Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 44
 
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
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READY POSITION: Princeton University women’s hockey goalie Cassie Seguin gets ready to stop a shot in recent action. Last Friday, sophomore netminder Seguin posted her fifth career shutout for the Tigers, making 23 saves in blanking Colgate 2-0. Princeton, now 1-3 overall and 1-1 in ECAC Hockey action, heads to upstate New York this weekend, when it plays at Rensselaer on November 5 and at Union a day later.

Seguin Blanks Colgate 2-0 in ECACH Opener as PU Women’s Hockey Gets Weekend Split

Bill Alden

Two weekends ago, Cassie Seguin surrendered a total of five goals as the Princeton University women’s hockey started its season with two defeats.

But the sophomore goalie viewed the weekend on the road as laying the foundation for some good things to come.

“It helped that the team atmosphere was really striving for it; we came together and everybody got going even though we were playing tough opponents,” said Seguin, who made 71 saves on the weekend and posted a .934 save percentage as Princeton fell 2-1 at Northeastern and 4-0 at Providence.

Last Friday, things came together for the Tigers and Seguin as they blanked Colgate 2-0 in the ECAC Hockey opener for both squads.

“I felt good about it; shutouts are always a good thing,” said the grinning 5’10 native of Ingleside, Ontario who made 23 saves in earning her fifth career shutout. “It is a confidence booster. It kind of helps to get everybody going and the team really jells.”

Seguin credited the Tiger defensive unit with playing a key role in the shutout. “The defensemen were really good at clearing rebounds so they made my job easier,” said Seguin.

Things got a little dicey for the Seguin and the Tiger defense late in the second period when it appeared that Colgate had scored a goal to tie the game at 1-1. The tally, though, was disallowed when the officials ruled that the puck had been kicked in by a Raider player.

That sequence seemed to energize the Tigers who scored 21 seconds later to make it 2-0 and then put the clamps on Colgate over the rest of the contest.

“I think it was kind of a scare more than anything,” said Seguin, reflecting on the disallowed goal.

“It reminded us that we are in a hockey game and that we have to make sure we are on top of things, being consistent, and not letting chances through.”

With a season of college hockey under her belt, Seguin feels she should be more consistent this winter.

“You are finally used to atmosphere and the preparation work and the pressure,” said Seguin, who posted a 5-6-3 record with a 2.25 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage in her freshman campaign. “It is a little easier to handle.”

Over this past summer, Seguin worked hard to better prepare herself for her second season with the Tigers.

“I really tried to work on my conditioning and flexibility to avoid injuries,” said Seguin. “I wanted to stay on top of things and come in with the best mind focus I could.”

PU head coach Jeff Kampersal liked the focus displayed by Seguin as she blanked Colgate.

“There are some plays that are going to happen like turnovers and we have to tighten that up but when those did happen, Cassie was big in the net,” said Kampersal.

“That was what you need to win hockey games. It is good to get a shutout in a league game. Beyond the shutout, Cassie made a couple of big saves and was just solid throughout. If she plays solid, that gives the team confidence.”

In Kampersal’s view, the Tigers produced a solid effort the whole way on Friday as they outshot the Raiders 28-23.

“The key that we told them was to start fast and they did that in the first five minutes,” said Kampersal, whose team didn’t start so well on Saturday as it fell behind No. 2 Cornell 3-0 in the first period on the way to a 5-1 loss.

“We really focused on winning our one-on-one battles and being strong on the puck. Those were the three things I brought up at the get-go and I thought they did that well and they really continued that for 60 minutes.”

Princeton freshman forwards Sally Butler and Denna Laing have been displaying good play from the get-go; both notching their first career goals on Friday.

“I thought Sally had a really good goal; that is the game we know she can play,” said Kampersal of Butler’s goal which broke the ice 6:23 into the second period.

“She really stepped it up. Denna has been going strong for three games. She has a great motor for us. She is a great penalty killer; she hustles all over the ice. She didn’t make any mistakes on that one, she buried it.”

While the defense made some mistakes in the loss to Cornell. Kampersal is confident in that unit.

“The defense has played well; there is still room for improvement but they listen,” said Kampersal.

“They are a good group; they are good kids. We still have some things, like playing on the forehand and getting off the blue line, that we have to polish up.”

But while Princeton may not be playing the polished hockey it hopes to display as the season unfolds, getting into the win column last weekend outweighed style points.

“We just needed a win, period,” said Kampersal, whose club hits the road this weekend looking for more victories as it plays at Rensselaer on November 5 and at Union a day later.

“From the exhibition to last week, we didn’t have one. A win is important in knowing that we are a good team. If we put a good effort in, we are going to give teams trouble.”

Seguin, for her part, believes that putting in a hard effort will pay dividends.

“We want to set a good tone for the year,” said Seguin. “We want to do our best at playing hard every game.”

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