Maine Hockey Journal

Bowdoin shows poise in loss to U.S. Under-18 team

BRUNSWICK, ME – In the second game of the Bowdoin/Colby Tournament, Bowdoin College suffered their first loss of the season to the opportunistic U.S. Under-18 National team, 4-1, at Sidney J. Watson Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Although, the U.S. won the game 4-1, the score didn’t do justice to the effort put in by the Polar Bears leading US coach Ron Rolston to speak highly of Bowdoin.

“They’ve got a real good team,” he said. “I like their team a lot. If they finished early in the game it probably would have been a lot different. I think that was the difference in the game. They skate very well. They stretch out. They did a lot of things that we’re not used to seeing so it was certainly good for us – to make us better as a team.”

The scoreless first period was showcasing the high octane hockey, up-and-coming talent of the US youngsters and proving that Bowdoin has earned their ranking at #4 in the last D-III poll.

Passing was tape-to-tape and great offensive opportunities resulted as both teams were flying from one end of the rink to the other. Steve Messina had an excellent game in net for the Polar Bears and had more than a few stellar stops in his 33 saves on the day.

The U.S. team got on the board first with one of their two shorthanded goals of the night. J.T. Miller sent a behind-the-back pass to US captain Tyler Biggs streaking out of the defensive zone, and soon it was a 2 on 1 break. Biggs gave the puck back to Miller shortly after crossing into the offensive zone and he took advantage of the cross ice feed and placed it perfectly above Messina’s glove and just under the crossbar.

The U.S. scored its second goal with 2:08 left in the period after winning a battle on the boards deep in the corner. Biggs planted himself in front of the net during the scrum and had all the time in the world to catch, wait for Messina to drop, and shelf the puck over his shoulder before anyone was even close to him.

The US got their third goal at the beginning of the third on a breakaway attempt from Rocco Grimaldi. Bowdoin refused to give up and finally were able to connect all the dots on one of their many quality scoring opportunities in the game. From the blue line, Jordan Lalor sent a clean, crisp pass into Ollie Koo who found Kyle Shearer-Hardy in front of the net. The sharp passing made it easy for Shearer-Hardy to put the puck past US goaltender John Gibson, his only blemish on a high quality night.

“I thought we played a really good game,” said Bowdoin coach Terry Meagher. “We are off to a good start. That was a real good team we played and I thought we had a respectable game.”

Bowdoin will face Suffolk University tomorrow at noon at Colby College’s Alfond Arena in Waterville.

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