Maine Hockey Journal

Bowdoin drops nationally-ranked Amherst; 4-2

Brunswick, ME – The Bowdoin College Polar Bears returned to their winning ways on Friday night at the Sidney Watson Arena. Jeff Fanning scored twice and Chris Rossi made 23 saves en route to a 4-2 win over the nationally-ranked Amherst College Jeffs.

With the victory, Bowdoin improves to 12-5-1 overall, and 5-1-1 in their last seven games. The loss for Amherst, ranked 7th in the Division III National Poll, snaps a 13 game unbeaten streak for the Jeffs.

“We have a lot of respect for them. That kid in net is pretty special,” said Bowdoin Head Coach Terry Meagher, referring to goalie Cole Anderson. Anderson entered tonight’s game with an 8-2-2 record along with sparkling peripheral numbers (1.80 goals against average and .931 save percentage), ranking him first among all Division III goaltenders. “He’s got my vote,” continued Meagher.

Bowdoin and Amherst battled through a rugged first period, trading hits and blocked shots, but not goals. The Polar Bears out-shot the Jeffs by a narrow margin, but both goaltenders did their jobs, keeping all 19 shots out of the net.

Both teams maintained their intensity in the second period.

With approximately six minutes remaining in the middle frame, Amherst forward Mark Colp finally opened the scoring. Colp received a pass off of the rush from Eddie Effinger and released a quick wrist shot through the pads of Rossi and into the net.

Under three minutes later, Amherst captain Keith Nelson received a two-minute penalty for hitting after the whistle, providing Bowdoin with a 5-on-3 power play. Polar Bear forward Daniel Weiniger, returning to the lineup for the first time since mid December, apparently hasn’t missed a step. Weiniger’s slap shot from the top of the right face-off circle ricocheted off of the crossbar and into the goal, knotting the score 1-1. Kyle Shearer-Hardy and Graham Sisson assisted on the play.

Prior to the game-tying goal, Amherst had not allowed a goal in 201:24.

Bowdoin’s offense carried into the third period. The Polar Bears caught a break and earned their first lead of the night at 2:23 when Jeff Fanning swatted the bouncing puck past the outstretched arm of Anderson and into the gaping net.

The next three goals came within a span of 28 seconds.

After two rousing saves from Cole Anderson, Bowdoin cashed in on their third shorthanded scoring opportunity in under a minute. Jeff Fanning notched his second goal of the game, entering the Amherst zone on a 2-on-1 rush and lifting the puck into the top left corner of the net.

Sixteen seconds later, Kyle Shearer-Hardy extended Bowdoin’s lead to 4-1. The Polar Bear’s leading point scorer collected a crisp pass at center ice and rushed into the Amherst zone on a breakaway. The puck was slightly ahead of Shearer-Hardy, prompting Anderson to attempt a diving poke check. The gamble went awry as Hardy managed to slip the puck under the goaltender and across the goal line.

Amherst was able to muster a single retort just 12 seconds later. Joe Brock positioned himself in front of the net and redirected the puck past Chris Rossi to cap the scoring in a torrid third period.

“This group has been remarkably consistent. Here at home, where nerves can show against the leading team with arguably the best goalie in the country, (we) were able to start and finish the game at (the necessary) level,” said Terry Meagher after the game.

Chris Rossi improved to 7-0-1 on the year with a 23-save effort. At the other end, Cole Anderson stopped 28 shots in defeat.

Bowdoin finished 1-for-4 with the man advantage and held Amherst scoreless through five power play opportunities.

Up next: Saturday, February 6 vs. Hamilton College at 4:00 p.m. ET.

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