Maine Hockey Journal

Bowdoin cruise past Southern Maine

Brunswick, ME – Powered by senior defenseman Brendan Reich’s three goals and two assists, as well as sophomore forward Daniel Weiniger’s one goal and three assists. Bowdoin College dominated the University of Southern Maine, 7-1, at the Sid Watson Arena on Friday night.

The two linemates combined to be involved in six of the Polar Bears seven goals.

“We wanted to make a statement this weekend and come out here hard and get some shots on net,” Reich said. “We just wanted to try and lower the shoulder, get to the net, and see what happens.”

Weiniger assisted Reich on the game’s first score, a mere 3:47 into the game, as Reich quickly fired a high wrist shot past goaltender Braely Torris. Bowdoin would waste little time during its first period onslaught, connecting on a total of three goals in less than eight minutes of play. Weiniger assisted Jeff Fanning for a power play goal, and Reich found the net courtesy of a Jordan Lalor feed.

The Polar Bears took a commanding 3-0 lead into the first intermission, on the heels of a 16-9 advantage in shots and some ultra physical play.

“We never expect it,” Bowdoin Head Coach Terry Meagher said regarding his team’s first period ambush. “I know they have a really good goaltender, but I know we’re capable of putting some pucks in the net. My major concern is finding that balance between scoring and defending.”

Southern Maine battled back in the second period, getting on the scoreboard four minutes in with a tough goal from freshman Angelo Vrachnas. Forward David Nies intercepted a failed clear attempt by the Polar Bears and sent a bouncing puck to Vrachnas, who found himself in front of Bowdoin goaltender Richard Nerland. Vrachnas chopped down on the puck and sent it through the posts for the goal.

Unfortunately for the Huskies it was their last time scoring for the net.

As USM’s play improved dramatically, the team was able to garner a 5-on-3 advantage for a considerable time. With its efforts focused on shutting down the power play attack, the Polar Bears were able to throw away the Huskies golden opportunity and keep the lead at two goals. Nerland, who played a big part in the overall victory with 28 saves, was crucial during the disadvantage.

“Anytime you get that from your goaltender and your team, it makes quite a difference,” Meagher said. “When we killed that three-on-five, I thought that was huge.”

Nursing a two-goal lead and beginning the third period three-on-three due to a rash of penalties assessed at the end of the second period, the Polar Bears pounced, scoring less than half a minute in.

Reich found a streaking Weiniger – who had just left the penalty box – for a breakaway attempt.

Weiniger found the back of the net, and Bowdoin would not look back, scoring three more goals in the period and outshooting the Huskies 29-12 in the third period.

Reich was the story of the game, getting himself going after a somewhat slow start to his season.

Reich, who has 41 career points before this season, had only four points entering tonight’s contest.

“This is definitely a game to not only get myself back on track, but get the team on track as well,” Reich said. “Going down the stretch run that’s really where you want to be.”

Bowdoin is back at home tomorrow afternoon, as they battle the University of New England.

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