Maine Hockey Journal

Bowdoin overcomes veteran missteps for overtime win

Brunswick, ME – On a night filled with penalty minutes, and up-and-down play, Bowdoin College men’s ice hockey team prevailed against UMass-Boston, 5-4, in overtime.

Senior captain defenseman Kyle Shearer-Hardy netted the game winner with a sniper shot from the blue line, as Bowdoin triumph in what Head Coach Terry Meagher called a “lucky” victory.

“We just didn’t have our game,” said Meagher. We were beat to pucks. We didn’t play smart hockey. They did a really good job in the neutral zone. We weren’t skating through seams looking to make plays.”

“I thought we were just lucky to get out with the win.”

Dan Weiniger front of UMass-Boston goaltender Kevin Bendel. PHOTO: Chris Nordenson/Nordenson Photography

Bowdoin was able to get on the scoreboard quickly, as junior defenseman Jordan Lalor jetted up the left side of the ice and wristed one by junior goaltender Kevin Bendel.

Bendel was able to muster 21 saves in 26 chances.

With three-quarters of the period gone Bowdoin was able to capitalize on a UMass penalty, as freshman Harry Matheson received a laser pass from freshman Kyle Lockwood and put one in the back of the net.

The opening contest was penalty marred, as ref’s penalized both squads for a total of 32 minutes.

The tide seemed to shift a bit during a wild second period, as the Beacons fought back from the deficit to score three unanswered goals. By the end of two periods, the score was knotted at three goals apiece.

Shearer-Hardy was disappointed with the team’s overall effort, particularly from the upperclassmen.

“We had four or five freshmen, who were our best players tonight,” Shearer-Hardy said. “I think we expected a little more out of our veterans.”

Bowdoin began the third with a power play, and nearly received a gift-wrapped goal as freshman defenseman Cameron Harvey tried clearing the puck behind his own net. The puck hit Bendel in the back of the legs, and nearly trickled into the goal. The Polar Bears received another shot at making UMass pay for their mental mistakes, as the Beacons were penalized twice within 53 seconds, awarding Bowdoin with a 5-on-3 man advantage.

This time the Polar Bears would not be denied, scoring on the power play, and giving themselves a 4-3 lead. Although senior forward Jeff Fanning placed the puck into the net, the goal was a complete team effort, as Bowdoin peppered Bendel with an enormous array of shots. Sophomore forward Robert Toczylowski and senior defenseman Brendan Reich received credit for the assists.

Bowdoin goaltender Richard Nerland attempt a save against UMass-Boston PHOTO: Chris Nordenson/Nordenson Photography

It appeared as though Bowdoin had the game won late into the third period until a shot from the blue line ricocheted off Bowdoin goaltender and junior Richard Nerland’s pads right to the tape of sophomore defenseman Chris Wilcox’s stick. Wilcox saw an open part of the net, and with 1:24 left in regulation, the score was tied.

Like the game itself, Bowdoin was unpredictable on this night, and it showed in the extra frame.

Overtime began rather slowly, as both squads appeared to be giving and taking only small bits and pieces. A UMass penalty close to two minutes in gave the Polar Bears the extra attacker that they needed.

Co-captain Shearer-Hardy received a timely pass from sophomore forward Daniel Weiniger, and Shearer-Hardy blasted the one-timer into the net as Bowdoin escaped in dramatic fashion.

Meagher appeared aware of the thrill of the season’s first game.

“It was the excitement of opening night,” said Meagher. “We’re up 2-0, and this thing isn’t a faucet. You can’t turn it off and on. You’ve got to come ready to play every night and play for the whole 60 minutes.”

The Polar Bears are back in action tomorrow night, as they battle Babson at home in the Sidney J. Watson Arena at 4 p.m.

Babson – 5; Colby – 4
The Babson College men’s hockey team opened up a 5-1 lead after two periods and then held off a furious Colby College third period rally to take a 5-4 win in the season opener for both teams Friday at Alfond Rink.

The Beavers took a 2-0 lead after one period of play on goals by Mike Hoban and Jason Schneider. In the second period, Babson held a 5-1 lead as they received goals by Ryan Smith, PT Donato and Dan Ahern.

The lone goal in the second period came from Spike Smigelski at the 13:21 mark.

Assistant Captain Wil Hartigan pulled the Mules to within three goals at 5-2, before new transfer Scott Harff, who came from Brown University, scored his first at 5:56 of the third period. With the Cody McKinney pulled for the extra attacker, Mike Doherty scored with 16 seconds left in the game, but that would be as close as Colby could get.

McKinney stopped 37 shots in the loss, while Zeke Testa made 31 save for the win.

Both Colby and Babson were 1-for-5 on the power play.

St. Michael’s – 6; Univ. of Southern Maine – 2
Saint Michael’s College received goals from six different players to defeat the University of Southern Maine Huskies, 6-2, on Friday evening in season-opening, ECAC Men’s East action at Cairns Arena.

The Purple Knights exploded for four goals in the second period, including two within a span of 15 seconds late in the period that broke up a close game. Special teams played a big role for the Purple Knights as they converted 3 of 8 power-play opportunities while killing all seven short-handed situations they faced.

Southern Maine goals were scored by Dustin Rider and defenseman Paul Conter, who pulled the Huskies to within a goal at 3-2, before Justin Castagna and Alex Davidson scored 15-seconds apart.

Mason St. Hilaire made 23 saves in the loss before being replaced by freshman Braely Torris who made 19 saves in the third period.

Norwich – 8; Univ. of New England – 0
Norwich University showed why they’re defending national champions, and UNE still have a lot of work ahead of them in growing the men’s ice hockey program as Norwich sailed to an 8-0 victory in front of 1,676 at Kreitzberg Arena in Northfield, VT.

UNE was outshot 55-9 in the game including registering only one shot in the second period.

Norwich forward Scott Schroeder tallied three points (2g, 1a) in the game.

Mike Roper played the entire game for UNE, making 47 saves in the loss.

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