St. Lawrence falls to No. 4 Princeton in overtime

St. Lawrence falls to No. 4 Princeton in overtime

PRINCETON, NJ -- Maggie Connors scored her second goal of the game with 3.2 seconds remaining in overtime to lead the fourth-ranked Princeton University women's hockey team to a 4-3 win over St. Lawrence in an ECAC Hockey contest at Hobey Baker Rink in Princeton, New Jersey, on Friday night.

Connors scored the game-winner with a short-side wrist shot over St. Lawrence goaltender Grace Harrison's blocker.

The Saints trailed late in regulation, but forced the overtime period with an extra attacker goal by Kayla Nielsen with 1:21 left in the third period.

With the loss, the Saints fall to 12-12-3 overall, 7-6-2 in ECAC Hockey, while Princeton ran its unbeaten streak to 20 straight games to improve to 15-2-5, 12-0-3.

"That was one of the better efforts from our team this year," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells '92. "We really stayed with it all game and found a ton of success. At the end of the day Princeton made one more play than we did. We are playing some very good hockey at the right time of the year and tomorrow is a big one right in front of us."

The Saints dominated the first half of the first period, outshooting Princeton 5-0 to start the game and taking a 1-0 lead at the 9:28 mark on a goal by Justine Reyes.

Reyes started the play with a pass to Nadine Edney, and Edney took a shot from the right circle that bounced off Princeton goaltender Steph Neatby and slid out to the left circle, where Reyes lifted a high backhand into the net for her seventh goal of the season.

But the Tigers were quick to answer, scoring twice in the next five minutes to take a 2-1 lead.

Connors tied the score, scoring on a rebound on the power play, and Keiko DeClerck gave Princeton the lead, lifting a wrist shot from the left circle just under the crossbar. Karlie Lund assisted on both first period goals for the Tigers.

Princeton had the best scoring chance in a scoreless second period, but St. Lawrence goaltender Grace Harrisonstopped Connors on a breakaway with less than seven minutes remaining in the frame to keep the Saints within one.

St. Lawrence senior defenseman Lydia Grauer tied the game with a power play goal with 6:26 to play in the third period, sending a shot through a screen from the point for her third goal of the season. Nielsen and Rachael Smith picked up assists on the play.

Sarah Fillier gave Princeton a 3-2 lead with a wrist shot from the right side that snuck inside the far post with 3:21 to play, but Nielsen tied the game exactly two minutes later, sweeping a rebound in after a shot from the point by Amanda ButterfieldSkylar Podvey also assisted on the play.

St. Lawrence forward Kalie Grant had two chances to take the lead in the final minute of the third period, hitting the crossbar once and getting a quick shot on net after an offensive zone faceoff win with just eight seconds to play. 

Princeton had several scoring chances in the overtime period, including a blast from the point by Stephanie Sucharda through a screen by DeClerck that Harrison stopped with less than a minute to play. The Saints' best scoring chance came just 30 seconds later, with Neatby stopping Edney on a 2-on-1.

St. Lawrence outshot Princeton 41-31, with Harrison making 27 saves for the Saints and Neatby stopping 38 shots for the Tigers. 

The Saints will face Quinnipiac on the road on Saturday at 3 p.m.