Maine Hockey Journal

Bowdoin struggles in final game at Dayton

Brunswick, ME – For 52 years, Dayton Arena was the home to Bowdoin College men’s ice hockey team.

On Friday, the Polar Bears played their final game in the old barn, before moving into their new facility, the Sid Watson Arena, against nationally ranked Middlebury College before 2,337, losing a heartbreaker by a 5-2 score.

After starting the season with an impressive 5-0-1 record, Bowdoin has struggled lately, winning only once in their last six games including losing four straight.

“It’s one issue,” said Bowdoin head coach Terry Meagher. “We have a lot of guys playing a lot of hockey and they aren’t putting anything on the board.”

This is a goal sport, those who play the most have to produce, and they aren’t producing. It’s that simple.”

Middlebury, ranked fifth in the nation, opened the scoring at 4:59 of the first period on a goal by Ian Drummond, his second of the season.

Michael Kretschmer fired the shot on Bowdoin goaltender Richard Nerland, who made the original save, but couldn’t get back into position quick enough to stop Drummond’s snap shot from the slot.

In the second period, Charlie Strauss scored a pair of goals to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead before Bowdoin got on the board with a power play goal with 8:08 left in the period.

“We were flat and the people who play a lot of minutes had a real off night,” said Meagher. “I thought we played 15 minutes of hockey and that was in the third period.”

Mike Corbelle was credited with the goal after picking up the rebound from Kyle Shearer-Hardy, snapping the puck Middlebury goalie John Yanchek on the shortside, pulling the Polar Bears within two goals.

At 10:22 of the final period, Bowdoin made it a one-goal game, 3-2, as Graham Sisson redirected the shot by Corbelle past Yanchek, sending Dayton Arena into a raucous frenzy.

“At first, I said this team is better than us, but once we got connected and got going and some rhythm we weren’t that far apart,” said Meagher.

“They played a more complete game.”

With just three minutes left to play, Middlebury put the game away for good, scoring a pair of goals within a 41-second span.

At 17:04, John Sullivan spun around in the slot, firing the wrist shot by Nerland for the 4-2 lead.

At 17:45, Mason Graddock scored his fifth of season, beating Nerland above the right leg pad, extending Middlebury’s lead to three goals with 2:15 left in the game.

Bowdoin won’t have long wait on correcting the ship, as they will play an afternoon game against Williams College on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s frustrating because we don’t know what do,” said Meagher. “The good thing about (hockey)… is we get right back on the horse.

“We just have to keep going.”

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