The Princeton women's hockey team got the perfect finish to its regular season, and now it can focus on delaying the finish of its postseason. After a 3-0 home win over Union, the seventh-seeded Princeton Tigers will prepare for a trip to Cambridge and a showdown with No. 2 Harvard.
Princeton got goals from Sally Butler, Ali Pankowski and Denna Laing, as well as one final home shutout from senior goaltender Rachel Weber, to cap a perfect weekend at Baker Rink. One day after a hard-fought one-goal win over Rensselaer, Princeton controlled play throughout the contest against Union.
After a scoreless first period, Butler scored her team-leading 14th goal of the season off a centering pass from Heather Landry, who picked up her sixth assist of the season. Following a Union tripping penalty, senior Paula Romanchuk, one of seven members of the Class of 2012 to be honored during Senior Day, sent a pass from behind the goal to freshman defenseman Ali Pankowski, who fired in a power-play goal. It was the third goal of the season for Pankowski, who gave the swarming Princeton defense a little insurance to work with.
The defense kept Union on its heels, especially in a second period when it held the Dutchwomen to only four shots. Princeton built the lead to 3-0 when Laing took a pass from Butler and scored her ninth of the season. Union only managed five more shots in the third period, but Weber made five of her 15 saves to record the shutout.
Princeton will now focus on its ECAC quarterfinal series with Harvard. Both teams split the season series, with each winning at home. Weber made 20 saves and Butler scored twice in a 3-0 Princeton home win in early January, but Harvard stormed back with 10 unanswered goals at home during a 10-1 victory.Head coach Jeff Kampersal and his staff will have plenty of time to prepare for the Crimson, but he was happy to pay tribute to his talented senior class both before and after Saturday's victory. The Class of 2012 includes Danielle DiCesare, Ann-Marie Elvin, Julie Johnson, Heather Landry, Paula Romanchuk, Charissa Stadnyk and Rachel Weber.