until the third.
“They did a really good job,” Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan said about the Tigers’ offense. “They were chipping it by us again and making our defense have to retreat and putting pressure on them.”
A back-and-forth first period saw limited attacking opportunities from both teams. But eight minutes into the game, Tatum White was caught out in possession after attempting to initiate a counterattack for Syracuse. White didn’t release the puck in time, which allowed for the Tigers to rush toward DeSmet.
Princeton’s Dominique Cormier received a pass from the neutral zone and knocked the puck against the left wall to get around SU’s Hannah Johnson. Disjointed, the rest of Syracuse’s defense didn’t react in time to prevent the puck from sliding to Princeton’s Maggie Connors, who consequently found herself in a standoff with DeSmet. With no Syracuse defenders nearby, Connors was able to fake a shot, veer to the right and slap the puck beyond DeSmet across the goal line to open the scoring.
“We were out of sync,” Flanagan said about his team’s defensive performance.
Princeton continued to pressure Syracuse each time the Orange looked to exit their defensive zone. This was accentuated even further when Moloughney was called for a slashing penalty in the second period, when Princeton had its first power play of the game. SU were outrun while short-handed and unable to thwart the Tigers for a penalty kill. Monihan capitalized on the aftermath of a scrum in front of Syracuse’s net to double Princeton’s lead seven minutes into the second period.
SU freshman Madison Primeau scored two minutes later to get the Orange on the board, but it wasn’t until the third period when Syracuse’s defense was able to contain Princeton’s offensive unit. The Orange held the Tigers to just five shots in the third period, but they couldn’t find a second goal for themselves to tie the game.
“(We have) to get back in that groove,” Flanagan said. “And just got to move (to the puck) quicker.”
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