Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 1
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011
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EAGLE EYE: Princeton University women’s hockey player Julie Johnson eyed the puck last Friday against Boston College. Johnson scored two goals in the game to spark the Tigers to a 3-0 win over the No. 5 Eagles. On Monday, Johnson added another goal as Princeton blanked Quinnipiac 3-0. The win extended the Tigers’ winning streak to five and improved Princeton to 8-10-1 overall and 5-6-1 in ECAC Hockey play. The Tigers will look to keep rolling when they play at Clarkson on January 7 and at St. Lawrence a day later.

Sparked by Johnson’s Scoring Outburst, PU Women’s Hockey Winning Streak at 5

Bill Alden

Julie Johnson didn’t feel too good as the Princeton University women’s ice hockey team hosted No. 5 Boston College last Friday afternoon.

“I woke up sick today,” said junior forward Johnson. “I had a cold.”

Despite feeling under the weather, Johnson caught fire for the Tigers once she hit the ice at Baker Rink.

The 5’7 native of Calgary, Alberta scored a first period goal to give Princeton a 1-0 lead and then added a power play tally in the second frame as the Tigers pulled away to a 3-0 triumph.

In Johnson’s view, the team’s hard work in practice last week as it returned from holiday break made a difference in the win over the Eagles.

“Our practices were hard battles; everyone giving it their all and that showed out on the ice,” said Johnson. “We were ready for them; they are a fast paced team but we kept up.”

Johnson went hard on her first goal, swooping up the ice and ripping home a feed from Corey Stearns.

“I saw Corey going down the right wing so I knew I had to jump up in the play with her,” recalled Johnson.

“She likes to shoot but I knew she could get the puck over to me. I just got it on my stick and when I took a look, I saw the goalie come across and I just buried it in the back of the net.”

On her second goal, Johnson spoke up to get into the play. “It was the power play and the first power play group came out,” said Johnson.

“I saw a change and hopped on the ice and they were entering the zone. I saw [Olivia] Mucha get the puck and it looked like she was going to shoot and I just yelled at her to pass the puck over. She made a great fake and put it right on my stick and I just hammered it in.”

Although Boston College didn’t have some of its stars due a U.S. National Team training camp, Johnson saw the victory as a confidence builder.

“Even without their missing players, they are still a good team,” added Johnson. “We were definitely fired up to play a ranked team. Definitely, it is a big win for us. We have some momentum and hopefully we can keep it going for the rest of the season.”

On Monday, Johnson and the Tigers kept it going as they blanked Quinnipiac 3-0 to extend their winning streak to five and improve to 8-10-1 overall and 5-6-1 in ECAC Hockey play.

Like Friday, Johnson opened the scoring with a first period goal. Paula Romanchuk and Danielle DiCesare also scored and junior goalie Rachel Weber made 19 saves in picking up her third straight shutout and fourth in the last five games.

In Johnson’s view, the team’s sweep of a two-game set against Syracuse before the holidays gave the Tigers a big lift.

“Going into break with those two wins over Syracuse, we got our legs going and started finding the back of the net,” said Johnson, who will look to help keep the Tigers on the winning track as they play at Clarkson on January 7 and at St. Lawrence a day later.

“I think we just had to get our confidence. Now we have a couple of wins under our belt and we need to just keep rolling with that.”

The Tiger defense has also stiffened over the winning streak. “Our goalie [Rachel Weber] has confidence,” said Johnson.

“She was amazing today; making some great saves. We are transitioning well so we are not spending much time in our d-zone which helps a lot.”

Johnson knows that the Tigers have to keep playing well to be in a position to do some great things down the stretch.

“We are looking for points in our league to climb up and hopefully try to get home ice for the playoffs,” said Johnson of the Tigers, who are currently third in the ECACH with the top four in the final standings hosting the first round of the playoffs. “The next few games and every one to the end are important.”

After scoring just one goal in Princeton’s first 17 games, Johnson believes her outburst against Boston College can help her be a more important part of the Tiger attack going forward.

“A game like this can get anyone going,” maintained Johnson, who now has 30 points in her Princeton career on 13 goals and 17 assists.

“For me personally, I knew I was struggling a bit in the first half of the season. Getting these two goals definitely gave me some more confidence, knowing that I can score and my teammates are going to help me. My line has been moving the puck a lot better in the offensive zone and getting more chances.”

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