After tying one game and losing the other to Trinity (9-12-3, 8-6-2 NESCAC) this past weekend, the women’s ice hockey team (12-8-4, 7-6-3 NESCAC) finished sixth in the league and will be traveling to No. 3 Hamilton (14-7-3, 9-5-2 NESCAC) this weekend for NESCAC conference quarterfinals.

While the rankings favor the Continentals in the matchup, the Polar Bears are confident about their prospects.

“We know that we’re better and we can beat them,” said captain Jess Bowen ’17. “We want this weekend to go out there and play our best and show them we’re the better team.”

When the two teams last faced each other, they split the series as Bowdoin took a 2-1 win in the first game and Hamilton pulled out a 3-2 overtime victory in the second. 

Bowdoin’s play this past weekend featured a number of the team’s strengths, including its unique on-ice strategy.

“We play a system that’s just a little different than a lot of teams play,” Bowen said. “We play with three defensemen and two forwards so I think just that system is a little bit different and allows us to kind of catch teams off guard and gives us more opportunities offensively and makes our defense even stronger.”

The team is coming off a disappointing series against Trinity, in which Bowdoin dropped from 4th to 6th and gave up home-ice advantage after the tie and loss.

“I think that it was definitely a disappointment and a struggle just because we know we could have done a lot better than we did,” captain Kimmy Ganong ’17 said. “I think we were just really hyper and frantic, which was unfortunate. We play 100 percent better if we stay composed and calm and collected.”

An unusual lack of composure affected areas of play that are usually the team’s strengths, making the team feel that it did not play to its full potential over the course of the series.

“We just weren’t there mentally,” said Bowen. “I think we were making a lot of mistakes, we weren’t as a team winning all the one-on-one battles which we would normally win, and we’re a team that takes pride in our one-on-one battles. As a team we were just a little bit off, which happens, but we’re not going to do that this weekend.”

The team is confident going into the Hamilton game, and Ganong believes that it has the skill to beat the Continentals.

“I’m really excited to go to Hamilton,” said Ganong. “We’ve been there before and we know that we can absolutely beat them. We beat them on Friday night when we played there and we should have beat them on Saturday when we went into overtime.”

A key difference in playoffs will be that the teams play one game as opposed to a series, which Bowen sees as an advantage based on the team’s performance this season.

“[When] we played [Connecticut College], we didn’t play them back-to-back,” said Bowen. “Those were the only two league games we didn’t play back-to-back and we beat them both times so I just think to mentally only have to prepare for one game and know that you’re giving your all to that one game makes our team come out even stronger.”

However, the postseason adds additional pressure because the team only gets one chance to win.

“I think we have to know that it’s such an important game and that everyone else in the conference is at 0-0,” Ganong said. “No one has any wins or losses—it’s a clean slate. It’s just about believing that we can win and winning on Saturday to continue this season.”