Trinity’s Jax Murray, bottom, tries to slip a shot past Colby College defenders from left, Jacob Thousand, goalie Andy Beran, and Max O’Brien during the NESCAC final last season in Waterville. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — The oldest small-college hockey rivalry in the nation has been one-sided for most of the last decade, but the tide could turn when the Colby and Bowdoin men’s teams meet Saturday night for the 210th time in the history of the two programs.

The Mules and Polar Bears are unbeaten with perfect 4-0-0 records entering the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) showdown at Jack Kelley Rink on the Colby campus. Colby is unbeaten in its last 10 games against Bowdoin (9-0-1) dating back seven years to the Polar Bears’ last victory in the series on Dec. 5, 2015.

“You can’t buy this experience on Amazon,” Colby coach Blaise MacDonald said of the twice-yearly Colby-Bowdoin game. “It’s phenomenal. For us, you just want to control what you can, in terms of your preparation, your work ethic and your practice habits, and see where it all shakes out (Saturday).”

The players and coaches aren’t the only ones anticipating Saturday’s game. Colby announced Thursday that no tickets remain.

“The hockey preparation side of things won’t be any different,” Bowdoin head coach Ben Guite said. “The distractions that come with it, that’s the big difference. It’s like any other hockey game once you get on the ice, but the ticket requests, the families and friends, and the media attention that’s not always present at the (NCAA Division III) level is what makes this different.”

Colby College’s Alex Bourhas, left, forces Trinity’s Ned Blanchard into the boards during a game last season in Waterville. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Guite is in his first season behind the Polar Bears bench. After spending eight seasons as the top assistant to Red Gendron at the University of Maine, Guite coached the ECHL’s Maine Mariners in Portland last season prior to taking the Bowdoin job over the summer.


With 10 seniors on the Bowdoin roster, Guite said that the team’s leadership has been key to the quick start.

“You want to build a culture of hard work, not that it wasn’t here before,” said Guite, who was on Maine’s 1999 national championship team and enjoyed a 13-year professional career, including NHL stints in Boston, Colorado and Nashville. “Guys have bought in. I’m asking the same things I was from the pros when I was with the Mariners, what the expectations were when I was a player and when I was at Maine (as a coach).”

Bowdoin is averaging five goals per game through its first four contests. Seniors Bobby Pearl, a defenseman, and Andy Stoneman lead the Bears with seven points apiece. Freshman Gabe Shipper has four goals to pace the team.

Scoring has been a bit of an early-season bugaboo for Colby, but it is keeping the opposition off the board. Senior netminder Andy Beran (1.32 goals against average, .959 save percentage) has anchored a 20-for-20 penalty kill.

“We lost three defensemen to graduation that played every game for us last year, but we have some really good defensemen left who were all in the lineup at times,” said MacDonald, now in his 11th season on Mayflower Hill. “You could make the argument that we have best defensive corp since I’ve been here one through 10, and our goaltending is exceptional. It’s a foundational piece for us.”

Trinity’s Lucas Michaud, left, tries to slip a shot past Colby College goalie Andy Beran, center, and defenseman Quinn Doyle during a game last season in Waterville. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

After winning 11 of the 14 Colby-Bowdoin games between 2010-2015, the Polar Bears reign over Colby has slowed significantly. Colby has won 10 of the last 12 (the teams played to a 3-3 tie on Dec. 1, 2018).


Bowdoin leads the all-time series 107-93-9.

The two teams conclude their season series at Sid Watson Arena in Brunswick on Jan. 28.

The Colby-Bowdoin women will also be in action Saturday at Kelley Rink with a 3 p.m. puck drop. The Colby women entered Friday’s game at Bowdoin with a 3-0-0 record this season, including a 4-1 win over Bowdoin last Sunday.

The Bowdoin women entered the weekend 2-2-0.

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