By David F. Pendrys (Eyewitness account verified against official box score.)
HAMDEN, CT- Quinnipiac shut out Princeton 2-0 Saturday afternoon to complete their two game sweep in the ECAC quarterfinals. Unlike Friday night’s 7-0 blowout there were only two goals scored in the game, but that was all QU needed. Quinnipiac’s Chelsea Laden picked up her second shut out in as many nights with 16 saves. Princeton’s Kimberly Newell made 34 saves against the 35 shots she faced. QU’s 36th shot was into an empty net to cement their victory.
The first period of the game passed with no penalties and no goals. Quinnipiac thought they had scored at one point when the puck careened towards the goal line, but was knocked away at the last second by a Princeton defender. The referee present called it a goal but a video review disagreed. The period was filled with QU putting pressure on their opponents with a shot differential of 11 to 3. Princeton when they attacked though did seem to get good opportunities.
In the second period the first penalty came when Molly Strabley of Princeton went off for body checking at 2:33. Quinnipiac used their power play effectively keeping up the attack until Taylar Cianfarano lined up a pass across the front of the goal to Nicole Connery who smacked the puck passed Newell at close range at 4:24. The two other penalties in the 2nd period, one on each team, would produce no goals. By the end of the period QU had sent 30 shots on goal, to Princeton’s 10. It seemed miraculous or a credit to Newell’s goaltending that the score was so low.
In period three, each team had a power play but couldn’t score during either. Princeton pulled Newell with over a minute to play, but could not get the puck past Laden. With mere seconds left in the game, QU’s Nicole Brown and a Princeton defender raced for the puck in the Princeton zone. Brown barely got to it first and launched it into the empty net at 19:48 to take away any Princeton hope.
Quinnipiac advances to the ECAC semifinals at Clarkson next weekend.