BOWDOIN COLLEGE goaltender Steve Messina (35, top photo) has the puck under his pads while pressed by Colby’s Ray Zeek (22) and Nick Kondiles (9). Polar Bear defenders Ryan Carney (27) and Aaron O’Callahan (24) are close by. Messina made 31 saves, but his squad lost to the Mules 4-3 at Sidney J. Watson Arena on Saturday. In the bottom photo, Bowdoin forward Daniel Weiniger (16) tries to break past Colby’s Nick Trepp (6).

BOWDOIN COLLEGE goaltender Steve Messina (35, top photo) has the puck under his pads while pressed by Colby’s Ray Zeek (22) and Nick Kondiles (9). Polar Bear defenders Ryan Carney (27) and Aaron O’Callahan (24) are close by. Messina made 31 saves, but his squad lost to the Mules 4-3 at Sidney J. Watson Arena on Saturday. In the bottom photo, Bowdoin forward Daniel Weiniger (16) tries to break past Colby’s Nick Trepp (6).

BRUNSWICK

 

 

One night after a near perfect New England Small College Athletic Conference men’s hockey win over rival Colby at Alfond Arena in Waterville, the Polar Bears had that look of a team wanting the two-game sweep in the annual home- and- home grudge war on Saturday night at Sidney J. Watson Arena.

Terry Meagher’s home team had the 2,400 fans in the packed joint hopping with excitement after John McGinnis’ short-handed goal with 5:22 left in the second period staked Bowdoin to a 3-0 lead.

The party seemed to begin, albeit way, way too soon.

See, the Mules chipped away, scoring a goal late in the second period to draw to 3-1, and three goals in a 5:19 stretch in the third period had those same Bowdoin fans leaving the building with stunned looks, almost a “what just happened?” blank stare while a small pocket of Colby fans celebrated a 4-3 victory.

“Isn’t it funny how a team can play a near perfect game Friday and come back the next day and not?” stated Meagher, who will have little time to get his Polar Bears past this one with a visit to the University of Southern Maine slated for Tuesday at 7 p.m. “It comes down to will. They wanted this victory more than we did. Credit to Colby. They earned this win.”

Three-goal run

Colby’s Ben Chwick started the Mules’ comeback in the third period, finishing off a mad scramble in front of Bowdoin goaltender Steve Messina to get the visitors to 3-2 with 6:30 to play.

Nick Lanza drew Colby even with 3: 43 remaining, thanks to the work of winger Nick Kondiles, who fought off two Bowdoin defenders along the boards before setting up his linemate, and Mike Doherty, who was presented the Peter Schuh Memorial Award as the MVP of the game, finished off the comeback with just 1:11 left on the clock, a goal almost reminiscent of Lanza’s, this time with Matt Rappaport doing the dirty work in earning an assist.

“I have to hand this win to the players,” said Colby interim coach Stan Moore after his Mules improved to 2-5 overall, 1-3 in the NESCAC. “We stuck together, even when we were down 3-0. I told the players we made three mistakes that cost us. It would have been easy to jump ship there, but they didn’t.”

Earlier in the day, Moore sat down for a long conversation with Meagher, discussing “hockey things.” The discussion seemed to pay off.

“Coach Meagher is just a phenomenal coach, and he sat down and chatted with me like a colleague, saying it ‘isn’t what you work on but how you work on it,’” said Moore. “ It was the little things that we did well tonight that led us to this win.”

Early on the game certainly didn’t go Colby’s way. Jordan Lalor outhustled the Mules’ defense to wave off an icing call before feeding McGinnis, whose one-timer slid through the pads of Colby goaltender Matt Delaney 8: 03 into the game.

Just 1:29 later, the lead was two as Colin Downey dug the puck away from the boards to lead to a quick 2-on-1 break before feeding Harry Matheson for an easy goal at 9:32.

“Everyone was going hard and seemed to have the oars in the water,” said McGinnis of his team’s quick start. “We just didn’t go 60 minutes tonight and you have to do that against Colby.”

While skating with a man advantage in the second period, Colby peppered Messina, who turned aside three shots before the Mules fired the puck out of play.

On the ensuing face- off, Downey quickly gained control and sent McGinnis in alone on Delaney. His shot found the top corner of the net for a 3-0 lead.

“We had a good pace going throughout the first period, but to lose last night and come here and win, I have to give Colby all the credit,” said Meagher.

Colby’s comeback began just 1:36 after McGinnis’ tally as Spike Smigelski broke in alone on Messina, sending his shot off the goaltender’s body and into the net.

The Mules finished with a 35- 32 shot advantage, with Delaney stopping 29 Bowdoin shots and Messina making 31 saves.

“Steve kept us in the game tonight,” said Meagher of his netminder.

Both teams failed to score on three power-play chances.

Friday night

Bowdoin earned its biggest win over Colby since 1999 in a resounding 6-2 thumping of the Mules on Friday evening at Alfond Rink.

The Polar Bears posted the largest margin of victory by either team in the rivalry since a 5-1 Polar Bear win in November 1999.

Bowdoin’s Ryan Carney got things going with his first goal of the season at 13:29 of the opening frame. Danny Palumbo sliced up the middle of the ice for his first career goal at 7:27 of the second period, only to see Colby’s Cory McGrath answer 1:21 later to draw the Mules within 2-1.

The Polar Bears poured it on late in the frame, getting goals from Robert Toczylowski, Lalor and Tim Coffey in the span of 2:31 to give the visitors a 5- 1 lead heading into the third.

Bowdoin killed off a Colby 5-on-3 power play early in the third and put the game out of reach when Rob MacGregor scored 5:42 into the stanza. Scott Harff added a goal for Colby with just 24 seconds remaining to finish off the scoring.

Richard Nerland was excellent in net for Bowdoin, stopping 12 shots in the opening period and finishing with 26 for the game.

Delaney made 39 saves for Colby in the loss. Bowdoin held a 45-28 edge in shots and got multi-point games from Lalor (one goal, three assists) and McGinnis (three assists).

Colby 4, Bowdoin 3

At Sidney J. Watson Arena
Saturday night
Colby— 013—4
Bowdoin—210—3
First period — 1. (B) John McGinnis
(Jordan Lalor, Ryan Collier), 8:03; 2. (B)
Harry Matheson (Colin Downey), 9:32.
Second period — 3. (B) John McGinnis
(Colin Downey), sh, 14:38; 4. (C) Spike
Smigelski (Cory McGrath), 16:14.
Third period — 5. ( C) Ben Chwick
(Anthony Raymond, Chris Buonomo),
13:30; 6. (C) Nick Lanza (Nick Kondiles),
16:17; 7. (C) Mike Doherty (Matt Rappaport), 18:49.
Shots on goal — Colby 13-13-9 — 35;
Bowdoin 12-7-13 — 32.
Saves —(C) Matt Delaney 29; (B) Steve
Messina 31.
Power play opportunities — Colby 0-
for-3; Bowdoin 0-for-3.
Records — Colby 2-5, 1-3 NESCAC;
Bowdoin 3-2-1, 1-2-1 NESCAC.
Next for the Polar Bears — Tuesday at
USM, 7 p.m.


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