BRUNSWICK — The freshmen carried the offense and the upperclassmen led the defense Tuesday night as Bowdoin shut out the University of Southern Maine 3-0 in a nonconference men’s hockey game at Watson Arena.

Freshmen Pat Geary and Tommy Dunleavy scored for the Polar Bears (4-4) before senior Matt Sullivan added an empty-net goal with 1:32 remaining.

“We had a very emotional weekend last weekend with Colby (2-1 and 5-4 losses), and we dressed a younger lineup tonight,” said Bowdoin Coach Jamie Dumont.

“The big thing for us in pregame was to make sure the younger legs could carry us, and the young legs showed up.”

On defense, seniors Mitch Barrington, Brendan Conroy, Sullivan and Joseph Lace played well in front of junior goalie Peter Cronin.

“They have such high determination and they know how the game is supposed to be played, and how we play the game here at Bowdoin,” said Dumont. “Their experience level and their ability to put out fires was huge. Southern Maine had a good push in the third and our seniors really weathered the storm. It was a fitting way for those guys to get the shutout for (Cronin).”

Cronin, who turned away 21 shots, got his first shutout of the season and fourth of his career.

“They definitely had some pretty good shots in the second and third periods but we know with him back there he can save anything,” said Barrington. “We just tried to do our job to get pucks out and clear guys away from the front of the net, and give him a chance to see the puck. We feel like if we can do that, it’s pretty realistic in any game for him to come away with a shutout.”

The Polar Bears broke through on a power play with 1:10 to go in the first.

Conroy cycled a puck through to freshman Sam Topham, who connected with Geary.

Geary’s shot beat Kyle Shapiro for a 1-0 lead and his fourth goal of the season.

USM (5-7) had a hard time getting its offense in sync and Bowdoin held a 12-8 shots advantage by the end of the first period.

The Polar Bears had a chance to add to their lead midway through the second when USM players were sent to the penalty box 19 seconds apart, giving the Polar Bears 1:41 of a five-on-three power play.

Barrington nearly scored, unloading a blistering slap from the top of the left circle that bounced off the right post.

Shapiro – who finished with 30 saves – was able to turn away four more shots to kill off the penalty.

The Huskies continued to struggle clearing the puck and the Polar Bears again outshot them in the second, this time 15-7.

Three minutes into the third, Bowdoin made it 2-0 when Dunleavy scored from Jason Cahoon. It was Dunleavy’s third goal this year.


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