Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 47
 
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
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YOUNG AT HEART: Princeton University women’s hockey goalie Kristen Young saves a shot by Colgate’s Sam Hunt in Princeton’s 3-0 win over the Raiders last Saturday. Young made 27 saves as she recorded her first shutout of the season.

Star Goalie Young Steps Up Once Again as PU Women’s Hockey Blanks Colgate

Bill Alden

Coming into last Friday night’s game against visiting Cornell, goalie Kristen Young had gotten off to a sizzling start this season for the Princeton University women’s ice hockey team.

The junior from Calgary, Alberta had posted a 2.16 goals against average in Princeton’s previous nine games and had already been named the ECAC Hockey League (ECACHL) Goalie of the Week twice.

But against the Big Red, Young surrendered six goals in a 13-minute span in the second and third periods, equalling the number of goals she had yielded in Princeton’s previous three games.

The Tigers went on to a 7-4 loss and hit Baker Rink the next day against Colgate looking to make amends for the disappointment of the Cornell loss.

With Young setting the tone with a rock-solid 27-save effort, the Tigers bounced back with style as they blanked Colgate 3-0.

In reflecting on the win, Young said that the Tigers hit the ice with a fighting spirit.

“We were ready to battle for every puck in every shift,” said Young. “We stopped thinking about the score and the external things we can’t control. Personally I had to really step it up; I had a terrible game yesterday. A game like that happens to every goalie at some point but I hate it when it happens. At least it’s early in the season and I’ll be able to recover from it.”

It was nice for the recovery to include Young’s first shutout of the season as 10th-ranked Princeton improved to 4-4-2 overall and 2-4-1 in ECACHL play.

“It feels good,” said Young, who now has five shutouts in her Princeton career. “It’s a little bit of redemption from yesterday. I’ll have to work for some more.”

Young came into Saturday with a little extra motivation as she looked forward to another battle with her childhood friend, Colgate star forward Sam Hunt.

“We played together for the Bowness Bruins, every game we have played in college has been kind of a battle,” said Young with a smile.

“There are a lot of Bruins on Colgate; I get fired up for that game.”

Young needs to get fired up every night for the Tigers as she is carrying the load with expected back-up goalie Brittany Parisi having given up the sport due to back problems.

The Tigers are using Meg Murray, a converted lacrosse player as the back-up, meaning that they are counting on Young to make every start.

The unflappable Young is enjoying the extra responsibility. “I do like it, it’s a different mentality,” said Young, who played in 21 games in her sophomore season, going 11-5-3 with a 2.06 goals against average.

“Megger works hard in practice too. It’s so inspiring to see someone who is willing to play everyday and support the team. I used to prepare like I was going to play anyway so that hasn’t changed.”

Princeton head coach Jeff Kampersal believes that Young’s daily excellence has inspired the Tigers.

“It’s tough for her to play every game; she’s been pretty focused all along,” said Kampersal.

“Against Cornell, she had a couple of lapses but we were all a little shellshocked. She really played well tonight; she bounced back mentally and physically. It was pretty impressive for her to shut that team out.”

Young’s second period heroics against Colgate when she made 13 saves helped keep Princeton in control of the contest.

“They came out hard in the second period and Kristen made two huge saves,” asserted Kampersal, whose team jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Annie Greenwood and then doubled the lead on a score by Julie Flynn midway through the second.

“She stopped Sam Hunt on that wraparound breakaway; it was like a double pad save. It could’ve been 2-1 and the whole complexion of the game could have changed at that point.”

Princeton’s collective intensity never changed Saturday. “I think we played the boards better, we won more battles, we played smarter,” said Kampersal, whose team got its final tally on a short-handed goal by Brittany Salmon in the third period.

“We kept the puck out of the middle and we didn’t turn the puck over at the blue line. We did the things that Cornell killed us on in the second period on Friday.”

The team’s sharper play was the result of some focused pre-game preparation.

“We showed them a video from Friday to let them know what needed to be improved,” said Kampersal. “They took it and ran with it. The girls showed that they are resilient and can bounce back.”

Kampersal liked the way Greenwood and Salmon ran with their goal-scoring opportunities in the win over Colgate.

“Annie has started off well; she is working hard,” maintained Kampersal. “Today she worked smarter and was more disciplined.

She’s a big kid and she is back to her freshman year form. Brittany is probably our best breakaway kid. She can freeze the goalie and move around her.”

The Tigers froze the Raiders out on special teams play, killing all six penalties and scoring the shorthanded goal for good measure.

“All along, they got into the passing angles; they blocked shots,” added Kampersal. “They showed grit and toughness.”

That grit and toughness should serve the Tigers well as they look to build on their recent strong play which has seen them win three of four games, including a 2-1 upset of top-ranked University of New Hampshire.

“I was telling them in the locker room that some Princeton teams started out well but didn’t finish well,” said Kampersal, whose club hosts No. 2 Mercyhurst for a two game set on November 23 and 24.

“I think they are going the other way. We might go through some bumps and bruises but at the end I think we are going to be solid.”

Young, for her part, believes the Tigers know what it takes to produce a strong finish. “I think the mentality is to focus 60 minutes and play together,” said Young.

“If you don’t play together, you’re not going to win these games. I think we have put the Cornell game behind us; we know we can win games. We had to figure out the formula to do it and I think it is coming together finally.”

If Young can maintain her focus in goal, Princeton figures to win a lot of games this winter.

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