Maine Hockey Journal

Bowdoin slip past nationally ranked Williams

Brunswick, ME – In a battle of nationally ranked teams, Daniel Weiniger added a goal and an assist as Bowdoin College outlasted Williams College, 3-2, during alumni weekend at Sid Watson Arena on Friday night.

Courtesy of junior Stephen Maier, the Ephs jumped out on the scoreboard, 1-0 as he was able to corral a loose puck in front of the Bowdoin net and deliver the goal past diving freshman goaltender Steve Messina. Seniors Matt Masucci and Ryan Young were given credit for the assists.

Instead of sitting on their heels, the Polar Bears came right back at the Ephs.

After Williams was whistled for an infraction, Bowdoin’s Jeff Fanning netted the equalizer after streaking up the ice and putting a rebounded shot behind Williams netminder junior Ryan Purdy at 6:47 of the first period. Weiniger and senior co-captain Owen Smith were in on the assists.

I thought it was a great performance by both teams, both goalies,” Bowdoin coach Terry Meagher said. “Our team played a really solid game.”

While the first period featured momentum swings and scoring chances on each side, the Polar Bears seized control of the second period from the very get go, as Weiniger’s goal on a play set up by co-captain Kyle Shearer-Hardy put Bowdoin on top 2-1 nine seconds in.

Williams appeared to have tied the game up eight minutes into the period but was turned away by the refs who ruled that the moorings of the net had come off before the goal went in.

“There are a lot of people who have doubted us as far as the strength of our schedule goes so far,” junior Jordan Lalor said. “We always knew we were a No. 1 team so we just wanted to go out there and prove it.”

Lalor looked to have initially hurt his knee after taking a hit midway through the second period.

Thankfully for the Polar Bears Lalor decided to grind it out.

Lalor was able to muster a beautiful backhand shot past a diving Ryan Purdy, who had to go from one side of the net to the other. Lalor was given an open look at the net for a split second and did the most with his shot, hitting the top right corner of the net with a small ping of the sound of the post echoing throughout the arena.

“Nobody likes playing hurt, but you want to go out there and do it for the boys,” said Lalor.

Lalor’s goal was the icing on the cake of a superb second period, which included two five-on-three penalty kills.

The refs seemed to call a tight game, whistling both squads for a combined 15 penalties. The Polar Bears were penalized 10 of those times, including five straight times at one point.

“The refs called us on what I thought were a couple of questionable calls,” said Lalor, “but that’s part of the game. We really try to stay out of the box, but I think we might be one of the most penalized teams in the league.”

The Polar Bears string of penalties eventually caught up with them at the halfway mark of the third period.

The Ephs power play collapsed on the net, bringing a host of players within ten feet of Bowdoin goaltender Steve Messina. Masucci softly centered a pass out in front of the net which was then stuffed in by sophomore John Wickman. Masucci and senior Connor Olvany were given credit for the assists.

The Polar Bears frequency in the penalty box against Williams made it difficult to establish a consistent flow throughout the entirety of the hockey game.

Meagher commented that for a team that relies on rhythm and flow – like his club – when things distract that from taking place, the game can become frustrating.

In spite of the outside influence, Bowdoin was able to limit Williams scoring chances in the third period.

The Polar Bears shut down the Ephs attack late in the contest, making it difficult for Williams to pull its goaltender by holding possession of the puck down in their end of the ice.

The game had significant meaning in the NESCAC standings, giving Bowdoin a boost in front of Williams point-wise, as well as head-to-head.

The Polar Bears take to the ice tomorrow evening against Middlebury College at 4 p.m. at the Sydney J. Watson Arena.

Middlebury – 4; Colby College – 1
Captain Charlie Strauss scored a pair of goals to help guide Middlebury past Colby College, 4-1, in NESCAC action on Friday night at Alfond Rink.

With the game tied 1-1, Middlebury scored three unanswered goals to earn the victory improving to 7-5-3 overall (5-4-2 in NESCAC).

The two teams nearly battled to two scoreless periods before Strauss scored unassisted with just 36 seconds left to the second intermission.

Colby tied the game 1-1 with an unassisted goal from Spike Smigelski at 5:36 of the third period.

Chris Steele scored the game-winner at 11:47 of the third period for a 2-1 lead for Middlebury. It was Steele’s first goal of the season

Strauss added an insurance goal at 13:38 followed by Tucker Donahoe’s empty net goal with 1:11 to play.

John Yanchek stopped 25 shots for Middlebury, while James Lemonias made 23 saves for Colby.

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