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Down 2-0 with five minutes left in the second period, Shelby Calof carried the puck behind the net before wrapping around and trying to get a shot past Princeton goalkeeper Rachel McQuigge. But Calof’s shot was blocked, and the Tigers took the puck up the ice, trying to get the puck out of its own half. Syracuse’s Madison Primeau took the puck and passed it to Marielle McHale, who then tapped it back to Primeau.
Primeau wristed a long shot from the left side, but her shot was deflected as well. Syracuse recovered the rebound and moved the puck around before McHale passed it to Kambel Beacom, who set Primeau up directly in front of the net. This time, Primeau netted it in the upper right corner of the goal, putting Syracuse within one score of Princeton.
Primeau scored for the Orange, but the team was unable to get an additional goal to tie the game and force overtime. Syracuse (6-9-4, 5-3-1 College Hockey America) fell to Princeton (6-5-3, 5-2-1 ECAC Hockey) after lacking offense throughout the game despite scoring four goals against the Tigers the day prior.
“We had great chances but we just couldn’t capitalize today,” Jessica DiGirolamo said.
Just 40 seconds into the game, it looked like Syracuse was going to start the game with an early 1-0 lead when Hannah Johnson passed to Abby Moloughney for a shot close to the net. Players from both teams crashed the goal because it didn’t look like McQuigge had full control of the puck. A few Syracuse players threw their hands up celebrating what they thought was a goal, but the referees called it a no-goal.
After a review confirmed the no-goal, Syracuse wouldn’t notch a shot for another four minutes until they had a two-against-one opportunity. Tatum White received the pass from Lauren Bellefontaine, but she had to stretch her stick out to get the puck and couldn’t get a clean shot.
Princeton then dominated possession and took the next four shots. Seemingly every time Syracuse took control of the puck they would lose possession before being able to carry the puck into Princeton’s half.
After the Tigers lost possession in Syracuse’s half of the ice, DiGirolamo took the puck and skated to Princeton’s half, but she was outnumbered with four players around her. But none of the players stepped up to her and she got a shot off, but it went directly to McQuigge.
A few possession changes later, White tried carrying up the puck on the right side but was met by Princeton’s Solveig Neunzert. Neunzert quickly passed to Dominique Cormier, who then tapped it to Maggie Connors, who netted one past Syracuse goaltender Arielle DeSmet. Syracuse found itself down 1-0.
SU picked up the pace offensively and managed nine more shots, but it didn’t have any luck converting. With less than a minute remaining, Annie Kuehl got a slashing penalty and Syracuse had a power play but only managed two long shots from Moloughney and Sarah Marchand, both of which were saved by McQuigge.
To start the second period, DiGirolamo took a shot from far but it couldn’t get past the Princeton defense, which packed together in front of the net. Mariah Keopple blocked DiGirolamo’s shot and Princeton successfully killed the penalty.
Syracuse struggled to compete with Princeton’s physicality and multiple times had shots altered or had the puck stolen by a Tigers defender.
“It was physical,” head coach Paul Flanagan said. “Both ways there were four of five body checks.”
Princeton’s physicality backfired when Annie Kuehl got her second penalty of the night, and on the power play, DiGirolamo had a chance to even the game at one apiece when she launched a shot from the middle. It went a bit too wide as it hit the pipe and deflected out back to Princeton, which gave the Tigers another penalty kill.
A little over halfway into the second period, Moloughney got a penalty of her own for slashing a Princeton player. Unlike Syracuse, Princeton converted on the power play right as it expired when there was a scrap in front of the net for the puck and it fell into the stick of Kate Monihan, who put it past DeSmet to give Princeton a 2-0 advantage.
Syracuse quickly responded with Primeau’s goal three shots later, but that would be their final shot of the period as Princeton took the next eight — six of which DeSmet saved.
Syracuse had a power-play opportunity six minutes into the third period but the Orange only took three shots from far and couldn’t get close to the goal. SU tried to make an aggressive push after a Mae Batherson shot as multiple players crashed the net for a rebound, but McQuigge made the save and prevented the Orange from scoring.
Syracuse again got a power play two minutes later after Sarah Thompson was tripped, but as the previous power plays went, the Orange again failed to find the net. Thompson had the closest shot on the power play when she wrapped around the net, but she was too close to McQuigge who easily blocked the shot, and the Tigers earned their fourth penalty kill of the night.
At the end of the game, Syracuse became desperate and was forced to go to an empty net to try and tie the game. SU totaled four shots in the last minute, but the first two missed and the last two were both saved by McQuigge.
McQuigge saved 35 out of the Orange’s 55 shots on the day, and the other 20 Syracuse failed to put on target to solidify the 2-1 loss.
“We struggled to solve their goaltender,” Flanagan said. “We struggle with really good goaltenders. A lot of teams do.”
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