BOWDOIN COLLEGE’S Jack Bliss (32) carries the puck up the ice while teammate Pat Geary (11) follows during a NESCAC men’s hockey game Saturday night at Watson Arena.

BOWDOIN COLLEGE’S Jack Bliss (32) carries the puck up the ice while teammate Pat Geary (11) follows during a NESCAC men’s hockey game Saturday night at Watson Arena.

BRUNSWICK

Colby took advantage of eight power plays, scoring on three of them, to down the Bowdoin College Polar Bears, 6-1 in men’s hockey to take the weekend home-and-home series sweep in NESCAC action Saturday night.

The standing room only crowd at Sidney J. Watson Arena saw six unanswered goals by the visiting Mules as they improved to 4-2 (3-1 NESCAC), while Bowdoin fell to 2-5 (1-3 NESCAC). It was the 210th meeting between the two schools, the oldest rivalry in Maine college hockey.

After falling 4-2 Friday night at Alfond Rink in Waterville, Bowdoin looked to take advantage of the home crowd.

Both teams skated to a fast pace the open the game, and with matching penalties less than four minutes into the contest, a four-on-four quickened play even more. Colby’s Justin Grillo got free on the open ice and was able to fire a shot off at Bowdoin keeper Peter Cronin, but the senior goalie snagged the attempt with a glove save in keeping the game scoreless.

Bowdoin struck first, 11:13 into the game on a power play of its own. Following a Colby hooking penalty, it took just 27 seconds for Bradley Ingersoll to find the back of the net when his shot went over the glove-side shoulder of Colby stopper Sean Lawrence for the score. Cody Todesco and Daniel McMullan assisted the freshman.

“I think we came out a little nervous, maybe a little tentative to start the game, but that goal eased that,” said Bowdoin coach Jamie Dumont. “I think the visiting teams held ice this weekend. We held our own on the road Friday night and Colby did the same here tonight in front of this electric crowd.”

The Bowdoin skaters kept Colby off the scoreboard until late in the first period when the Mules scored their first power-play goal of the night. After a roughing call, the visitors took advantage by scoring with just 47 seconds left when Nick O’Connor beat Cronin for the equalizer.

“We took an ill-advised penalty late in the period and they capitalized on that,” said Dumont.

The game remained tied going into the first intermission, with Colby holding a 14-9 lead in shots.

The Mules, who also swept the series last year, quickly took the lead with a Zack Hale unassisted goal 2:34 into the second frame.

Bowdoin nearly tied the score a few minutes later when Christopher Wallace blasted a shot on net, but was turned away by Lawrence, who finished with 32 saves.

Colby scored its second power-play goal of the night at 8:49 when Billy Overby’s shot was deflected by Andrew Reis. The puck knuckled behind Cronin and into the net for the score and a 3-1 Colby lead.

“A couple of their goals, the pucks had eyes, but to their credit, they executed when they needed to,” said Dumont.

Bowdoin was unable to take advantage of a power play late in the period as the Colby defense killed it off. Heading into the weekend series, the Mules rank fifth in Division III power- play kills with a .923 percentage.

Immediately upon killing the penalty, Colby raced down the ice, and after a Cronin stop on a Grillo blast, Michael Rudolf found the rebound and knocked the loose puck to the back of the net for the score.

Despite outshooting Colby 13-11 in the period, Bowdoin trailed 4-1 after two.

“What killed us was we were in the box too much,” said Dumont. “ You can’t keep getting penalties and expect to come out on top. By continuing to do that , we taxed our players, our bench, and eventually the game got away from us in the second period.”

The Polar Bears came out aggressive in the third period, continuing to pelt Lawrence with shots, including three consecutive blasts in a 45-second span midway through the period. However, the junior netminder continued coming up big, earning him the Peter Schuh Memorial Trophy. The trophy is in honor of Bowdoin student Peter Schuh, who passed away in the summer of 1994. The MVP of the Bowdoin- Colby game in Brunswick has received the trophy every year since.

“ We came out in the third firing shots on net with a little pizzazz. But you know what, we need to have that pizzazz in the first period too. We can’t just turn it on and off whenever we want to,” added Dumont. “We need to work on that as a team and correct it.”

Mario Benicky and Kienan Scott each added late goals as six different players hit the scoring column for Colby to finish off the Polar Bears.

Dumont will take the positives he saw, including that “pizzazz” in the third period.

“ We just have to trust everyone in the room, like they did in that frenzy in the third,” said Dumont. “ We need to find some offense. Averaging two goals a game in this league isn’t going to cut it. You need three or four scores a game to compete.”

The Polar Bears won’t have long to think about the loss, as they travel to Gorham on Tuesday to take on the University of Southern Maine at 7 p.m. before hosting Tufts (Friday) and Connecticut College (Saturday) leading up to the holiday break.

Friday night

On Friday night, the Polar Bears struck first at 7:24 of the opening period on a rush up the ice by Austin Ricci. Ronnie Lestan stole a puck from a defender and pushed a quick pass to Spencer Antunez, who one-timed a pass to Ricci coming in on goal for the tipped shot.

Colby evened the score after a battle behind the net, a Bowdoin defenseman kicked the puck backwards directly to Cam MacDonald, who pushed a quick pass to Scott for a tough angle shot from the left side to beat Bowdoin’s Alex Zafonte for the goal.

Colby went up on a Michael Decker’ blast 4:12 into the third. Phil Klitirinos came from behind the net on the play to get the puck to Decker, who tried to squeeze a pass in the middle to Justin Grillo for the shot. Zafonte denied Grillo’s shot, but Decker kept on stuffing the rebound at the left post.

Bowdoin tied the game just 2: 36 later. Camil Blanchet twice won the puck along the boards, finding Michael Brown behind the net. Brown came in around the right post for a wraparound pass to McMullan at the left post for a one- timer in front.

Stahlhuth scored with 9:05 to play to give Colby the lead. Klitirinos closed out the scoring with four seconds remaining with an empty-net goal.

Lawrence finished with 34 saves, while Zafonte came up with 31 stops.

Colby 6, Bowdoin 1

Saturday at Sidney J. Watson Arena
Colby — 1-3-2 — 6
Bowdoin — 1-0-0 — 1

First period — 1. (B) Brady Ingersoll,
(Daniel McMullan, Cody Todesco),
pp, 11:13; 2. (C) Nick O’Connor,
(Spencer Hewson, J.P. Schuhlen), pp,
19:13. Penalties — Jason Nawrocki
(B), roughing, 4:47; Nick O’Connor
(C), boarding, 4:47; Spencer Hewson,
(C) hooking, 10:46; Keenan Murray,
(B) interference, 12:33; Spencer
Antunez (B), roughing the goalie,
18:36.
Second period — 3. (C) Zack Hale,
2:34; 4. (C) Andrew Reis, (Billy Overby), 8:49; 5. (C) Michael Rudolf,
(Justin Grillo), 18:44. Penalties
Jason Nawrocki, (B) high sticking,
6:52; Matthew Lison (B), interference, 12:08; Mario Benicky (C), hooking, 16:37.
Third period — 6. (C) Mario Benicky,
(Kienan Scott, Thomas Stahlhuth),
14:51; 7. (C) Kienan Scott, (Nick
O’Connor), 18:39. Penalties
Spencer Antunez (B), roughing, :37;
Thomas Stahlhuth (C), interference,
11:01; Austin Ricci (B), elbowing,
16:41.
Shots on goal — Colby – 14-11-10 –
35; Bowdoin – 9-13-11 – 33.
Saves — (C) Sean Lawrence 32; (B)
Peter Cronin 29.
Power play — Colby 3-of-8; Bowdoin 1-of-3.
Records — Colby 4-2 (3-1 NESCAC);
Bowdoin 2-5 (1-3 NESCAC).
Next up for Polar Bears — Tuesday
at USM at 7 p.m.


Comments are not available on this story.