PRINCETON, N.J. (10/16/12) - The Princeton women's hockey season sets sail this weekend as the Tigers travel to RIT on Friday, Oct. 19 and Robert Morris on Saturday, Oct. 20.
Princeton finished the 2011-12 campaign with a 12-15-4 overall record. The team was 10-10-2 in the ECAC to finish seventh and made its 11th straight playoff appearance. The Tigers lost six seniors to graduation and bring in six freshmen. Princeton returns 72 percent of its scoring from last year including the top three scorers. Junior Sally Butler led the team in scoring in 2011-12 with 15 goals and 11 assists for 26 points. Classmate Denna Laing also had 11 assists to go along with 11 goals. Sophomore Ali Pankowski was the Tigers' leading scorer from the blueline, scoring three times and chipping in 10 assists. The loss of netminder Rachel Weber to graduation is a hard hit as she has been the starter the last three years. Three players are vying for the starting role, including rookie Kimberly Newell.
Princeton and RIT have met before, the last game being played in 1995. Princeton owns a 7-2-2 edge in the all-time series with the former DIII squad.
RIT won the NCAA DIII Championship last year before being elevated to DI status. The Tigers are 2-2 on the season. They dropped a pair to Mercyhurst before sweeping Sacred Heart last weekend. Kim Schlattman has a team-high four goals and one assist for five points. Senior Ellesha Fortuna also has five points on two goals and three assists. Freshman Carly Payerl, senior Ariane Yokoyama and junior Kourtney Kunichika have four points apiece, with Kunichika leading the team in assists with four. Sophomore Ali Binnington earned the shutout in goal against SHU last weekend and is 1-1 on the season. She has a 3.50 GAA and an .867 save percentage. Junior Laura Chamberlain is also 1-1 and has a 4.38 GAA and a .792 save percentage. The Tigers penalty kill has killed all but three penalties for 88.9 percent. The power play has scored just three times on 23 opportunities, a rate of 13 percent.
Princeton and Robert Morris had its first meeting last year, a game that Princeton won 3-2.
Robert Morris opens its season this weekend as well, playing Yale on Friday night before playing Princeton. The Colonials have played four exhibitions, against Guelph, Oakville and Cambridge Fury and went 4-0, outscoring the squads by a combined 21-3. RMU finished the 2011-12 season with a 19-9-4 record and finished second in College Hockey America with a 6-3-3 mark. The Colonials return more than 85 percent of its point production from last season. Last year's leading scorer Rebecca Vint returns for her sophomore season. Vint had 44 points last year with 22 goals and assists each. Junior Thea Imbrogno had 16 goals and 20 assists last season. Seniors Kelsey Thomas and Cobina Delaney chipped in 27 and 24 points, respectively last year. Both netminders return as well. Senior Kristen DiCiocco played in all but three games last year. She had a 1.97 GAA and a .928 save percentage. Backup Courtney Vinet was undefeated at 2-0-1 with a 1.45 GAA and a .946 save percentage.